Illuminated LOVE canvas

by SheKnows
Jun 1, 2012 at 3:37 p.m. ET
Inspired by the famous Philadelphia landmark, this DIY illuminated LOVE canvas will bring a little warmth and a lot of love into your house.

1 /34: Supplies

1/34 :Supplies

16" x 20" white canvas, strand of 35 white lights, awl, LOVE template, tape, pencil, red acrylic paint, paint brush, scissors, small sharp scissors or cuticle clippers, hot glue gun, picture hanging wire

2 /34: Awl

2/34 :Awl

This is an awl. You will be using this to puncture holes in the canvas to stick the lights through the LOVE template.

3 /34: Print the LOVE template

3/34 :Print the LOVE template

Start by printing out the LOVE template PDF. Each letter prints out on a 8.5" x 11" piece of paper and is perfectly sized to fit the 16" x 20" canvas. However, if you want to create your own LOVE design, have at it!

4 /34: Cut out each letter

4/34 :Cut out each letter

Place the cut out letters on the canvas.

5 /34: Place the "O" at an angle

5/34 :Place the "O" at an angle

Play with the angle of the "O" on the canvas until you think it looks right.

6 /34: Finish arranging the letters on canvas

6/34 :Finish arranging the letters on canvas

Hint: The top of the letter "L" should be about 4" from the top of the canvas.

7 /34: Adjust spacing as necessary

7/34 :Adjust spacing as necessary

This may take a few minutes to get the LOVE letters perfect.

8 /34: Tape letters into place

8/34 :Tape letters into place

Carefully tape all the letters to the canvas.

9 /34: Trace around the letters

9/34 :Trace around the letters

Try to be light with your pencil marks when you trace on the canvas so they won't show through the paint later on.

10 /34: Remove the paper letters

10/34 :Remove the paper letters

Once you're done outlining the letters, remove the paper templates that make up each letter for LOVE.

11 /34: Begin painting the letters

11/34 :Begin painting the letters

Paint inside each letter with the red acrylic paint.

12 /34: Start with the edges

12/34 :Start with the edges

It's helpful to use a small, square brush and paint the edges of each letter that makes up LOVE before filling them in.

13 /34: Continue filling in the letters

13/34 :Continue filling in the letters

Be careful to apply the paint evenly.

14 /34: Add additional coats

14/34 :Add additional coats

Complete two or three coats of paint.

15 /34: Allow canvas to dry

15/34 :Allow canvas to dry

Allow the paint to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight.

16 /34: Tape template back in place

16/34 :Tape template back in place

Once the paint has had a chance to dry, gently tape the paper letter templates back in place on the canvas.

17 /34: Locate your awl

17/34 :Locate your awl

Line up the awl on the first dot on the letter template.

18 /34: Puncture the canvas

18/34 :Puncture the canvas

Use the awl to punch through each hole on each letter template that is marked (these are spaced just right for the string of 35 lights).

19 /34: Check the back of the canvas

19/34 :Check the back of the canvas

Make sure the awl traveled completely through the canvas.

20 /34: Remove and discard the template

20/34 :Remove and discard the template

Remove the paper template on the first LOVE letter and inspect your progress.

21 /34: Continue working through each letter

21/34 :Continue working through each letter

Repeat this process until all the holes in the word LOVE have been completed.

22 /34: Now you can add the lights!

22/34 :Now you can add the lights!

Grab your Christmas lights.

23 /34: Insert the first light

23/34 :Insert the first light

Start at the lower right corner - the letter "E" - and place the light closest to the plug there.

24 /34: Push the bulb through the hole

24/34 :Push the bulb through the hole

Push a light through each hole.

25 /34: Move to the next letter

25/34 :Move to the next letter

Once all of the holes in the letter "E" are filled, move over to the letter "V" and then "O."

26 /34: Skip one bulb

26/34 :Skip one bulb

As you move on to the hole at the top of the letter "L," you'll need to skip one light.

27 /34: All holes filled

27/34 :All holes filled

Now that all of the lights are in place in the canvas, heat up the glue gun.

28 /34: Stand up canvas

28/34 :Stand up canvas

Now that you're done, carefully stand the canvas up so you don't dislodge the lights.

29 /34: Glue lights in place

29/34 :Glue lights in place

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 in the canvas.

30 /34: Clean up the holes

30/34 :Clean up the holes

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.

31 /34: Avoid getting glue on the bulb

31/34 :Avoid getting glue on the bulb

Try not to get any glue on the bulb, though. 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 when you light it up.

32 /34: Add picture hanging wire

32/34 :Add picture hanging wire

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 illuminated LOVE canvas on a shelf or mantle.

33 /34: Admire your handiwork

33/34 :Admire your handiwork

Flip the canvas over and make sure all the bulbs are still in the proper place.

34 /34: Light it up

34/34 :Light it up

Now just plug it in and let your DIY canvas shine!