Jennifer Casa from JCasa *handmade has a fun, no-sew project today. Kids can help with this new wall art (and they might even take over the creations for some playtime action too). Each month Jennifer has a new project featuring one of our favorite collections from the shop. Today’s project features the beautiful Marylebone collection from Liberty Arts Fabrics.

Don’t miss Jennifer’s previous projects: Patchwork Notebooks, Quilted Snack Set, “Leisurely” Dress Pattern and last month’s Undaunted Summer Top Pattern. Visit JCasa *handmade for more of Jennifer’s inspiring creativity, and her shop for more (beautiful!) sewing and knitting patterns.

Hello, July!

This month, I wanted to offer Sew,Mama,Sew! readers a no-sew project that could be made by anyone, even the kids. What it turned into is something entirely different than I initially had in mind-– it seems this whimsical wall art works overtime by transforming into blocks that entertain the kiddos more than I could have imagined. You can make this project large or small, full of color, or simplified in different tones of one hue. Grab some favorite fabrics and a few basic craft supplies, and then head to the recycling bin for the rest of your materials. This is a fun project the entire family can work on and enjoy together. Join me in thinking outside the box!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • large artist’s canvas (I found this one in the basement-– apparently I had been watching Trading Spaces quite a bit when I painted this little number-– I knew I’d reuse it someday!)
  • spray adhesive and/or Mod Podge
  • scissors
  • duct tape
  • FABRIC (This month I had the pleasure of working with the Marylebone collection from Liberty Arts Fabrics, so I chose five prints that I felt would complement one another– the Crosswalk Blue, Frilly Pastel, Pauline Blue, Provencal Blue, and the rich, dark Rajah Blue.)
  • empty cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes (from cereal, pasta, granola bars, etc.)
  • newspaper (optional)
  • self-adhesive hook and loop dots or a fully-loaded hot glue gun

Are you ready? Great!

Step 1: Cover the canvas with a neutral fabric. You can do this with spray adhesive (work outdoors if you do), or by simply stapling the fabric to the back of the canvas. I used a natural linen from my stash, but any of the Essex Linen/Cotton fabrics or Kona Cottons would be fantastic and offer a background with great texture. If you notch out the corners as you go, you get nice clean edges.

Step 2: Use duct tape to make a smooth surface on the box lids and tape them shut. (If you have kids who may end up wanting to play with the boxes, stuff them with some crumpled newspaper prior to taping the lids.)

Step 3: Cover the boxes with your fabrics. Cut a piece of fabric and wrap each box just as you would wrap a present. We used foam applicators to apply “Fabric” Mod Podge (I’m sure any mod podge would work great) to each box, smoothed the fabric and then applied a bit of a top coat over the seams on the ends only. We did not apply a top coat to the main surfaces, so the feel of the fabric remained soft to the touch. Let the boxes dry completely.

Step 4: Now it’s time to put it all together. Hang your blank canvas on the wall and stand back for a minute.

Step 5: You can arrange the boxes on the floor to work out placement in advance, or you can live on the edge and start applying your boxes to the canvas one at a time, working it out as you go. Since the boxes are so lightweight, you can even layer them on top of one another for added depth.

If you are making this a permanent piece, apply the boxes to the canvas using a bead of hot glue in each corner. If you are making this a more “interactive” piece, try using self-adhesive hook and loop dots to apply the boxes to the canvas so the boxes can be easily removed for play. We opted for the latter, because apparently a new high-rise was going up in Playmobilville.

I hope you enjoy this little outside-the-box project and have a blast putting together one for your space. As always, if you make anything with Marylebone from Liberty or using any of our free patterns and tutorials, please show off your creations in the Sew,Mama,Sew! Flickr pool. Enjoy and happy making! xoxo