DIY Cactus Art Tutorial
No artistic skill? No problem! This amazing DIY cactus art takes 20 minutes, costs less than $20 and is a whopping 4 foot by 4 foot!
Sometimes something turns out so well that you’re kind of embarrassed at how little time it took, you know what I mean? I had decided that in my guest room I needed a BIG piece of art. I decided I wanted pink, cobalt blue and I wanted it to be of a cactus or a whole mess of cacti.
Just from experience, I know for a fact that when I get that very specific idea in my head I’m going to have to make it because no designers are out there reading my mind making the whatever it is of my dreams. And I’m pretty okay with that because, you know, this whole DIY thing is kind of my bread and butter, anyway :)
And so I started brainstorming ways to make this massive art on the cheap. The basis of the piece, making a wooden frame out of scrap wood was the easiest part. Then I needed to figure out just WHAT it was that I was going to stretch across that big ol’ frame.
My first thought was to just go for it and try to paint what I wanted. But I didn’t have the time or the patience and so I decided to find something printed that would work well. My first instinct was to look for a shower curtain but I couldn’t find one in the design I liked and I wanted something fabric and not plastic and some of the ones I was finding were plastic. Yuck.
But then it hit me… wall tapestries! Made to go on the wall anyway, these decorative pieces of fabric would be PERFECT. But could I find something painted rather than the typical boho type of mandala thing? The answer is a resounding and amazing YES – you can buy a tapestry that looks like the most perfect cactus painting!
Let’s make a gigantic and gorgeous piece of art for less than $20 in about 20 minutes!
For this project you will need:
- Wall Tapestry
- Mitre saw or miter box and hand saw
- Wood stain (I used Minwax Bombay Mahogany in Satin)
- 3- 2×2″ wood furring strips
- Heavy Duty Staple Gun
- Wood glue
I had tons and tons of 2×2 furring strips out in the garage for who knows what reason and I decided to go ahead and use those for this project. It is a bit heavy and I’d probably go with 1 x 2″ wood if I was purchasing just for this project. BUT, if you have scrap and no way to use it in the foreseeable future, and so long as it isn’t gigantic lumber, this is a great use for it.
First, you’ll need to check out the size of your tapestry. I used the dimensions in the listing where I purchased mine but then the real dimensions was a bit smaller making me really need to STREEEEEEETCH that tapestry across my frame. Unless you’re just in a major rush, be patient and wait until you get your piece home to cut wood and make a frame.
Using a Mitre saw or miter box and hand saw trim your wood to the dimensions you need. I cut my pieces to make a perfect 48″ x 48″ square. To do that I cut 2 boards to exactly 48″ to run parallel to one another in the frame’s shape. The next 2 pieces I subtracted the width of the parallel pieces from the dimension of the length I wanted so when placed together like seen above, it would still make a perfect square. My strips were 2×2″ but that’s the dimension BEFORE they’re smoothed out and perfected to be sold. The ACTUAL width is 1.5″ after all of that business. Since I wanted a width of 48″ and I had my board bumping into 1.5″ of lumber on each side I trimmed these boards 3″ shorter, or 45″.
To put these together place a decent amount of wood glue where the wood meets and lay on a flat surface put together. Using a staple gun and the deepest/longest staples it can handle, attach the pieces of wood together tacking them together generously. Give the glue time to set up, at least an hour or so and then turn the piece over. Add some more staples along the backside and all around the outer edge where the pieces meet. At this point, this square should be super sturdy BUT if it is not you can purchase angle brackets at the hardware store, screwing them into the corners to brace the frame into total immobility.
Lay your tapestry on the ground and place the frame over it in the placement you’d like. I wanted more of the top of the tapestry than the bottom, so that side there on the left is the bottom where I’ve got a few extra inches of fabric. Starting on one side staple the fabric to the back of the frame (like you can see on the right side) in as straight a line as possible. Pulling the fabric nice and tight, middle of that opposite side tack down the fabric using your staples. If you have extra fabric, fold it up (rather than cutting which can cause runs in the fabric) and then tack it in a few spots inside of the frame so it won’t hang down when hung on the wall. Continue to pull the fabric tight and tack down on the 2 other sides.
Oh, and say hi to Carly. Cute assistant but she made the job somewhat difficult :)
If you’re happy that your fabric is nice and stretched without any saggy, baggy areas you can add hanging implements of your choice.
Now, this is the absolute truth of how my room was right before I cleaned it up and took nicer photos. We had an issue with pets and disasters so that one night every single scrap of everything on our bed had to be washed and the piles of washed bedding and folded up stacks of quilts was me trying to catch up. We’ve also got our robot vacuum I tossed in there irritated that it didn’t want to vacuum and I just wanted it out of my sight :) Basically up until I actually made this lovely cactus painting or faux cactus painting, I suppose, this room was a catchall disaster area :)
Ah… much better, right? In a room with, I think, 12-foot tall ceilings (I’m honestly not even sure) a big painting is just what I needed to even out the decor and fill the space. I have to say that it is PERFECT and fits my dreams exactly as well as I had hoped. Don’t you just love it? I know my sister does which is why I’m already making another just like it :)