I've made a couple of these whimsy canvases now and thought it might be fun to put together a tutorial for anyone that might be interested in doing the same!
Start with a blank canvas, your whimsies, some glue (I used Elmer's), and your stencil.
Transfer the stencil to the canvas and then start gluing down your whimsies from biggest to smallest size-wise. When you're really close to finishing fill in any tiny areas with seed beads or similar super tiny sized items to give the outline a really clear designation.
Make sure the glue is completely dry before moving onto the next step: covering up the negative space (that hasn't been filled in with whimsies) with contact paper. I use trial and error to get it to fit right - usually by cutting out the stencil and then trimming to make it fit. Then I go back in with small pieces of contact paper to get the outline perfect.
This picture shows you the many cuts and tiny bits I had to use to fill it all in.
And here's a picture of the whole thing before spray painting (I promised someone the last time that I would do this before the painting step so they could see what it looked like)
Now spray paint! Of course take it to a well-ventilated area to work and cover all surfaces. Make sure you're extra thorough when painting to get in all the cracks and crevices. It will likely take at least 2 coats to get it all done.
After the paint is dry peel off the contact paper and marvel at your creation! Wait...there's usually a little bit of overspray along the edges so touch that up with white gesso. Acrylic paint doesn't work too well here as it doesn't want to stick to the slick surface the spray paint creates, but gesso will do just fine.
Finally spray with a final coat of sealer! And you're done! Now you can marvel!
And obligatory close-up shots
I'd love to see any projects that come of this tutorial. I also have more pictures and details on exactly how to do each step on my blog