Introduction: Easy Original Artworks

Picture of Easy Original Artworks
Ok these days I can feel myself growing up, and as such i look at the houses my friends have bought or are renting, with their IKEA furniture and mass produced (but pretty) artwork and thought to myself, "isn't that swell, maybe when I have a house then I should get some".

Being not only a g33k but also poor and stingey as hell, I figured I could make something to hang on my walls that would look good, be original, and cost me a little a possible.


  • Requires very little artistic skill
  • Looks good enough to be store bought
  • Stylish and contemporary
  • Cheap as chips
  • Easily replicated incase I want to make more to match

Step 1: Preparation

Picture of Preparation
Materials Needed:

  • Iron
  • Ironing Board (or other heat resistant flat surface)
  • Canvasses (I used box canvasses)
  • Palette & Brushes
  • Paint (I recommend water-based acrylic)
  • Inkjet 'T-shirt' transfer paper
  • Inkjet Printer

Find an image you want to turn into a piece of art. I like using Fonts as they are really simple and I am going for a sillohette look.

Step 2: Printing and Cutting

Picture of Printing and Cutting
  • Print image you don't need to worry too much about the quality settings of the printer as we will be painting over it
  • Cut out image

*TIP* I later found that you get better results if you cut around the image a little more carefully than I have in the picture.

Step 3: Position and Iron

Picture of Position and Iron
  • Turn transfer over
  • Iron transfer onto canvas - follow instructions for your type of paper

*TIP* use some cardboard from a box and an old book to support the underside of the canvas to stop it from stretching

Step 4: Painting

Picture of Painting
  • Paint around lines of the transfer and fill in background
  • Let it Dry
  • Check for missed bits and paint over them

Step 5: Paint Inside

Picture of Paint Inside

Carefully paint the inside of the shape a contrasting colour.

Step 6: Repeat

Picture of Repeat

Repeat with more to complete the pretentious multi-canvas effect that is so popular in all trendy loft apartments


FlatLinerMEDIC (author)2011-09-11

I LOVE IT ! ! the colors are great

just finished mine...theyre awesome, did brass knuckles, girl in martini glass, a hookah, and my handprint coz i messed up the painting on the last one! very decorative

golfchick005 (author)2011-02-11

I recently did this, but used silhouettes of men in suits instead. And to get the image to the canvas I just printed off the image, cut it out with an exacto knife, traced it on with a pencil, and painted inside the lines. They came out great!

rustyjack (author)golfchick0052011-04-02

i was wondering where you got the men in suit printout. i really enjoy them

golfchick005 (author)rustyjack2011-04-03

I found them all online...mainly by googling men in suits clipart, or business clipart. If you want some of the ones I used, and can't find them anywhere, I can send the jpeg files to you in an email

distractable (author)2010-11-27

Great instructable!
I read through really quickly so this may have been addressed but a low tech alternative is carbon copy paper to trace an image onto the canvas instead of using an iron-on.
if you're printing an image you can also just scribble with pencil on the opposite side of the page and trace around the image to transfer the carbon to the canvas.

again great instructable and great artwork!

wild_hemlock (author)2010-07-05

Definitely doing this! I have a bunch of canvases I bought and need to do something trendy with. Thank you!

Leleo5 (author)2009-07-31

This is a wonderful idea...i am definitely going to try it...but what do you mean by using "Fonts"

munkey_b0y (author)Leleo52009-08-01

Fonts are typefaces that a computer uses. Things like Times New Roman and Comic Sans are fairly standard. However some fonts (dingbat fonts) are not constructed of letters and numbers but of symbols or pictures. These images were made using a picture font.

Leleo5 (author)munkey_b0y2009-08-01

thank you very much!

BarginsTech (author)Leleo52009-09-14

You can also go to DAFONT.COM and download a variety of Dingbat fonts. They would be easier to copy, as you can print them out and trace them.

Rupert95 (author)2009-08-26

Wouldn't it be possible to simply iron on the full picture?

IntoxicatedSight (author)2007-09-22

where did you get those girl silhouettes from?

silhouette fonts are available @

google image it thats wt i did

cappatown (author)cappatown2009-04-15

btw you need photoshop to open that file, import it into shapes

bec1988 (author)2008-12-29

I'd like to know where you got the lady silhouettes from also?Great work by the way. They look fantastic & I can't wait to try doing them myself.

munkey_b0y (author)bec19882008-12-30

I don't remember where I got them all from, but you can get some of them from here dafont

hope that helps

nelelr (author)2008-12-05

I just found this link with tons of stencils and stuff

Print them out- and use an exacto Knife to cut out the black parts-

Then spray paint=-

StarFace (author)2008-11-20

These are gorgeous! I do a lot of art and this is a technique I use a hell of a lot!! Obviously the secrets out now though!! Love the colour scheme and the women motifs. And I totally agree with what you said about how most store-brought canvas's all look the same... and for what they are, really are very expensive. These are better than anything you'll buy. Plus of course they're unique!

