The great thing about LED string lights is that they can literally be used for just about everything, especially when they are easy to plug in anywhere, like the USB powered BrightTouch lights. With different colors to choose from, it’s simple to incorporate them into your life in a variety of ways. Everyone likes a bright home and a well lit, yet unique place to reside. Maybe that’s why backlit canvas art is so popular, and so expensive.
Thankfully, making your own backlit artwork isn’t as hard as you might think it is. Today I will walk you through how to make your own amazing backlit canvas, in just a few easy steps. By the time you’re done, you’ll wonder why so many people are spending so much on these, plus you’ll have a wonderful new piece of art for your home.
So without further waiting, here we go!
Backlit Canvas Art with BrightTouch Lights
What You’ll Need:
A decent sized canvas. I used a 16×20 that I picked up at the local thrift store.
Paints of whatever colors you desire.
An exacto knife.
1 set of BrightTouch LED lights.
A Glue gun and glue sticks.
A Computer with access to the internet
A Printer and printer paper
First, take a moment to gather all of your supplies into one place. This will make sure you don’t miss anything. Use a surface that is easy to reach, clear of other things, and under a good light. You will be using a sharp knife to cut, so take steps to ensure your safety.
Lay your canvas out and paint it in any manner you’d like. The idea is to make it look great in the middle of the day when the backlighting may not be very visible, so take your time to create something you like and something that goes with the area you’ll be hanging your canvas in. The best ideas are abstract so that your cutout doesn’t interfere with any definite picture you paint.
Let the canvas dry completely. This is important, as you’ll be making small and precise cuts in the canvas shortly.
While you are waiting on it to dry, draw or search online for a line drawing of something you like. It can be flowers, or a vehicle, or again, something abstract. Whatever it is, make sure that it is comprised of lines that aren’t too in depth or detailed. I used a line drawing of this airplane.
Notice how the lines don’t all intersect with each other? That’s important! If your lines do connect, that’s okay – just make sure that when you make your cuts, you don’t follow them all the way to the end. The idea is to create thin lines that the backlight can shine through. Without creating huge holes or gaps in the canvas.
So, now that you have your image, print it out so that it is big enough on your canvas. I used a free online program that prints an image out across multiple pages. A 16×20 canvas is about the size of 4 sheets of paper, but I used only two. Expanding the line image across all four pages allows you to get good coverage, but make sure the image doesn’t extend over onto the wooden frame. There are lots of options out there, all which can be found by searching block poster printing online, or similar terms.
Print your picture and tape it together so that it can be set on top of your canvas and be where you want it to be. Tape it down with masking tape so that it doesn’t move.
Carefully, using the exacto knife, cut out along the lines of the drawing, taking care not to cut all the way. It is easier to do this if you put an elevated cutting board under the canvas so that you are cutting against something instead of into the gap created by the frame the canvas is stretched around. It makes the lines more precise.
Once you cut out all of your lines, turn the canvas over and look at the lines on the back. Take a moment to touch up anything that you feel needs to be touched up. Make sure to remove any stray bits during this step.
Next, you’ll add the lights. Using a glue gun, glue the lights to the corner right where the copper wire begins and the USB cord ends. Give this a minute to set.
Then, work the lights around the frame, stopping at each corner and once in the center of each piece to glue it down. You’ll notice that you have quite a bit left.
Weave the extra lights back and forth, gluing them to the frame as you go, until the entire strand is ‘mounted’ on the frame. Take care not to go directly behind the image you cut out, as you don’t want to spoil the magic by allowing the light strand to be seen through one of the holes.
Take it to your new favorite place and hang it up. Plug it in and you’ve got an amazing piece of art!
The whole project takes about two hours, start to finish. Getting a sharp and sturdy exacto knife is important here, as the easier the cuts are to make, the easier and more professional the finished project will be. Overall, when you are done, you’ll have a beautiful addition to your home decor, and a new way to shine light on your world with BrightTouch!