I have about as much artistic ability as a one-legged duck, so when I decided to make some sort of large-scale art to go on our dining room (and I use the term “dining room” in the loosest of terms), I knew it had to be something that could be done by an infant. Possibly a sleeping infant.

This project absolutely fit the bill.

I’d originally contemplated doing some variation of this from The New Domestic:


which I still love, but after I’d spent approximately a week of my life standing in the paint aisle at Michael’s, absolutely unable to decide upon colors (and after the canvas had sat on the floor of our bedroom for nearly four months), I figured this might not be the right project for me.

I felt like any color I picked was going to be either too matchy-matchy (the worst thing my parents can call any kind of house-decor) or so loud it’d be overpowering. I expended far too much mental energy on this until. . . .

Natalie pinned this photo from Live Creating Yourself and I thought “THAT is the look I’m going for.”


And two days later, it was hanging on my wall. Hooray no more canvas on my bedroom floor. 

The one I copied was painted, but because I am afraid of anything that requires you to do something permanent as you go (and I was tired of buying paint and then deciding it was ALL WRONG), I decided to do paper instead.

I felt vindicated by this when I picked out four colors of paper in five minutes and spent $3 for the whole thing (and really, I could have gotten away with buying two 12×12 sheets of each of the colors instead of three because I now have an enormous stack of circles sitting on my desk. Ella thinks they are toys especially for her).

I also bought a circle hole punch (2 inches in diameter) which was fantastic because all my circles were exactly identical, with nice crisp edges. And I didn’t have carpel tunnel from cutting out a hundred circles.

My canvas was a 36×48 (I think? It’s been so long since I bought it that I can’t actually remember. But it is large) and when all my circles were cut out, I mixed them up and scattered them across the canvas, thinning them out at the bottom. Then I fussed with them a little bit to get a mix of colors and an arrangement that I was happy with (this took all of ten minutes), and then Bart and I sat on the floor and rubber cemented them on. The happy thing is that if they didn’t end up exactly where they had started, it didn’t matter! Hooray!

The next day, I sprayed the whole thing with Modge Podge spray, which I can’t tell did anything. Frankly, I’m not worried about it falling off since we glued them on very well. If I wanted to be absolutely sure they wouldn’t fall off, I would use real Modge Podge and use a roller to put it on and seal the whole thing. But, meh, then you add drying time. Who wants that?

This project gets the major bonus points for being cheap ($20 for the canvas, $3 for paper, $3 for rubber cement, $6 for Modge-Podge spray, and $7 for the circle hole punch, which was the best money I’ve ever spent).

Also, Ella LOVES this thing. It’s been up for almost a week and still, every time she wakes up or we come into the house, she points at it and shrieks with excitement. Someday, if she is very very good, I might have our will list her as the beneficiary to the priceless family heirloom.

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  • Reply Ashley and Dave March 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Cute and Modern! I like your new table! OK, it might not be super new, probably Texas new, but the last time I saw you was east coast and I remember me, or Kins, (we will just blame Kinsey), broke one of your little red chairs. Eeks. And I notice tables now because I am totally on the look out for a new one- but unfortunatley I need a BIG one…like 6+…which I suppose is what happens when you keep having babies.

  • Reply Stephanie Lee March 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    This looks so cute! I can't wait to come see it in person. 🙂

  • Reply Kelly J. March 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I love this and might steal the idea for myself.

    Best line, though, and the one that made me smile was this: "Someday, if she is very very good, I might have our will list her as the beneficiary to the priceless family heirloom."

    You're so generous!

  • Reply Erica March 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I love it! Cheap, easy and, most importantly, fabulous – that's my kind of art.

  • Reply lifeofadoctorswife March 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    The last paragraph made me giggle. 🙂

    It turned out GREAT! And I love that you posted about it, since I've been pinning projects like this one to try for our house.

  • Reply Chrissie March 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    This is so cute, and I love that it is simple and homemade. Great job!

  • Reply Laura {a spoon full of joy} March 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    beautiful pop of color! and it'll probably serve as a great conversation piece any time you have company now!

  • Reply Merrick March 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    It turned out great! And I think I like it better than the original art idea. Nice job 🙂

  • Reply heidikins March 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Look at you! this is great!


  • Reply karmacoy March 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I'm beginning sense that you have a thing for polkadots. I just noticed that your lovely artwork kinda matches your blog decor!

  • Reply emandtrev March 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    That looks fantastic! I love the colors and simplicity. I also love, love me some polka dots.

  • Reply Sherry March 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    When you pinned the original and commented on the art I was not really a fan. But, I like your project a lot. I'm very impressed.

  • Reply Miriam March 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    it is very cool. I love your blogs they make me totally laugh out loud, the best way to start a day

  • Reply Lindzie March 29, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Where did you get the canvas??

  • Reply Madeline March 29, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Turned out great!!

  • Reply Heather March 29, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Congratulations – it's a win all around! Your dining room looks thoroughly modern!
    I just did a paint chip circle punch art for the little girls room too – so fun to get it up on the wall.

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