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Grungy Pizza Box Canvas

By: Von Pappe II
April 14, 2015

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Grungy Pizza Box Canvas
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This time I want to take you on a rather dark and grungy but still colorful journey and show you how to create a steampunk style "stand-alone“ box canvas with loads of depth and fabulous texture.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - English Red Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Gold
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Transparent Red Iron Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - Black
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Modeling Paste - Black
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Varnishes - Ultra-Matte Varnish
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Glaze - Clear
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - English Red Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Patina Green
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Titanium White
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Lavish Green
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Brilliant Turquoise
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Iced Espresso
  • Traditions Artist Acrylics 3oz - Carbon Black
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint 8oz - Lace
  • Americana Decou-Page (Glue-Sealer-Finish) 16oz - Americana Decou-Page Matte
  • Andy Skinner Stencils 8x8 - Industrial Elements
  • Brushos
  • Pizza Box
  • Old book or dictionary pages
  • 12" by 12" vintage designer paper
  • Heavy black card
  • Flourish embossing folders (Spellbinders E 3DS-001, E 3D-018)
  • Embossing machine
  • Spray bottle
  • Black archival ink pad
  • Texture stamps
  • Washi tape
  • Lace ribbon
  • Old photograph
  • Palette knife
  • Soft wide brushes
  • Stenciling brush
  • Masking tape
  • Box feet and corners
  • Various embellishments and found objects
  • Non stick craft sheet


Start by covering the sides and front outer rim of a pizza box with scraps torn from old dictionary pages using the matte Decou-page and a soft brush. Also glue a 12x12'' designer paper sheet of your choice to the front. Seal thoroughly with a coat of matte Decou-page.

Instruction #1 - pizza box canvas1
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Dry emboss some heavy black card with some flourish patterns and tear off three pieces. Glue them to your pizza box canvas and let dry. Then paint them with a mix of Americana Chalky Finish paints "lace"and "heirloom".

Instruction #2 - pizza box canvas2
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Instruction #3 - pizza box canvas3
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Using the palette knife spread some Matte Medium in various spots on your canvas and sprinkle on some Brushos (in green, yellow, orange and turquoise) while still wet.

Instruction #4 - pizza box canvas4
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To prevent the Brushos from reactivating when painting over them later, seal them with some diluted Ultra-matte Varnish from a spray bottle. To make sure everything was sealed I sprayed on two coats of varnish.

Instruction #5 - pizza box canvas5
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Once all has dried, apply some clear Crackle Glaze here and there with a soft brush. Don't worry about any edges not being neat. After toning down the canvas any of it won't be visible at all.

Instruction #6 - pizza box canvas6
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Let the Crackle Glaze dry thoroughly (best would be over night). Then brush on some Raw Umber Antiquing Cream to make the cracks more visible. Brush some diluted Antiquing Cream over the whole canvas too. Let the Antiquing Cream dry before you start wiping any of it off with a damp cloth or baby wipe.

Instruction #7 - pizza box canvas7
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Repeat that step with the English Red Oxide Antiquing Cream in some spots.

Instruction #8 - pizza box canvas8
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Stencil on some text using a palette knife and the black Modeling Paste. Use strips of masking tape to fix the stencil to the substrate to avoid any smudges.

Instruction #9 - pizza box canvas9
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Once the Gesso has dried paint the stenciled words with Raw Umber. Then add washes of Transparent Red Iron Oxide and Transparent Yellow Oxide until you are content and the words blend in with the background. After the paint has dried rub on some Metallic Lustre here and there. I went for Lavish Green and Brilliant Turquoise this time.

Instruction #10 - pizza box canvas10
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Now's the time to stamp on some texture using black archival stamping ink stamp. Also stencil on some more words and/or numbers using Titan Buff and a stencilling brush. Let dry. Then tone down the whole canvas using washes (heavily diluted paint) of Transparent Red Iron Oxide and Raw Umber until you are content with the look. This will help unify all the darker and lighter elements. If you get too dark do the same with a wash of the white Antiquing Cream. This will slightly brighten the look of your canvas and also add a "dusty" feel to it. You can repeat these steps as often as you like. And the good thing is: you can almost take off all of the Antiquing Cream you have added and start all over again (as we sealed the canvas before with the sprayed on varnish). For more detail sprinkle on some of the Black, White and Shimmer Turquoise Misters.

Instruction #11 - pizza box canvas1128
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Start adding embellishments and old photographs, ephemera and found objects. Fix them to the canvas with the matte Decou-Page. It will even hold heavier items (like old keys or watch parts) in place! Before I added a colour copy of a vintage photograph I added some drip lines of Quinacridone Gold to it. For more texture I added some lace ribbon, washi tape and labels.

