Button Canvas: A Perfect Baby Shower Gift


Unfortunately, we are approaching that grown up age where the baby shower invites are substantially increasing in numbers. It’s exciting for the couple expecting but for a broke student it can leave you a little unsure of what to do for the special occasion. This is where button canvas can solve everything.

The button canvas is unique, personalised, super adorable, and of course, affordable! You don’t have to be a professional artist to do this. I know this because I am far from one. Just a bit of pre-planning dedication and a few ciders should help bring your creativity to life!

Step 1) Buy a canvas. I usually just go to The Works because they have a decent range of sizes and all for £10 or under usually. I paid £7 for the canvas below. Once you have picked your canvas size then get outside and soak up the sunshine, nothing will lift your mood better. Lay down some newspaper and get to work making the colours you want to use for the background.

Credit: Freya Millard

Usually this step is a lot easier if you already have a vague idea of what kind of design you want to make. The potential here is endless, you might want an underwater scene, a zoo, or my personal favourite, a night sky. Always begin with the lightest colours on the canvas because once you paint it black it’s incredibly hard to turn it back to white.
Mix the acrylic paints as you please, and blend them together from the inside out. For example; paint the strokes of white, then yellow, then orange, then red.

The best advice I can give you is to remember that your best paint is, water! If you want colours to blend then dip your brush in water often. It softens the tones and makes the paint far easier to move across the canvas.

Credit: Freya Millard

Step 2) It’s okay to mess it all up sometimes because you can usually always pull it back once the paint has dried. As you can see below, I began blending the paints into an arched shape only to realise that I needed the colours to fade on a straighter horizontal line. Then I also dropped my brush accidentally face down on the white part of the canvas.
Just take a break, have a cider and paint over it again when the paints have dried (If it’s a sunny day that will literally be a matter of minutes).

Credit; Freya Millard

As I said, you can always fix it. I’ve added some mountains here which hides the disaster of before and emphasises my sunrise. Also a few layers of white paint over my purple splodge and it’s less obvious.

Credit: Freya Millard

Step 3) Buy the coloured buttons you want to use, eBay is always a good option for this since you can get big packets of buttons for only a few pounds. Next, plan out the shapes you want to fill with buttons and take a picture of them so you remember exactly what size button went where. You’ll need this desperately for later when you glue the buttons down. For this canvas, in particular, I wanted to do a button boat and moon.

Credit: Freya Millard

Step 4) Next you need to draw and then paint an outline of the shape with a colour that matches the buttons you are using. The reason for doing this is so the outlines don’t lose definition and the colour of the buttons come out a lot stronger. Once your outline is dried you can use PVA glue to stick down your buttons, use the picture from before to guide you as to where they should be placed.

Credit: Freya Millard

Step 5) Lastly, paint any additional details you think will improve your painting. Here I added a starry sky and shadow definition to the water.

Credit: Freya Millard

There you have it, an easy to make gift with beautiful results: your very own baby button canvas that can be adapted for any occasion!


Former English Student | Travel Editor 2016-17 |Current MSc. International Politics | Editor at Wessex Scene for 2017-18.

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