5 Canvas-Based Projects to Improve Your Home

Adding color, texture, and cohesiveness to your home can turn it from being a place you live to a place you can’t wait to return home to. If you’re not excited to return home after running errands or working all day, it’s not good. Canvas is an affordable way to make small changes that improve your home.

Framed Artwork

Do you have blank walls that could use a splash of color? Framed artwork is a great way to add that contrast. You want to start by putting the canvas on a wood frame. It’s easy to do.

Look for people giving away old wooden frames. Pull the canvas across the top of the frame and use a staple gun to secure it. Stretch it to the next side and repeat the process. Continue until you’re all the way around and have all edges stapled. You can also purchase a floater frame if desired.

Once you have the canvas ready for painting, go ahead and paint what you want. You don’t need any skill. Create an abstract painting by dropping leftover house paint onto the canvas. As it splatters, you’ll end up with unique patterns. You can also splatter paint or do random brush strokes to create swirls, stripes, and other shapes. 

Throw and Floor Pillows

Make a variety of canvas pillows for sofas, chairs, and the floor. If you have kids that sprawl on the floor to play games, build LEGOS, or play with other toys, a cushion can make it more comfortable. 

You can purchase bamboo pillows that you fit into the pillow covers you make or purchase feathers and foam to stuff in the empty pillows you’re making. If you have a sewing machine, it’s easy to make them. If not, you will be sewing them by hand. 

You can also purchase tape that secures the fabric when you run a hot iron over it. That’s not going to be as durable, but it’s a great option if you don’t sew.

Reupholstered Furniture

Do you have old pieces of furniture that you had to put in storage or another room because the fabric is torn or stained? Bring new life to it by reupholstering it. Canvas is a tough fabric that can take a lot of use. It’s perfect for upholstering old chairs, hassocks, and sofas. 

Reupholstering takes time, but with a few tools and time spent watching instructional videos, it’s something you can do over a weekend. Use flame-retardant canvas for chairs you plan to put around a wood stove or fireplace. 

Window Coverings

Canvas is a great choice for room darkening curtains, especially darker colors and treated canvas. It’s not a hard project to tackle. Fold over the top and leave a gap for the curtain rod or look for canvas that has grommets in place all reach for curtain hooks.

If you’re a little more skilled, make Roman shades by sewing dowels into the different sections in the shade. Valances are an easier 

Extra Storage

Use canvas to make tote bags and soft-sided crates to fit in cube storage shelving. Kids and pet toys can go into the totes and baskets until they’re needed. It helps keep your house organized. Use the totes and baskets for winter mittens, scarves, and gloves. Store remotes in them or use them to organize pet leashes, collars, and harnesses.

Learn How to Choose the Right Type of Canvas

When you’re shopping for canvas for household projects, it’s important to choose the best canvas for the job. There are several types of canvas to consider.

Colored Canvas:

Many of your household projects will use color to liven up the décor. Color canvas comes in three weights – 10, 15, or 18 ounces per square yard. You will find it in 5’ widths. It’s not water-repellant, so make sure the use is indoors only to prevent mold and mildew. 

You have 33 color options for the 10-ounce colored canvas. ranging from a variety of blues, greens, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds, purples, grays, browns, black, and white. The 15-ounce fabric comes in 7 colors, and the 18-ounce fabric comes in 11 colors.

Duck Canvas:

Duck canvas is a natural, uncolored canvas that’s known especially for its firm, heavy, non-directional weave that resists tearing. It’s not bleached or treated, so it’s always going to be a creamy, off-white color.

When you purchase duck canvas, there’s #4, #8, #10, and #12 canvas. This is important as those numbers relate to the strength and thickness.

  • #4 – It weighs 24 ounces per square yard and is the thickest and most heavy-duty of the options. Comes in 5’ widths. 
  • #8 – It weighs 18 ounces per square yard and is much thicker than others for that reason. Comes in 6’ widths. 
  • #10 – It weighs 14.75 ounces per square yard. Comes in 5’ widths and is unprimed.
  • #12 – It weighs 11.5 ounces per square yard. Comes in 4’, 5’, and 6’ widths. It’s an unprimed canvas.

Economy Canvas:

Economy canvas is the cheapest option. It weighs 7 ounces per square yard and is the lightest option of them all. It also has a flat duck weave and comes in 6’ widths. 

Extra-Wide Canvas:

Extra-wide canvas is a 9-ounce duck weave, but it comes in much wider options than duck canvas. You can also purchase it with a flame-retardant coating, making it a great choice for projects like lampshades or paintings over a fireplace where flames may cause sparks and will heat the area.

Purchase extra-wide canvas in three widths: 14’ 5”, 23’ 7”, and 32’ 9”. It also is available in two colors if you opt for flame-retardant canvas – white and natural.

Primed Canvas:

If you’re planning to use the canvas for paintings, purchase a canvas that is primed and ready to use. Instead of having to paint the fabric with a coat of gesso, it’s all set and ready to use. There are black and white primed canvas options. 

White primed canvas comes in 5’ (8 ounces) and 6’ (9.5 ounces) widths. Black primed canvas is triple-primed and acid-free. It comes in 5’ widths and weighs 8 ounces per square yard.

Treated Canvas:

Treated canvas is coated with a formula that resists mildew and water. It’s often used for outdoor furniture cushions. It’s available in 16-ounce or 18-ounce weights and 5’ or 6’ widths.  You’ll find it in six colors, so it’s not as vibrant as colored canvas, but if you need a water-resistant canvas, a treated canvas is ideal.

Untreated Canvas:

You might also wonder about cotton muslin. If the canvas is 100% cotton, and muslin is also 100% cotton, why isn’t muslin canvas? The difference is in the weave and thickness. Muslin is much thinner and used more for making clothing. Designers often use it for test runs of dress and clothing patterns to make sure the measurements and fit are correct for the final run.

While muslin can make good curtains and pillow covers, they’re not going to be as durable. Canvas is much better for regular household use.

Are you still uncertain which fabric is best? Chicago Canvas & Supply is here to help. Let us know how much you want to spend and what your projects are. We’ll help you get the right canvas for a great price. 

Plus, we’re happy to send a free fabric sample if you are stuck between a couple of options. Chicago Canvas samples are typically 3” x 4” and are mailed to your address. Whether you want advice or want to order free samples of canvas for household décor, reach us by phone or email.