How to Use Paper to Wrap Canvases for Wall Decorations


Wrap art canvases in decorative paper for a fresh take on wall art. Showcase some of your favorite papers, such as scrapbooking paper or even a beautiful gift wrap to create a focal point in your home. Even an unsightly painted canvas found at a yard sale may be used as the base for the paper-wrapped decor.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Art canvas
  • Artist's medium or decoupage medium
  • Paintbrush
  • Prepare your canvas. If you purchased gallery wrap canvases, chances are that the company already primed them. However, you can prime the canvas yourself easily. Brush a thin layer of artist's matte medium or decoupage medium over the canvas. Allow it to dry thoroughly and add another layer. Remember to include the sides of the canvas.

  • Select your paper -- anything from gift wrap to pages from a vintage book or artistic postcards may be used. For an archival quality project, use acid free paper and archival adhesives or artist medium. If you use tissue-thin paper, note that the paper turns translucent when you apply medium and water.

  • Experiment with several layouts for your embellished canvas project. Place papers in different directions and combinations. Add layers of paper and cut or rip out windows in the top layers to allow underlying papers to peek through. Remember to include the sides of the canvas in your layout.

  • Apply artist matte medium or decoupage medium to paper segments and smooth them onto the canvas in the desired locations. Wrap the paper around the corners of the canvas or cut out separate segments of paper to cover the sides. The paper can meet at the edge, or one sheet can overlap the other.

  • Brush the entire papered surface with decoupage or artist's medium to seal and protect the piece.

Tips & Warnings

  • Embellish a paper-wrapped canvas with three-dimensional elements such as beads, metal findings, foil or fabric, using craft glue to hold the pieces in place.
  • For a speedy, temporary display, wrap large paper such as gift wrap around the front and sides of a canvas, using double-sided tape to hold the paper in place. Swap the decorative paper out with a different style any time you like.
  • Hang paper-covered canvas projects away from direct sunlight.

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  • Photo Credit amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images
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