Instruction #12 - pizza box canvas12
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I dabbed some DecoArt Traditions Carbon Black around the edges of my pizza box canvas to create a visual „frame“ that keeps the focus within the format. I like using my fingertip for this as this helps create rather random and smudged looking patterns. Then I painted the outsides of my pizza box with black Gesso.

For a finish I added an old light bulb (which I painted to make its metal match the look of my rusty tones), some letterpress blocs, two metal corners, handles and box feet to my pizza box canvas. If you want to paint on metal I recommend you give it a coat of matte Decou-Page first to give the paints some tooth to hold on to.

Instruction #14 - pizza box canvas13
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Applying Media Fluid Acrylics washes and adding and removing Antiquing Creams to change the tones of your projects is always a rewarding thing to do. I hope my project could lure you into playing around with these techniques! 


Stunningly beautiful work Claudia!!! I have been transfixed by each layer you've added to this. Jenny x

Jenny Marples

April 14, 2015

Wow, incredible project Claudia and an excellent tutorial! I just added a dozen or so things to my wish list!! :)


April 14, 2015

Da erleben diese Produkte aber ein einmalig tollen Auftritt, super kombiniert und wie immer perfekt erklärt! Vielen Dank!!

Kerstin F.

April 14, 2015

Beautiful layered texture and colors. Great job.

Norma Taliaferro

April 14, 2015

Stunning project Claudia, I just love how the different layers come together...great tutorial and yes, I am going to try this one too x hugs Sandie x


April 15, 2015

Thanks for the wonderful laud, Jenny, Pamellia, Kerstin, Norma and Sandie! Mwah! XXX So glad you like my tutorial! :) Claudia xx


April 15, 2015

wunderschön, einfach Traumhaft! Macht viel Arbeit aber auch Spaß. Stellen sie auch bei YouTube Videos ein? Mit der Pizza-Box habe ich nicht ganz verstanden. Aber wie gesagt super.

Brigitte Gnieser

April 16, 2015

Astounding, Claudia! It's hard to believe that this was once a lowly pizza box, and now it's a work of art! I do want to play (with my new DecoArt goodies) and create something just like this :) Thank you for sharing your process!! :) XOXO-Shari


April 16, 2015

Oh gorgeous and wonderfully grunged up! What an amazing tutorial! There is so much information here and a lot to process. I would love to try all these yummy techniques Claudia! Fantabulous! ~Niki


April 16, 2015

Awesome idea... I thought I was the queen of recycled art but I never would have thought to use a pizza box. Bravo


April 17, 2015

Servus, Brigitte! Und danke für das schöne Lob! Die Pizza Box habe ich anstelle einer Leinwand verwendet (ist stabiler und biegt sich nicht durch zum Beispiel). Bei Fragen bin ich auch gerne unter meiner email Adresse erreichbar: Thanks a lot, Shari, Niki and liss! Your comments are highly appreciated1 Mwah! X Claudia


April 19, 2015

Es ist ein geniales Werk geworden - ein richtiges Kunstwerk. Und das aus einer banalen Pizzaschachtel. Alle Materialien vereinigen sich hier ganz wunderbar. Ich glaub', ich schaffe es nie so schön. Einen schönen Sonntag und liebe Grüße, Eva


April 19, 2015

Wowza Claudia, love all the texture and colours peeping through the dark xxSAMxx

Sam Lewis

April 19, 2015


Kathy Gledsdale

April 19, 2015

Wow.. this is another stuninng creation by you, Claudia. Lovely texture, TFS


April 19, 2015

Thank you all so much for the encouraging laud, Eva, Sam, Kathy and Shilpa! Claudia xxx


April 22, 2015

absolutely stunning work of art!!!!


April 26, 2015

Fantastic depth created by all these layers and wonderful grungy textured effects - stunning work, Claudia! Alison x


May 14, 2015

This is a wonderful piece of art! Thanks for the great concise tutorial and the step-out photos!

Kathi R

May 20, 2015

How epic is this? I absolutely adore this! xx

Erin Stewart

May 21, 2015

Thank you so much, Jane, Alison, Kathi and Erin! I am so glad that you like my pizza box canvas! Mwah! XXX


May 27, 2015

A SteamPunk beauty!

Faith W

May 27, 2015


Kathy Gledsdale

May 28, 2015

That looks amazing!

Cristina Parus

June 1, 2015

This is a amazing piece. It is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


June 24, 2015

This is so beautiful!! I love all the layers and textures.

Lisa H

July 12, 2015

I put this on a Pinterest board with a link to this site. Have had 20 people repin so far. Such a fun idea.

Nancy M.

January 16, 2016

Thanks so much for liking, pinning and commenting, ladies! Mwah! XXX


May 23, 2017

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