Easy DIY Art Collection

Life Is Beautiful Art CollectionLately I've been needing more geometric art pieces to compliment the pieces I already own. I love painting groupings, but it's difficult to group several detailed pieces. These simple, patterned art pieces are the perfect solution for accenting your own handmade pieces or your favorite prints and paintings from Etsy! 

I made two super simple pieces and one that has more of a focal point. Each of these pieces costs less than $12 to make and under 30 minutes to complete! Here are the details… 

Stripe canvas how-to1. Supplies Needed: Canvas (I used a 12×12 square), painters tape, acrylic paint and a paint brush. 2. Tape vertical stripes across the entire canvas. 3. When painting taped off stripes it's always smart to brush the edges with white paint before using your color. If you do this most of the bleed will be white and your lines will be much more crisp and professional! 4. Apply two coats or colored paint. Allow to dry and remove tape slowly. Touch up any imperfect edges with colored paint and a small brush. 

Stripe canvas DIYThis canvas only took 15 minutes to create (plus drying time). It cost less than $12 for the supplies needed. (actually much less for me because I buy all of my canvas on sale) This pieces is great for a large scale focal pieces, like above a fire place. I also love the stripe canvas as an accent piece. This piece is great for pairing because it adds pattern to your group without needing to be the focal point. 

Dot canvas how-to1. Supplies Needed: Canvas (I used a 12×12 square), paint and a circle sponge. 2. Dip your sponge in paint and practice a few dots on scratch paper. Twist your sponge as you make each impression. 3. Fill the canvas with dots. You can keep them in rows of fill the canvas without rhyme or reason. 4. Allow the dots to dry completely. 

Dot canvas DIYThis is the simplest painting ever! It can be completed in just five minutes. Similar to the stripe painting above, it looks great paired with more complex, illustrated pieces. You can add a pop of color and pattern with this easy canvas. 

Quote canvas how-to1. Supplies Needed: Canvas (I used 8×10), acrylic paint, newspaper, ModPodge, foam brush, paint brush. 2. Use ModPodge to adhere newspaper to the front of the canvas. Cover the sides of the canvas with newspaper, use ModPodge to seal down the corners. 3-4. Use a smaller paint brush with black paint to freehand a quote across the front of the canvas. I like to lightly draw my phrase (as seen in step 4) and then add more paint to each letter. 

Quote canvas DIYThis canvas is a little bit more of a focal point, but still looks great when paired with illustrated or patterned pieces! Sometimes a little phrase is all you need to complete a collection.

Life Is BeautifulLife Is BeautifulHere are some ideas for using these simple art pieces in your home…. 1. Experiment with size and scale. Simple pieces look amazing in larger sizes! 2. Pair your simple handmade pieces with collected favorites from Etsy or friends and family. 3. Choose colors that compliment and accent your art collection and room decor! 

XO. elsie 

  • oh and instead of using the canvas i used a the box that held our fruit from costco so mine was free 🙂

  • i love this! and i just made the newspaper one but i dont know what to write as a quote. any suggestions?

  • Love these… so cute! I recently made something very similar to the newspaper one. Instead of canvas, I just used cardboard from an old cereal box, and instead of newspaper, I tore pages out of a (thrifted) vintage book with yellowed pages, and instead of ModPodge I used an off brand glue stick. But it turned out really pretty and fairly similar. 🙂 It’s very exciting to me that I’m making similar DIY crafts to those of A Beautiful Mess!

  • my hubby and i have just bought our first house and i am going to have so much fun making these, well im going to try my hardest anyways 🙂 great blog xo

  • i have so many canvases lying around from my art days…definitely quick and pretty way to spruce up a room

  • Doing this!!! I’ve had an empty canvas sitting around…waiting…for this awesome DIY! Thanks Elsie! 🙂


  • what a cool idea and such a cute look, like the stripes and the newspaper background!

  • what a great idea!
    i’ve been wanting to get into painting more, this seems like a perfect way to get started!
    xo, cheyenne

  • i couldn’t love this idea any more!!
    the dotted canvas is perfect. i am going to make one!


