Lit up canvas wall decor- Elmers look for less

A few months ago I got to work with the wonderful people at Elmer’s and throw a craft party! We had a BLAST! Then last month they invited me to participate in a “look for less” challenge. I was so excited, I had a hard time narrowing down the “look” I wanted to create my own version of. But I finally found something (on Pinterest of course).


I fell in LOVE with these pieces by Valerie Boy (as seen on Apartment Therapy). My version… and Valerie-Boy’s.  Her’s is made of powdered metal cut and bent, mine is Canvas, paint and lights! Her’s cost an arm and a leg (and a first born) and mine was a grand total of $25!


I had a weird wall space I wanted to cover so I went with a long and narrow canvas that I picked using a 50% off coupon!  This is 24″ x 48″ that I got for $25 (the only thing I had to pay for!)!  The perfect size for my project.

Next I used the X-ACTO Designer Series Gripster Knife and cut flowers out of black cardstock that I had on hand (so I could see it through the paint), then using CraftBond Repositionable Glue Stick I stuck, (and removed and re-stuck until I like the placement) the flowers onto the canvas!  AWESOME, I am already in love!


Next I used some thick Acrylic paint all over the front, in 2 coats.  I used big strokes going for a thick chunky look.  But you could paint it on pretty smooth if you wanted.  I kind of wish I’d gone for 3 coats, but I wanted to peel off the flowers while it was still wet, and before they were stuck on for good.

Next, obviously, I peeled up the black paper.  There was something very satisfying about peeling it all up!


I let it dry overnight!  I was planning on using a fancy expensive light to light up the back, but then I laid eyes on my icicle lights (in a pile of throw away- no more icicle lights for me- what were we ever thinking?  So messy looking).  Anyway I used some nails to attach the lights (I nailed them half way in then bent them over the lights) in a criss-cross pattern to cover the whole back.


And they work!  Not QUITE the look I was going for, but the back is lit, and it’s MUCH cheaper than buying some fancy, heavy lights trying to get them to work.  (notice this is with a flash)


So my weird wall space, between two doors I have this narrow space with this HUGE, ugly electrical panel.  I haven’t found anything to cover it with so this was the perfect chance!  I love it there.  It’s off centered for 2 reasons, 1) to cover the panel and 2) to leave the light switch uncovered.  I don’t want it to fall off the wall as the kids try to turn on lights! (no flash but the middle of the day)


And all light up in the dark!  I love it!  Of course it’s hard to really capture lit up pieces with cameras!  SO come on by and check it out! (no flash at night)

I finished my project a few weeks ago BUT with all my computer issues I haven’t been able to post it, so I’m the LAST blogger whose participating to get my project up! Gah… my computer issues are a pain, but when they mess up something I’m doing for someone else it frustrates me to no end! Lucky for me Elmer’s not only has wonderful products, but they also have amazing people working there, they have been so patient with me

I was given free product to review and use for this project, but all opinions are my own

Don\'t miss out on new posts. Subscribe to Ashlee Marie by Email

Some of the links in my posts may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting Ashlee Marie when you shop!
Ashlee has been cake decorating for 9 year, and blogging for 7+. She has 5 children ages 3-13 that she enjoys throwing parties for. She loves to bake, cook, crochet, knit, do home improvement, graphic design, photography and writing.
Follow Me on Pinterest


  1. says

    Wow… Seriously. Thanks for sharing this. I might have to this, like right now.
    You got yourself a new follower…
    found oyu throught the Sew Can Do Linkie Party
    Greetings from Germany

  2. Vim says

    Wow, you made something look so easy to make! I think I’ll follow your steps and create one myself. I think this would even be a nice dining room accent.

  3. Candace says

    Probably a strange question, but..can you paint the canvas a darker color like a blue? I want something with color in my dinning room.
    Thanks for such simple instructions.

    • says

      Yes of course! Any color with work, but the blank area where the vinyl flower was will be canvas color, so it won’t quite be the same effect.

    • says

      It’s white! it’s hard to do indoor lighting well with a point and shoot, I should retake them with my new camera and see if I can’t get better images!

  4. Angela says

    This may be a silly question but what kind of canvas is it? Is it one that came on a frame already and was unpainted? You know how most come already prepaired for painters? I would love to create one of these but feel a bit lost on the materials… Thank you for sharing this idea! :-)

  5. Leslie says

    I’d like it if it were more opaque. I was thinking that would happen if you gessoed it, but maybe gesso dries too fast, and you really should cover it with acrylic after, (otherwise it gets dirty easily, and is not cleanable) so you’d def have to wait til it dried. I read a Pinterest link to make your own chalkboard paint. That would probably be pretty opaque, but I don’t know how fast it dries. You have to add “unsanded grout” to acrylic paint.

    • says

      I wanted it to be opaque, but it didn’t work out, I wanted lots of texture, and homemade chalkboard paint is pretty runny still (I’ve worked with it a lot). I should have just done another layer, and I’m actually switching out the christmas lights (that I had on hand) for 2 lights I’m going to attach at the top and bottom so it’s just a glow behind it, rather than the spots of light.

