Skyline Art

It all started with this pin (where else?!).

It was actually a Pinterest Challenge! You can find the post about that art here on Design OCD. As you can see from my comment on the pin, it made me think of a skyline. So I decided to make it an actual skyline. I also wanted to change it a little bit and rather than paint the skyline do it from paper so it would have a little bit more texture. I’ve made a few of these now and love them! Here is one that I made for my sister in law and her boyfriend who recently moved from North Carolina to Chicago – just a little reminder of where they met!

Skyline Art |

Also, I realize how phallic that building looks. That is not an exaggeration. There is a joke in the area that “if you lose your direction, look for the…” Well, you get it.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Canvas – this can be any size that you like but it is easier if the width is the size of the paper that you will be using. My paper was 12″x12″ so this canvas is 16″ tall and 12″ wide. If you have different sized pieces of paper you can do some overlapping, you just may have a bit of a seam.
  • Paper for the background. I bought a sheet of scrapbook paper (12″x12″ again) at Michael’s with a poka dot print on it. You could really do anything with this!
  • Coordinating cardstock for the skyline. I used black but again you can use any colors you’d like.
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors/Xacto knife
  • Print out of the skyline/building that you want to use. I used Google Image and typed “Winston Salem skyline”.

Skyline Art |

[Once again I made a few of these and took pictures of each so some pictures will have a different background paper. Sorry!]

1. Get your canvas ready. I painted the edges of mine black so it would give it a more finished look. You could also use mod podge to cover the edges in the same scrapbook paper you’re using for the background (for a more wraparound look) or in coordinating paper. I use paint because it doesn’t involve cutting. I also like to paint a little bit over the edges onto the front of the canvas so if the paper is the tiniest bit smaller than the canvas it doesn’t show a gap.

Skyline Art |

Skyline Art |

I use this foam brush and acrylic paint because it’s what I have. It works great but it is definitely possible that there is a better paint/brush combo out there. I just like to work with what I’ve got, as they say. Also, I blurred the rest of the photo so you can’t see the dirty dishes in my sink #realtalk.

Another tip – the zebra print that you see sticking out from the bottom is a shoebox. I put the canvas on something elevated so I can paint it easily and it won’t stick to the plastic bag underneath it and so it is easy to get underneath the edges and not miss any spots. For some reason I don’t use this same method when mod podging later but I do lay down wax paper because the wax makes glue/paint not stick. Both work.

I usually let this dry overnight.

2. Cut out your skyline! I used two methods and think probably a combination is good. First I cut out most of the skyline with scissors. I cut on straight lines and got rid of a lot of the white space.

Skyline Art |

Then I taped the skyline print out onto my cardstock and went around everything with an xacto knife. I think the best method would be to tape the print out onto the cardstock from the getgo, cut out as much as you can with scissors, and then touch up with the xacto knife. Whatever works with you to get the skyline cut out of the cardstock.

Skyline Art |

In the above image you can see that I moved the far right building over a little bit. Normal US paper is 8.5″ by 11″ so I had about an inch of room to spare when taping the printout to the cardstock. I wanted to have the buildings spread across the page so I cut and taped it over a little bit. I could have just had some extra space on the edges though.

3. Secure the background paper to your canvas. Once the canvas is dry (this should be fine overnight) use mod podge to attach the background scrapbook paper. In most cases the canvas will be longer than the scrapbook paper but the extra space will be covered by the skyline/cardstock paper so make sure that the scrapbook paper is flush with one end.

To attach, apply mod podge to the paper. I made one where I put the mod podge onto the canvas and it was a lot more bumpy. Live and learn, right? I use the same foam brush, just rinsed out, and wipe mod podge all over the paper. Then I line the paper up and carefully press it onto the canvas. Use a library card (or in my case a Rite Aid Wellness card) to smooth it out and press out any air bubbles. Mine looked a little bumpy at first but dried smoothly!

4. Attach the cardstock skyline to the canvas. It should be flush with the OPPOSITE END as the background paper was flush with. So it covers any canvas showing from the scrapbook paper not fitting.

Skyline Art |

(I took this when I just put the skyline down to see how it was looking – no background was on yet and no mod podge applied.)

5. Let it dry. I did it overnight again but I think it probably firms up fairly quickly if you are too impatient to wait.

6. Mod podge the whole thing! Again using the foam brush I put mod podge all over this sucker. On the edges especially to make sure that the paper didn’t start curling up. **WARNING** The black cardstock that I used bled into the paper a little bit the first time that I did it.** To combat that the second time I dabbed the mod podge on the edges of the skyline (where the black cardstock met the background) and then dragged my brush from the scrapbook paper over onto the cardstock. That way if there was any bleeding it was just bleeding into itself. I don’t know if it was the type of paper or what but be aware and cautious of this!

7. Let it dry. Yeah, again.

8. Attach stickers (if you want)! I searched AC Moore for a good size and font that I liked. I could have been more careful with placement of the stickers and used a ruler or something but I used the pokadots in the background for a general guide and I think it turned out fine.

Once again – here is the finished version!

Skyline Art |

There are so many ways to personalize this and other than waiting for drying time it is a fairly inexpensive and easy process! It definitely takes some patience but doing just one building (I did one of a chapel on our campus) or a structure can make it easier.

How do you commemorate important cities in your life? Can I call this “Pinterest Challenge with a Twist” so it’s not just yet another Pinterest Challenge?


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