Like a blank page, a craft-store white canvas holds a world of creative possibilities. But limitless potential can also incite artistic anxiety. Should you splash some paint on it à la Jackson Pollock? Mod Podge it with photos? Leave it as it is and call it “minimalist?” The short answer is “yes” — there’s really no wrong way to express yourself. If you still need a little help, consider one of these inexpensive (including the canvas, most cost less than $20) and easy ideas. Photos by Jason Hornick (For Express)

Written on the Wall

What you’ll need: Two 16-inch by 20-inch cotton canvases. Black acrylic paint. A pencil. A #8 Filbert brush. A quote or lyric you love.

It doesn’t matter how poor your handwriting: The more character it has, the better this craft will turn out. Select a quote, saying or song lyric (we chose a line from Beyonce’s “Flawless”) and, using a pencil, sketch it onto the canvases ($9 for a two-pack, Make sure it’s spelled correctly! Dip a #8 Filbert brush ($8, into a dollop of black paint ($2.30 for 2 ounces, utrecht .com) and trace over the penciled words.


Chalk It Up

What you’ll need: One 16-inch by 20-inch canvas. Rubber gloves. Chalkboard spray paint. Chalk.

This project couldn’t be easier: Put on your gloves and hold a can of chalkboard spray paint ($4, six inches away from your canvas ($6, Spray an even coat on the surface. (Make sure you’re outside or in a well-ventilated space.) While you’re waiting for it to dry (approximately 10 minutes) brainstorm ideas to scribble on your new board. We used ours for sewing inspiration, though we can also see it used as a menu for dinner parties.

On the Dots

What you’ll need: One 16-inch by 20-inch cotton canvas. Gold Dura-Lar film. Gold card stock. Spray adhesive. A 1-hole punch. Loose change. Pen. Scissors.

Using a pen, trace the shapes of a penny, nickle, dime and quarter onto the gold Dura-Lar film (a shiny plastic craft material, $6, and card stock ($6, Cut out 20 of each size. Use the hole punch ($2, to make 40 tinier circles. Cover the entire canvas ($6, with a coat of spray adhesive ($6, and, starting at the bottom, arrange the circles in descending size in a scattered manner.

Be a Drip


What you’ll need: One 16-inch by 20-inch cotton canvas. Aqua green acrylic paint. Cerulean blue acrylic paint. A 1 1/2-inch flat brush. Water.

Mix 1 tablespoon of aqua green paint ($2.30 for 2 ounces, utrecht .com) with 1 cup of water. Dip your 1 1/2-inch brush ($7, in the mixture and paint an 8-inch block at the top of the canvas ($6, Allow excess paint to drip and run off the bottom. Let it dry (approximately 10 minutes). Rinse your brush. Mix 1 tablespoon of the cerulean blue paint ($2.30 for 2 ounces, utrecht .com) with 1 cup of water. Dip your brush into the mixture and paint a 4-inch block 4-inches from the top of the canvas. Allow excess pain to drip and run off the bottom.