Recycled Heart Art Canvas

A heart collage diy artwork made from an old canvas

Recycle an old canvas with scraps of paper to make pretty heart art for Valentine’s decorating, a wedding or anniversary or just to brighten a dull corner.

I love it when a plan comes together, this canvas update worked even better than I imagined it in my head and believe me, that doesn’t always happen!


I’m joining the Do It Over Designers Blog Hop with this easy craft idea to do over an old canvas with recycled paper and card and embellishments rescued from old birthday cards.

Materials needed to make an upcycled hearts canvas

  • An old canvas

  • Patterned paper - magazines, junk mail, small pieces of scrapbook papers, wrapping paper, pretty packaging etc

  • Embellishments saved from old greeting cards

  • Glue - I used Mod Podge

  • Brush for the glue

  • Scissors plus a small guillotine is useful but not essential

  • A ruler and pencil

I started with this old canvas that I’d picked up in a charity shop a few years ago. I’m afraid I can’t show you a proper “before” because I appear to have started and then abandoned a transformation on it at some point in the past, sorry about that!

I had given it a coat or 2 of white paint a while ago. I have a vague recollection of an idea I had for it, but when the original print on the canvas was stubbornly showing through all my layers of paint I abandoned it. You can see the original print better from the back, some sort of lego man in a car by the look of it? None of this matters because we are going to cover it completely anyway.

First you need to measure your canvas.

My canvas is 20cm square, that’s just under 8”, so I worked in centimetres for this art collage. Use inches if that works better for your canvas of course!

You need to do a bit of simple maths now. Find a number which divides nicely with the size of your canvas so you can create even squares. I went for 4cm squares, so I could have 5 x 5 on my 20cm canvas.

Decorating the canvas

Cut squares from your scraps of pretty and colourful paper.

You can do this with a guillotine if you have one or use a ruler and pencil and then cut with scissors. It is easier to get a neater result with a guillotine though.

I had a mix of papers from all sorts of places. Some is left over pieces of scrapbook paper, there are pages from old magazines, old greeting cards, pretty cardboard packaging, a calendar and wrapping paper scraps.

Arranging squares on paper on a canvas collage

Cut plenty of squares and then spend a few minutes playing around with them, arranging them on the canvas until you are happy with the mix of colours and patterns. Then use the Mod Podge and brush to glue each square in place.

While that dries prepare some hearts.

Make a heart template by folding a scrap of paper and drawing half a heart on the fold, then cut it out. I messed around cutting out a few until I got a size and shape of heart that I liked on my 4cm squares. You can make your hearts taller and thinner, or shorter and fatter, whatever you prefer.

Cutting out heart shapes from scraps of card

Then use your heart template to cut out a load of hearts from your scraps of paper, packaging etc.

I tried to centre some motifs on some of the hearts; flowers, animals etc. That’s not essential but it is pretty cute.

glueing hearts onto a valentine collage

Now it’s time to play around again, arranging your hearts on the squares. Try contrast colours, complimenting colours, mix plains and patterns; you’ll know when it looks right. Then glue them down with Mod Podge exactly as before.

You could stop at this point, a pretty hearts on squares collage, or add some extras like I did.

I had cut one of my hearts from part of a birthday card with a ribbon heart on it. I really like the extra dimension this added so I decided to add some additional embellishments to some more hearts. I raided by box of craft “bits and pieces” to see what I could use. This is a stash of little things I’ve rescued from old birthday cards, sequins I’ve picked off the table at parties (yes, I’m afraid I’m THAT person! They only go into the bin afterwards, right?) etc.

I’m so pleased to have given this old canvas a new look and new purpose. And I didn’t spend a single penny because all the papers and card used were upcycled or tiny leftover scraps from other craft projects.

An art canvas made from scrap papers in a collage of hearts
A DIY canvas collage of hearts made from old magazines

The Do It Over Designers Challenge is all about taking something old and breathing new life into it. Every time I join the challenge I’m blown away by the talent and creativity of the other creative bloggers participating. Let’s take a look at the other upcycling and repurposing crafts in the Do It Over Designers Challenge this month:

The Apple Street Cottage

Birdz of a Feather

Exquisitely Unremarkable

Little Vintage Cottage

Purple Hues & Me

Southern Sunflowers

Tea and Forget-Me-Nots

Unique Creations By Anita

I’ll be sharing this idea over at some of these link ups