the little black canvas {number art}

It’s the new must-have…the replacement for the little black dress, or maybe the accessory to…I don’t recommend trying to wear it.

But, I actually finally decided what she’s going to wear.
You might remember her back story?  This entire project only cost the $2 I spent for the canvas at Goodwill.  Heck yeah!

She did manage to find her way onto the gallery wall, even though she wasn’t done.

Now…she’s done.

I am quite infatuated with all of the word and letter art out there.  I recently turn a pallet into word art.  But, as I mentioned here, I don’t have any of those fancy machines that can create what I tell it to.

And I can’t always create what I want to.  :/

Luckily, this one worked out.

I first made a paper template the same size as the canvas.
I just scribbled with pencil, used different stencils I had to see what size lettering might fit, played around with ideas.

I had received some GREAT suggestions on what to do.

Maybe some string art like Zoe.

Love the idea, but think this little black canvas is too small for it.

Then I got the awesome suggestion to put my word of the year on it in a dictionary type font.  Who put that comment?  And on which post?  I’ve looked all over and can’t find you…I want you to get credit for the awesome idea.  Let me know if it’s you!

Update:  It was Leena!  Thanks for the great suggestion!!

I had a moment where I thought I might put something kitchy, maybe a funny saying taken from a little DIY group therapy.

But the moment was fleeting.

In the end, I went with dates that are important to us.

I picked 5 different fonts I liked.  I figured it would give it a more eclectic feel.  AND, I would have a better chance of pulling it off if I wasn’t trying to make all of the numbers look the same.  Can you say…intentional imperfection.  :)

I increased the number size so the width of each date fit the whole canvas.  Then I laid them out in order of date…and was not bothered when I discovered I was going to need to overlap them a bit. (Read: not interested in re-sizing and reprinting the numbers.)
My plan was to trace over the outline of each number hard enough that I could see it on the canvas.

 Again, I say, luckily the plan worked.

I just used some paint I had on hand mixed to different shades.  And for a couple dates I added some water for a more paint wash look.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say this project was easy peasy.  Very good light is necessary to see the vague outline imprint.  A very steady hand is necessary to create good looking numbers essentially free hand.  And patience is just always a necessity.  :)

A little before and after just for fun.
Once I knew what I was going to make and had picked out my fonts, this project took me a few hours…including the drying time between dates that wouldn’t be necessary if your numbers don’t overlap.

I have to say, I love her.  She’s meaningful, a bit whimsical and not overly crafted…a nice addition to an already busy gallery wall.

What about you…what would you have done with the little black canvas?  Have any number art of your own I should check out?

And, have you gotten all signed up on the new Linky Follower tool? If so, and want to follow me, please let me know you did in the comments so I can follow you back.

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I am sharing this project here and at:
BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, Today’s Creative, and Sugar Bee Crafts.


  1. says

    Love this piece! I love how the numbers have meaning for you. It looked great just as a piece of typographic art, but the deeper meaning makes it even more special. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m following you on LF, now, too.

  2. says

    Oh, I love it! Brilliant idea! I like those kind of secret messages used as decor. My guess is that half the people who come to your house will think it’s just random numbers, and the other half will try to figure it out.

  3. andrea cammarata says

    loving the whole subway art approach to names and numbers and you sure hit a home run on this one! loving it!!! (hugs)

  4. Sue Reincke says

    Love, love, love it. The only one I don’t know is the 3-13-99….
    What a really cool way to display all your special dates!

  5. says

    It was me! It was a comment in regards to your “The One Screw Wall Gallery Is Here”: “Leena Lanteigne / February 2, 2012 I think you should put your word of the year on the black canvas, done in dictionary looking type with the definition. It sort of sums up the entire project! I love the way iti turned out and the pieces you chose to hang! I think my favoes are the canvases of the dogs too, altho’ I love all the beach elements! Looking forward to reading the goos, bad and ugly parts in future posts! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this phenomenal project! Hugs, Leena”

    I love what you ended up doing with the canvas and the numbers! Great finishing touch to your gallery! xo, Leena

  6. says

    I don’t have a cool cutting machine either, so it’s always fun to see creative ideas for doing these kinds of projects “by hand.” I love the way your numbers turned out – it looks almost 3D. A great addition to your gallery wall!

  7. Erin @ How to Nest for Less says

    Super cute!!! It reminds me of something I saw recently in the Pottery Barn catalog! Thanks so much for sharing at my linky party :)

  8. says

    Your little number craft looks wonderful, it fits in very neatly. I like it! I am going to do one of the signs that we see everywhere. I don’t have one of those fancy machines either. But I may try this anyways.
    Hugs, cindy

  9. says

    I love it!! I like that it adds another graphic layer to your INCREDIBLE wall! And, of course it’s sentimental, which I love. I’m a sucker for art with a back-story :)

    Thanks so much for linking up! Your projects make me smile!!

  10. says

    Oh how I love this idea….your painting is amazing and that wall of yours! So lovely…I love your lab paintings as well…everything goes together so nicely. Just found your lovely blog through Junkin Joe… happy I did…off to peek around some more. Happy weekend.


  1. […] you’re new here you might like to see what I did with the Ooh la la canvas here, the horse picture/frame here, the cross stitch and frame in the back here and the 2 other canvases […]

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