  • wow!! so simple and sparked an idea for a couple of my friends that will marry next month!! 😀

  • Elsie! You are a genius! I am so happy that i found this blog it’s giving me so much inspiration!

    I am so gonna try this when i get a bigger apartment and theres gonna be space for the art! I am not gonna for get about this.



    Pernille ~ www.pernullecanhazblog.blogspot.com

  • I’m so making the dot canvas for my new apartment! Thank you for sharing such an easy, budget-friendly art DIY!!

  • So cute. I wish i had lovely handwriting. I suppose you could make a stencil though.

  • These are so cute! And cheap! And simple!

    I’m in love!


  • These are so cute! And cheap! And simple!

    I’m in love!


  • Love DIY ideas…
    Great post (:



  • such a great idea. love your diys <3


  • Oh how cute. I think I’ll try these for my new bedroom.

  • love this idea! i don’t have anything on my walls. I’ll try to do this. also i just want to say i love love love your blog! it just completes my day =)

  • I love this! so simple and chic. My friends and I love DIY nights, this will have to be at the next one! I’m thinking a collabo credit will have to go on my blog for sure, i can’t wait for the Socialite followers to get their creative fingers on this.
    make sure to stop by for free clothing giveaway today

  • Great post! I used to make artworks like this when I lived in a sharehouse for university, it’s amazing what you can make even if you don’t have a talent for drawing ‘real life’ illustrations. Stripes and polka dots are fab! x

  • I can’t wait to try this! I’m in the middle of re-decorating, this will finish off my bedroom nicely! Thank you! Jacob xx

  • This looks really nice, ladies! If you get your canvases at Hobby Lobby, you can get them way cheaper. (I work there!) We have 11X14 double packs for $6 ($3 per canvas) or 8X10 double packs for $4 ($2 per canvas) or 16X20 double packs for $8 ($4 per canvas). And if you use your 40% off coupon from the Hobby Lobby website, you can get them for even less!!

    I have lots of money-saving craft ideas on my blog! bearshaped.blogspot.com

  • Elsie this is so cool! That’s exactly why I created these this weekend inspired by your instagram canvas post… Love making my own art for home.


  • That is super duper cute!

    Follow me at www.shopperstherapy.blogspot.com

  • What a perfect little project! So cute!

  • these are so nice! I like to hang a lot of pieces together to make a big impact so something like these would be helpful

  • i love this – will be doing this for our house for sure – perfect timing as we so need some art but on a budget 🙂

  • Your blog is my daily reading. All your ideas are so original and the photos are beautiful. You give me inspiration to try new things and let my imagination take over.
    Thank you! XO, Claire

  • Any Modge Podge suggestions? I’ve never used it before, but I’m eager and excited to try!

  • Simple and so cute! I love it!


  • Love it! As I love everything you ladies do….

    You make it look so perfect!


  • I have a question – ever use spray paint on a canvas? Does that work okay?

    I can’t wait for you and your husband to have a baby. Boy is this blog going to explode with kid-safe decorating ideas 😛

  • This is so awesome! I actually created my own DIY art using the canvas from my failed attempt at the DIY photo transfer. I created two paintings over the paper and gel medium and loved the way the paper added texture. You can see a picture in this post. http://ralizabeth.blogspot.com/2012/04/weekending-it.html

    xoxo, ralizabeth

  • Thanks for this idea! And youre pictures are so brightly adorable!

  • Thanks for the inspiring ideas! I often buy white canvases whenever I’m at the dollar store and end up with a collection of them, not knowing what I’ll use them for. Painting can be time consuming so ideas like this are so fun, simple and beautiful!


  • Nice use of recycling newspaper! ABM blog makes me so happy, thank you.

  • Love this simple idea. I’ve been reading through all of your Beautiful Mess archives lately and have thoroughly enjoyed them. They’ve already inspired me to paint again, to print off my honeymoon pictures, and to decorate our room. Thank you!

  • Thanks for the tip about striped paintings! I have one planned for my living room, and I was worried about bleeds!

  • This is easy, cheap and looks amazing
    I must do this in all the rooms of my home!

