Tutorial: I Heart My State Painting

Welcome to my first DIY project inspired by Pinterest.  I say “first” because I’ve already bookmarked (pinned) probably 20 projects I’d like to try in the future and the inspiration just keeps on coming!  Have you missed the boat on the Pinterest discussion?  Check out this post for a little intro to the site that’s rockin’ my world these days.

So here’s the backstory on this project.  When we were remodeling our master bathroom and got to the accessorizing stage, I came across a sweet little print from Etsy seller LilyGene.  It’s completely customizable with your state, preferred color, and your location.  While $25 for original art wasn’t bad, I wasn’t sure how we’d come out on budget in the master bath and didn’t have time to wait for the print to arrive.

So I tried to make my own.

Let’s just say 1 non-photoshop-literate DIYer + a Google image of Arkansas + 2 hours of fiddling did not result in the sharp, chic print I was hoping for.  I set the idea aside and found equally cute art for our bathroom instead.

Just when I’d given up on making an I Heart Arkansas print myself, I came across this pin on Pinterest.

Eureka!  Photoshop and printing might not be my forte, but a painting?  Now THAT I could do!  Since I had a free moment yesterday afternoon, I got to work recreating this painting for display in our guest bedroom.

Want to buy your own?  Check out Etsy seller PaintMeAPicture’s page.  Want to see how I made mine?  Read on!

I Used:
1 12″x12″ square canvas
White, Red, and Dark Teal acrylic paint
A few small paintbrushes
A piece of white paper
A Google image outline of Arkansas
A pen or pencil

How I Did It:

1) Found an outline of Arkansas online and traced it onto my paper.


I wasn’t sure how it would show through the canvas, so I went ahead and retraced it with a permanent marker.


2) Positioned the state (face down) on the back of the canvas.


3) Traced the state onto the canvas using the light from a window.


It’s important to note that I used the same color ink to trace my state as the background color I was planning on using.  Pencil would have probably been better since the ink ran slightly as I was painting.


4) Selected my paint color (I custom mixed a peacock blue) and painted the background.


You can see that I tried to make all my brush strokes horizontal so the texture of the background would be uniform.


5) Let the first coat dry and then gave it a second coat.



6) Filled in the state with white paint.


Let it dry…


7) Freehand painted a heart with red acrylic.  We live in Northwest Arkansas, so that’s where my heart went!


Are you ready for the finished product?  Here she is!


Y’all know we have a guest room redo underway, so here’s a sneak peek at some of the organization I’m trying out with our floating shelves.  I am really liking having my paints and paintbrushes on display!


I love the idea of this painting for our guest room/craft room since it’s a nod to one of my favorite hobbies and it’s a little “welcome to our hometown” for our guests.


Hand painted details – you don’t get those with photoshop!


There’s just something about paint supplies arranged by color that feels like art to me.


I should mention the needlepoint art behind my new painting was a thrift store find.  I loved the saying and the colors when I came across it a few years ago, and for $4 I made it mine!


So what do you think of my little painting adventure?  Is it making you itch to DIY one of your own?  I’m definitely happy with how it turned out and thrilled with the cost – zero dollars. 🙂

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for more guest room updates.
Linking: Centsational Girl

The Lettered Cottage

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