The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

how to create a wall o’ canvas



There’s one wall in my house that makes all the other walls turn green with envy. It’s the show stopper whenever someone new comes into our home. It’s the one that gets the oohs and aahs as the other walls roll their eyes.

It’s this one…

Okay, so the walls are actually yellow. But you get the point. 😉

As a photographer it’s difficult to narrow down images of my own family to display. It’s also difficult to find the time to actually print all the things I want to enjoy everyday.

About four years ago I decided the solution to this problem was a photo collage that showcased bits and pieces of our life as a family. I wanted each family member to get equal time (yes, even mama!) and I wanted the images to be a celebration of who we are not what we look like.

I started with a 36×36 gallery wrapped canvas that included nine 12×12 images. After a few years our family had grown out of the images on the wall and I decided it was time to update.

But I just couldn’t bear the thought of taking down those memories. So instead, I added to it. I created a new 36×36 canvas with a new set of nine images that celebrated our evolving life as a family. I hung them side by side so they appear as one piece.

And call me crazy, but I don’t think I plan to stop at two. The way I see it, that wall has room for six 36×36 canvases when it’s all said and done. And the neighbors may think I’ve gone cuckoo for cocoa puffs but I can’t imagine anything that will make me happier in 10 years than seeing the growth of my children from babies to toddlers to children to teens on that same wall.

Of course seeing my husband and I change from 20 somethings to, well, 40 somethings won’t be as much fun. But it sure beats the alternative, right?


If you’re interested in creating your own wall o’ canvas, here’s what to do:

– Open a blank Photoshop document in the dimensions of your finished canvas at 300 dpi. Mine is 36×36 but you can create yours in whatever size you’d like.

– Figure out how many images you’d like to place on your canvas, and how you’d like them to be divided up. My piece has nine 12×12 images.

– Open that many images and crop to the determined size at 300 dpi.

– Using the move tool, drag each image individually onto your large blank Photoshop document and position where you’d like them to be. It may take a bit of playing to hit upon the arrangement that you like.

– If your canvas lab allows you to create your own edge color (mine does) you can do that right in PSD. Start by flattening your finished canvas piece, and then creating a new blank Photoshop document at the size of your finished canvas PLUS the depth of your edges. If you’re planning to print a gallery wrapped canvas with a 2 inch edge wrap then you’ll add four inches to each length of your canvas (two inches on each side). So for my 36×36 canvas I would create a new document at 40×40 at 300 dpi.

– Change the color of your new Photoshop document to your desired edge wrap color.

– Drag your Photoshop document with pictures onto your Photoshop document with the edge color. Hint: View > Show > Grid and View > Rulers will help to make sure you have your image file positioned correctly on your background layer.

– Now flatten, save as a JPEG and order from your favorite canvas lab!


About Erin

Erin has been a mama for six years, a blogger for five, and professional photographer for four. She hopes to be all of those things for at least another 50. She’s passionate about her family, her friends, bright colors and shooting jpeg (what?!). Erin is also the creative force behind the highly acclaimed Clean Color video editing tutorial. Those are the things that feed her soul but Erin says writing about them feels like the dessert. Erin makes her home and runs her business in Huntsville, Alabama.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly
  • Pingback: Photo Gallery Ideas()

  • Pingback: all-the-way Tuesday — Hudson Valley, NY child photographer | Kate Callahan Photography()

  • Pingback: Create a DIY Photo Gallery with Style | Decorating Your Small Space()

  • Melina

    Que espectacular! yo no podría hacerlo, la informática no es mi mayor virtud! Me gustaría poder hacerlo, igualmente es hermoso1

  • Pingback: DIY Wall O’ Canvas | Easly DIY()

  • modern oil painting

    Superb art! This can be a kind of data which can be meant to be shared through the web. Humiliation for the search engines for no lengthier ranking this particular organize superior! Can occur more than along with talk over with my website. Many thanks Implies)

  • Cynthia Rust

    What a fantastic idea!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jen

    What a fantastic idea! I think you should do your canvases for the rest of your life! Why stop at 6 when you can continue to document you and your family’s growth?

  • Roxanne Benton

    Erin! Thank you so much! (I own Pixel2Canvas for those of you who don’t know me.)

    My consumer side,, prints the same awesome canvas for non-pros. You can have any color or texture on the wrap you like, and we’ll happily walk you through the entire process.

    And because I love me my Erin, use code ERIN25 to get 25% off your entire order.

    Really really.

  • Maggiesfarm8

    Thank you for the directions…… I have never done anything like this but it is a start. Do you have any suggestions for canvas printshops that do this?

    • Erin

      Try Canvas on Demand or Mpix if you’re not a pro. I think both of those sites cater to hobbyists and would have a gallery wrapped canvas.

  • Angela

    Great idea…I need to do this for my family.

  • Michelle Cavazos

    I love this! Thanks for sharing such a great idea. :)

  • Four_cookies

    I absolutely love this! It would fabulous for my graduating Senior photo’s! This way I can see all my favorites at a glance. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Andrea Meisgeier

    Can this be done in Elements?… I love love this!

    • Erin

      Yes, definitely!

  • Trude Ellingsen

    Love this! Thanks for sharing the how-to! :)

  • Kristina

    love,love,love your idea!!! Thank you!!

  • Erin

    Alis, I ordered these particular canvases from I think if you contacted custom service though you could probably get any lab to do it for you.

  • Clair Dickson

    I love this! How great that it is something you can add to as the family grows! Thanks for sharing how you created it!

  • Shondra Walker

    Wow! Love that wall. It would totally get my attention too!

  • Alis in Wnderlnd

    Love it! Who is your photolab that allows YOU to make the canvas color edge rather than choosing from a selection?
    We’ve been in the process of making the exact same thing! We are still collecting all the images we want in the first installment! And, the middle one of three will be more like subway art about us.

  • Katbalch

    This is really neat. We have a red wall in need of this. Now to figure out which pictures to select!

  • Lifeineden

    Those look fabulous Erin!

  • Loriscraps3

    Great idea! Thank you!