How to: Newspaper canvas artwork

Hey guys!
Ok so we all have a few canvases lying around our home or studio that are half painted and you are probably not going to go back to it, or it’s damnaged and of course you don’t throw it away becauase you might be able to use it for something… Well here is a project for just such a canvas. 🙂

You will need:
My old canvas story- this particular little guy was originally going to be used to make an art work for my mum for mothers day last year. Then I wanted to experiment with painting over big blobs of glue (got as far as the blobs of glue on the canvas… thats it.) Then I covered it in newspaper. was going to draw over it or something. And finally TODAY I finally did something useful with it! 

Step 1: Tear up strips of newspaper
Step 2: Twist the newspaper strips into nice thin twirly strings.
Step 3: Wrap the strings around a pencil. (or anyting else that is kind of round, paint brush or a pen)

Wrap it all the way around and slide it off the end of the pencil.
Step 4: Put a BIG dollop of glue onto your canvas. You need to be very generous with your glue for this project!
Stick the twirl of newspaper onto the canvas.

Use a paintbrush to cover the twirl in glue. I mean it, generosity is the key for getting this project to work!
Keep making coils and sticking them on. 🙂

getting there…

Seriously, lots and lots of glue. After all your hard work you don’t want it to fall apart…
Make sure you use a glue that dries clear, or even better a glue, like the one I am using, that goes on clear. That way you don’t risk any white blotchy patches of glue to spoil your work!
Keep going…
and going…

almost done!
It does take several hours and your hands get a bit sore but its totally worth it. It looks great. No more crappy half dead canvas. 🙂
Thinking about putting some gold leaf touches on the coils…
What do you think? 🙂
About me

// maker // blogger // designer // Dedicated to promoting and supporting Australian creatives.


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Reply April 19, 2011

I think you should do some small ones sparaticaly on the edges !Or put your gold leaves there. Like this idea your very creative!

Reply April 19, 2011

great ideas! Thanks. :)

Reply April 19, 2011

This looks really great, Dom!! I l-o-v-e recycled art!!

skinner studio
Reply April 25, 2011

very cool idea!

Cari-Bella Creations
Reply April 27, 2011

I love this! I'm going home to make one right now (ok, I actually have to stay at work the full day, but after that...). Thanks for sharing this!

The Craft-Arty Kid
Reply May 3, 2011

This looks awesome! Great tutorial, thanks

La-Dee-da crafter
Reply May 17, 2011

I saw this on Craft gossip. Love it, so awesome.
Thanks for sharing the turtorial.
I am your newest follower.

Reply May 17, 2011

I saw this on Craft Gossip too! Great idea. I think I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

Meg the Wild Child
Reply May 18, 2011

That's so COOL! I bet magazine pages would work really well too - it would be very colorful if you wanted a different look!

Meg :)

Reply May 18, 2011

what a great idea and it could be lightly sprayed white or black or whatever colour too
Thanks for the tip!

Reply May 19, 2011

This is so cool. A wonderful project. I just love the idea of making something so special from NOTHING!

Reply May 19, 2011

So glad you guys like the project! I think I am going to work on something similar but coloured or something... :)

Reply May 26, 2011

can I tell you how much I love this project?! I AM going to do this!

Lisa | Her Beautiful Mess
Reply June 14, 2011

I love this! I've bookmarked it...and I have the perfect canvas (that my niece ripped a whole in) for it! Thank you!!

Reply June 22, 2011

That's a really unusual idea. That'll get me brainstorming about all the halfpainted canvases I have lying about.

Reply June 26, 2011

Great idea to do with my kids...thanks for sharing : )

Reply June 26, 2011

I like it! Needs a bit of color though.
Great idea!

Linda Hardy
Reply June 26, 2011

I've seen this before, I think I'll give it a try too :)

Reply June 26, 2011

Great idea, but not sure I get it. Tell me again why I would want a canvas full of rolled up newspaper? What do you do with it? Don't get me wrong, I'm as crafty as the next person and am currently engaged corn dolly fairies, but this leaves something to be desired for me. Sorry.. Now I can see perhaps using this technique for sculpting a landscape or still life, etc.

Reply June 26, 2011

This is really cool. I think it would be awesome if you left it like it was in the picture right above "keep going" and then painted a tree trunk with branches up from the bottom left corner to meet the newspaper blooms. Neat idea!

Reply June 26, 2011

Hmmm......maybe this would be a great way to decorate a box that a gift will go into instead of buying expensive wrapping paper. I would use the comic section for the "rolls" and other colorful sections for th rest of the box. Just a thought.

Reply June 27, 2011

iLike!!! thanks for sharing...

Reply June 28, 2011

Love this so much!
I am also following you.

Reply June 28, 2011

I posted a link to this article in my blog... not sure of the protocol, but thank you for the tutorial, and hopefully more people will visit your blog due to my posting!
See it in context....

The Nerd
Reply July 2, 2011

For a colorful version, perhaps you could try origami paper or tissue paper.

Reply July 4, 2011

Thanks so much for all the awesome feedback guys! I just love this idea of Tactile collages and have a few more designs brewing in my head now. Stay tuned! :)

Teena Stewart
Reply July 21, 2011

I am an artist who uses recycled old books to make flowers in vases and also work with recycled magazines to make bulls eye rose designs which you can see on my website at

Your ideas can be adapted in so many ways

Reply August 18, 2015

Wow this is so creative. Thanks for the idea! :)

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