Inspired by the famous Philadelphia landmark, this illuminated LOVE canvas will bring a little warmth and a lot of love into your house.
So grab a canvas at your local craft store, that old string of Christmas lights that's always in the way, a few other craft supplies you have around the house and get started. This DIY craft project is absolutely perfect for Valentine's Day, but it's so pretty you'll want to make it today and keep it up all year long!
Start by printing out the LOVE template PDF. Each letter prints out on a 8.5- × 11-inch piece of paper and is perfectly sized to fit the 16- × 20-inch canvas. However, if you want to create your own LOVE design, have at it!
Cut out each letter of the LOVE template.
Arrange the letters on the canvas.
Tape them in place on the canvas. (Hint: The top of the letter "L" should be about 4 inches from the top of the canvas.)
Take a pencil and lightly trace around each letter.
Once you're done outlining the letters, remove the paper templates.
With a small, square brush, paint inside each letter with the red acrylic paint. It's helpful to paint the edges of the letters before filling them in.
Complete two or three coats of paint, then allow the paint to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight.
Gently tape the paper letter templates back in place on the canvas.
Line up awl on the first dot.
Use the awl to punch through each hole that is marked on the painted LOVE letters (these are spaced just right for the string of 35 lights).
Once all of the holes are made, remove the paper templates.
Flip the canvas over and use small, sharp scissors or cuticle clippers to trim away the excess canvas that was pushed through by the awl.
Now you can add the lights! Start at the lower right corner — the letter "E" — and place the light closest to the plug there. Push a light through each hole.
Once all of the holes in the letter "E" are filled, move over to the letter "V" and then "O."
As you move on to the hole at the top of the letter "L," you'll need to skip one light.
Flip over the canvas and see all the lights poked through the front side.
Now that all of the lights are in place, heat up the glue gun and stand the canvas up so you don't dislodge the lights. Working from the back of the canvas, apply a thin bead of glue around the plastic part of the light to help keep it in place. Try not to get any glue on the bulb, though. (Note: This step is optional.)
You will have two extra lights left over at the end. You can tuck these away on the back of the canvas or hot glue them to the frame so they don't show from the front.
Attach picture hanging wire to the back of the canvas so you can mount it on the wall; you can skip this step if you'd rather display the canvas on a shelf or mantle.
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