How To Create Your Canvas Dinnerware

  • 1


    Collect an assortment of cast-off dinnerware or purchase pieces from flea markets, thrift stores, or garage sales.

  • 2


    Students select 2-3 items to combine into one sculptural piece: a cup and saucer, 2 cups, three small plates, a bowl plus plate and cup, and so on. Cracked, chipped, and broken pieces add to the design possibilities. If desired, imperfections can be completely hidden by the raw canvas while still retaining their shape.

  • 3

    Raw or unprimed canvas works well as a “wrap” because it is pliable and can be formed around objects. Most items can be covered with a 12" x 12" piece. Tear or cut unprimed canvas. When covering curved areas such as cup handles or bowls, smaller strips will work well. Wider pieces can be gathered or folded to conform to the shape of the items and to add textural design. Use all scraps or trade with other students for suitable size canvas pieces.

  • 4

    Apply glue to either the dinnerware or to the canvas. Use glue full strength to create a hard bonded surface; do not dilute. Then wrap canvas around objects.

  • 5

    Paint canvas with Blick Matte Acrylics for opaque coverage and a moisture resistant finish. Painting may begin even before the glue is fully dry. When applying colors, choose shades that will highlight the shape of the pieces and how they interact with one another. For instance, when dishes are stacked on top of each other consider dark and light areas.

  • 6

    Cotton warp or other string may be used to cover small areas and crevices, add design on unpainted canvas, and add texture under the acrylic paint on flat areas. Take advantage of the colors of the fiber when wrapping around a handle.

Other Options

Cover spoons, forks, or glassware with canvas to add to the dinner service sculpture
Use natural materials such as raffia or twigs to enhance the artwork’s texture
Place the sculpture on a canvas tray or wooden block
Dinnerware may also be covered with decorative papers instead of canvas
Add a finish coat of Matte Acrylic Varnish to seal colors and fibers (Elmers glue with a bit of water will also work)

Here is a video from Dick Blick. This lesson plan initially came from the Dick Blick website.