  6. Grazielle says

    Uauuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Um espetáculo, incrível,inspirador.Parabéns!!!!!
    A criatividade é algo q surpreende e me deixa admirada com a capacidade de pessoas como vc. ótimo.Amei,Adorei fiquei de boca aberta.Mais um vez Parabéns q esta capacidade de criar,de modificar cresça a cada dia.

  7. jo says

    Olá gostei muito, belo trabalho, irei tentar para colocar em um casamento agora em Dezembro, ainda não entendi como é feito os desenhos na tela, mais vou dar meus pulos por aqui no Brasil…. bye

    • says

      ummmm more detailed than the step by step I already posted? i’m not sure what your looking for. is there a specific part your having a hard time with?

  8. Rute Moraes Martins says

    Muito lindo seu trabalho, uma novidade para mim!! estava mesmo querendo fazer algo novo para minha casa e talvez ganhar algum dinheiro com um trabalho tão diferente, gostaria que você me enviasse mais idéias que você criou. Sou Brasileira e não sei Inglês, espero que você entenda o meu pedido!! Parabéns !!!muito lindos e fáceis de realizar!! espero que compartilhe de mais idéias comigo!!

    Obrigada Rute M.Martins

    • says

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you like my project, as for sending you more ideas feel free to browse my blog, and subscribe to the emails to get updates every time I post!

    • says

      no I’m sorry, you just buy a canvas, stick vinyl or stickers on it, paint over it, peel up the stickers and back light. It would be a pretty boring video!

  9. Caroline says

    Hey Ashlee that is amazing! I’m hoping over this spring break i can make this to put in my dorm. I was wondering could I do this same project with a colored canvas? I wasn’t sure how that would effect the lighting of it. Thanks so much!

    • says

      you totally could, this light doesn’t actually give off light, just a glow. so the glow would be a bit different! I think that would look AMAZING!

    • says

      I have the board and batten and I just stapled the cord into the crack going down the wall to the first doorway and wrapped it into that room and plugged it in. Not ideal, but works in my space. If I didn’t have kids I would have done a bigger canvas and had it on the floor leaning against the wall so the plug would be completely hidden.

  10. Stephanie Creamer says

    I sooooo love this idea. So just to confirm if I buy colored flower stickers being that its the only ones I can find, then I just paint white acrylic paint over top of the stickers then peel the tickers off? I’m going to make one tomorrow so I just want to make sure I’m doing process correct. And I just use the acrylic paint over the stickers or do I paint the entire canvas? The canvas I’m purchasing is already white. Thank you in advance and once again amazing job and thank you for sharing!!

    • says

      I used vinyl because I could cut out the shapes I wanted. As for stickers, it all depends on how sticky it is. If they don’t stick well enough you’ll have troubles. I put the stickers on first, then paint over them.

  11. Melanie says

    I’ve been looking for a tutorial for the same light fixture/artwork – THANK YOU!

    2 questions – you said you were going to get 2 lights vs. the string lights – did you ever find something that worked for you?

    # 2- do you have to worry about paint peeling up when you take off the stickers? What to do there?

  12. Vika says

    OMG this is amazing! I paint so I always have canvases at home. This will be perfect in my girls room. You are one talented lady!

    • says

      Thanks! I wonder if cutting the outer edge of each petal to let more light through would work, or would it stretch the canvas badly?

  13. says

    hello – I love this idea and want to put one in my massage treatment rooms. I have two outlets to use and cover. Thinking about doing a 5 foot by 3 foot artpiece. My question is this: How did you figure out the on/off switch? The on/off switch in my room works the overhead florescent, I need a toggle switch. Do you have a toggle switch in any of these, and if so, how did you do that without it showing? Please let me know. Very interested!! Thank you.

  14. Crystal McKee says

    This is gorgeous… In a later comment you stated you were switching out the Christmas lights for 2 Lights for a glow?? What two lights?? I would like to purchase them?? You are amazing by the way! Thank you so much for sharing this!


    • says

      I never ended up switching anything out. Then my baby drew all over it. So it needs a lot of fixing. I’ll add an update if I ever try something new

  15. Jacquelynn says

    Absolutely love it! I saw the other one & I’m so happy you came up with this easy tutorial! Thanks for the inspiration:)))

  16. Vina says

    I saw your version on Pinterest and I have already bought the canvas! I want to make it a light purple, a Lilac color. Do you think that would work? I love yours!

    • says

      Totally! the flowers will show up more since there will be the canvas color that shows up more with the purple that it would with the white but I bet it will look amazing

  17. erin says

    Hi Ashlee, I’m new to pintrest and just saw your project. I’m curious about your thoughts on painting the canvas maybe a light silver color. Than putting on the flowers and painting over that with a light lilac or similar, than removing the flowers and putting a pin prick size hole in the middle of the flowers, than lighting the back. I wonder if that would allow to much of a glare with the holes? Thanks, I love your project

    • says

      I’d be worried that the light wouldn’t show through that first layer of silver paint, but you could try it with some cotton fabric first to see

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *