DIY modern canvas art

I’ve been working on our One Room Challenge, and in case you didn’t know we’re tackling our hallway this time around, and today was art day! We, I, have been wanting some modern artwork to hang above the basement stairs, but I wanted to keep it extremely budget friendly. I had my eye on a couple high end art pieces, but it just wasn’t going to happen. So today I decided to make my own DIY modern canvas art using just a few inexpensive items. I had most of the items on hand already, but even if you don’t this is extremely affordable considering the alternatives!

So let’s jump right into it because this DIY canvas art tutorial is SO SO easy. Did I mention easy?? It’s EASY, guys! Here’s a list of the materials you’ll need to recreate the photo above. Keep in mind when creating your own DIY modern canvas art, you can make it any dimension you’d like. My final width was 54 inches, but you can make this as big or as small as you’d like. Take that into consideration when building your canvas frame!


OK let’s get started shall we! Here’s how I made this below!


Construct your frame for your canvas. You can use this by grabbing square wood and nailing them together. You can be like me and just grab whatever scrap pieces you have on hand, or you can grab some from the store. Basically decide what size you want your canvas to be, make the cuts accordingly, and then nail together!

  1. Once your canvas frame is nailed together grab your drop cloth and lay it on the floor, placing your canvas frame ON TOP!

  2. You’ll then take your hand stapler and pull the dropcloth nice and tight around your frame stapling every couple of inches! The corners of your canvas can be tricky. Take some scissors and cut off the excess so your corners aren’t super bulky from the dropcloth!

  3. Wahoo you’re dropcloth is now attached to your frame and it looks like a large canvas!

  4. Grab your mud pan and mix up some joint compound and water. I’m sure there’s a scientific way of doing this, but I eyeball everything. If your mixture is too watery, add more joint compound. If you mixture is too thick, add more water!

  5. Now that your canvas is ready to go, and your mixture has been made, grab your mud knife and start lightly lathering it on! I just did whatever felt right. I would definitely try to keep it on the thin side, that way the canvas isn’t super heavy when you’re finished with it!

NOW!! THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS ENTIRE TUTORIAL! GRAB YOUR HAIR COMB and let’s make this boring canvas a work of high end modern art!

After you glop on some of your joint compound and gently smooth it out, take your HAIR COMB and pretend like you’re raking over your joint compound! Here’s a video of me doing mine so you get the idea.

Is that not the most relaxing and satisfying thing on this entire planet????? GUYS. Joint compound and a HAIR COMB! Come on! It doesn’t get better than that!

So as you can see I chose to do a random design. I chose to do horizontal, vertical, and a few curved lines that resembled rainbows. The possibilites with this are ENDLESS! You can go to town and create whatever pattern your heart desires.

Here’s a few more up close, unedited photos of my design!

Here’s how it looked when I dry fit the frame to the canvas.

I just couldn’t be more obsessed!!!

I grabbed a sample paint and had every intention of adding some color, but honestly I love it exactly how it is! Once I was satisfied with my artwork I let it dry on the driveway in the sunshine for a little bit! Then Scot helped me move it inside to a flat surface so we could measure and cut the outside frame. We made the cuts and then secured them with finishing nails to the canvas, and it was ready to go!

We’re going to hang this above our basement stairs in our hallway, and cannot wait to show you guys how it looks once its hanging on the wall!

Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out how to make your own DIY modern canvas art for your home! I hope this post inspired you to create something today!! If you end up recreating this we would LOVE to see!! Come over and hang out with us on Instagram, we would love to share it!

UPDATE: Here’s how the DIY joint compound art looks in the hallway!

Feel free to also pin the graphic below to save this project for later.

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