AdamK (author)2007-06-23

Making a set of these with a "The Nightmare Before Christmas" theme. Cost me 4 bucks plus tax for 4 pieces of canvas. Going to freehand the outlines (that paper can get expensive :P ) and I already had the paint. Love the idea.

mcbee04 (author)AdamK2008-01-30

Where did you get canvas for $1 a piece? A 12" square canvas at the Hobby Lobby by my house runs $8.99 for a set of 2.

AdamK (author)mcbee042008-03-19

I got it at my local dollar store. I don't know if they sell them in the States (if that's where you're at?), but in Canada, they sell them in Dollaramas. They might have those where you are -- who knows.

munkey_b0y (author)AdamK2007-06-24

excellent, please post a picture when you are done. I would like to see your work.

AdamK (author)munkey_b0y2007-06-24

Here it is. Clockwise from top left : Jack; Oogie; Zero; Lock, Shock, and Barrel.

munkey_b0y (author)AdamK2007-07-30

looks excellent. I like he idea of using rectangular canvases and switching between portrait and landscape. very nice.

spylock (author)2008-02-18

Nice,I like em.

LP_808 (author)2008-01-05

Hey can someone please help me with my questions about this? I saw that the girl on the font is all black so Im not understanding how you were able to print her out in white with a black outline? Is it something obvious?

munkey_b0y (author)LP_8082008-01-06

the transfer paper is white. I decided to just print the outline to save on printer ink. I simply edited the image in Gimp (open source image editing program) reversing the colours and then erased some of the background to leave me with a crude outline. The transfer is only really there to give a guide to the painting, just to make it easier to get the image from the computer to the canvass.

I hope this has cleared it up a bit for you.

LP_808 (author)munkey_b0y2008-01-06

Okay thanks. The paint covered the black outline?

munkey boy (author)2007-08-07

hello this is the real munkey boy, nice instructible un real munkey boy

Morte_Moya (author)2007-08-05

That is really great. I love the girl in the martini glass!!!

pent19 (author)2007-07-28

love this project...i am an art teacher and am going to think about making it into some type of project

thumbelina (author)2007-07-05

These are great, i'm making a hawaiian themed set.

Scwounch (author)2007-06-19

That's pretentious as hell. I love it!

vehicle (author)2007-06-03

im going to the store right now to buy this stuff! (i'm copying your color scheme too, i love it)

egadsman (author)2007-04-11

i love the idea and im going to make some for my room because its a bit bland at the moment, but couldnt you just use some transfer paper instead of that iron on stuff because you could paint your background colour and let it dry and just use a roller with some paint to put your design onto the canvas giving it a crisper sharper look.

keneke (author)2007-02-25

hey that's really cool! i want to make a set for my dorm now. i think i'll just be using spray paint though. where did you get your hand on those box canvases?

anarchyash (author)2007-02-22

where did you get the images that you used? btw, very clever idea.

Aestheticxtattoos (author)2007-02-11

Cheers to this instructable.

tradergordo (author)2006-10-03

Nice concept, but you will never get a girlfriend with that on your walls. :)

I have a lovely girl friend and she loves when I make this sort of art. HA! in your face. check here.

Hey, I'm a chick, not a lesbian either, and I'm totally into that. If a guy had that on his wall I'd definitely... well, anyway, not a turnoff. So much better than 'three-sweaty-chicks-in-bikinis' posters, most definitely.

trebuchet03 (author)tradergordo2006-10-05

I disagree.... It's art, if she can't appreciate that - I personally would not want her to be my girlfriend in the first place ;)

Spoonman (author)tradergordo2006-10-03

Why not? That's nothing compared to what my gf and I have hanging (I'm a big fan of <a href="">Olivia's Betty Page</a> and other pinup art. You just need to find a gal who isn't hung up (that's assuming you're not). If you with a gal who has a problem with it, and you want it up there, you need a new gal. :)

EinKlaus (author)2007-01-31

Great idea, nice picture congratulation for these Greetings Klaus

nail_bender4 (author)2007-01-11

Well done! modern art that's still manly. Personally i'd got with a black base to a white silhouette, but that's just me. This font and many more @

Catelynxx (author)2006-11-18

I think I found the font you mentioned here. Props to your girlfriend for being awesome and a burlesque dancer. Very nice instructable, look forward to more!

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