    This could be a way to use my colletions of cut papers


  • I love these. I think it’s great that you can create amazing DIY artwork for the home.

  • Elsie, you are wildly imaginative and positively inspiring! I love your e-courses too by the way. I’ve now started my own blog after going thru your course! 🙂


  • I love how easy that is. I might need to borrow my mom’s painting tools..


  • Such a cute idea, love it!
    Thanks for your inspiration!


  • Your diy are always amazing! And new graphic layout too!

    Lovely Idea

  • Love them! Gonna work on some DIYs this weekend 🙂


  • These are gorgeous. So easy to do as well!

    www.teganiasthoughts.blogspot.com xx

  • Immediately after I saw this I thought they would be great for my dorm room this fall! Easy + cheap, the perfect combo for a college student. 🙂


  • Love this idea!! Will make this a summer project 🙂

  • These are soooo adorable! I cannot wait to try it out! =)

  • You have always great ideas! thnaks for sharing!
    xoxo Luisella


  • I LOVE your Blog! It is so original I love all your DIY ideas and crafts!! Thanks for awesome reads!!

  • These are adorable! I’m going to have to do this to make my dorm room more home-y feeling!


  • i absolutely adore the “life is beautiful” diy. so great.


  • I love the simplicity of these pieces! Great DIY’s once again, elsie! 🙂

  • This is so great. Especially like you said where you already have some signature pieces and you just need some other art to pair it with. This is so easy to do it’s almost not fair lol.

    – Sarah

  • It’s such a cute but easy diy to make!
    And also cheap:P gonna try it out!


  • Coll DIY art on a budget! My gave is the striped one.


  • I really like this idea! And can’t wait to try something with Modge Podge.
    Thanks for all the cool ideas!! 🙂


  • Oh these are nice. I love the one with the picture and the words. So cute!

  • I love this idea! I’ve been collecting pieces of art for groupings on my walls, and these will be the perfect finishing touch. I might even try making a larger canvas to fill a big blank space.

    Also, I have to thank you for everything you do here. I’m pretty new to your blog, and I can’t get enough of it! Both of you have been such an inspiration to me over the past couple of months. I’ve made so many great things, and my home is starting to feel like it’s my own now. I also just started an art journal, and today I found some fantastic pieces for my home at a thrift store. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  • Really cute sometimes diy is really just the way to go with art!


  • What a great DIY idea, and cheap too! Thanks for sharing, will def be trying this one out soon!


  • ok, this has nothing to do with this post. which, i do enjoy seeing your art. i just felt like saying those photos on everday elsie of your ladybug niece are absolutely adorable, & heart melting. 🙂 so were the photos from her visit last think it was as well.

  • Love this 🙂 wish I had the time to do this!


  • so cute!! I’ve had a square canvas sitting in my room with nothing on it for MONTHS. the stripes idea looks really cute! maybe I’ll do that or a chevron pattern 🙂


  • I love this idea! I’ll definitely be making a few of these for my own studio. 🙂


  • Perfect little collection! I have a serious THANG for stripes and polka dots! WOOT!

  • Such a cute concept!! Love all the ones you did!


  • Ommm I love it, especially the newspaper one….http://littlethings94.blogspot.com.es/

  • I’ve been loving simple canvases lately! I’ve made two striped ones and one circle one, but I’m newly inspired to try my hand at new options! Love all of these, especially the gold circle square canvas!

  • I have been following your website for about a year now, but recently my interest has grown tremendously. You ladies are so inspiring. I constantly catch myself thinking of little touches or referencing your ideas in conversation to add beauty and whim to every day life. Thank you for all your hard work.

  • LOVE This! I’ve been scouring the internet for more DIY wall art ideas… I’m trying to make several pieces to decorate my home 🙂 These are wonderful… thanks for sharing!


  • You have such great ideas – I absolutely love your blog! Keep up the good/creative work! 🙂

  • I love that newspaper print! I’m not usually into wall prints but on a major crafting spree right now, so these may just happen!

  • This is adorable and totally works for the student budget I am going to have when I move to NY in August. Thanks for sharing such a brilliant DIY 🙂

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