“Favorite Things” Canvas Paintings

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Last week my son took extra long naps (woo-hoo) so I finally got to finish this project that I have been working on for months!  It's not that it took a really long time to do, it's just that he dropped his morning nap so I have a lot less free time now but last week I was able to check several things off of my to-do list (score!)!

When designing my son's "big boy room" we decided not to make it too themey so it can grow with him.  I love painting murals but this time I decided to paint canvases so if (or when)  his interests change I can easily change the decor in his room.  We picked out some of his favorite things- trucks, dogs, and elephants- and I made canvas paintings of them for his room!

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For each painting I worked from a photo and painted on pre-made stretched canvases.

To get started, I used a pencil to lightly draw grid lines on the canvas.

I made corresponding grid lines on the photo I was working from.  The grid helps break down the composition into smaller parts that are easier to enlarge.  For example, if I was working on a blank canvas and trying to start with the dog's nose it would be hard for me to know where to put it and how big to make it, but when I can compare the small grid on the photo with my large grid on the canvas it is much easier.  (I use this technique while painting murals too).

When I was done sketching, I erased the grid lines on the canvas and started painting!

I squirted my colors of acrylic paint onto a Styrofoam plate that I used as a palette.  I was going for an artsy, hand-painted look so I used big choppy brushstrokes and didn't try to blend the colors very much.

When I was done painting the dog I painted the background green.

When the paintings were dry I painted a protective clear coat on them.  I always think this makes them look really nice and finished.

I hung them on the wall using 3-M picture-hanging Velcro strips.

I love the way they look hung on the stripes!

He loves his paintings so much!  He points at them and talks about them each time we go into his room now!

Here are some more projects from the room:

Striped Quilt

Bunting Curtains

How to Paint a Room

How to Paint Stripes

License Plate Coat Hooks

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. Wow, those are absolutely beautiful!! Wonderful job!!

  2. These are fantastic! I love how they turned out- you are so talented! Thanks for sharing the how-to!

  3. Your paintings go perfectly on the stripes. Nice job!

  4. Such great paintings!! Your little man must be thrilled. Love the elephant.

  5. Cute. I’m impressed but do not have the art skills to duplicate such a thing…

  6. GOsh you are SO talented! These are beautiful!

  7. I just love this idea, I just pinned it so I remember to do this as a future project!! :) Cath

  8. They look great! You did a wonderful job on them!

  9. What a great idea. You are clearly a talented artist. I can see how that would take months to finish. (I’m still working on my baby’s birth sampler and he’s one!)

    Visiting from The Shabby Creek Cottage #148, hope you’ll stop by my blog too. :)

    Thanks for sharing,

  10. These are absolutely beautiful!! Amazing job!

  11. What fantastic paintings! Thanks so much for the grid tip. It probably would still take a LOT more than that to help my artistic ability, but it’s a super helpful tip.:)

  12. WOW, wow, WOW!!!! I LOVE these! You did a fantastic job with the paintings!! Amazing! No wonder he loves them. Such a good idea too; LC’s tastes change pretty quickly and he keeps wanting to redo his whole room to be whatever he loves at the moment. This is a much easier {cheaper} way to incorporate some of his favorite things! Thanks for sharing at Shine on Fridays!

  13. Love this! We just posted our Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday link party and would love for you to share this!

  14. Featuring you next week on Handmade Tuesdays :)

  15. Wow! You are such a talented painter!! What a fun idea for a bedroom. Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  16. Oh, grid lines! I remember those from art class in high school! My son would die over the construction machine ones:)


  17. do you sell your paintings?

    • I probably would if you ask me again in a few months… I have a newborn baby and toddler right now so I don’t have any extra time:)

I would love to hear what you have to say!