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Bean Art Tutorial - Just Between Friends

Bean Art Tutorial

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I am finally caught up to the last round of my CWTS projects.  Here is the final tutorial from the competition. 

This was one of the least expensive projects, and it was also one of my favorites.  I loved it for a lot of reasons, but mainly because literally ANYONE can do it!

Let’s get started!
I began at the local thrift store (DI) in the frame section.  I found this huge frame including it’s lovely artwork (a print on cardboard) for $2.00.  You will also need to buy some legumes.  There are all sorts of different colors of beans that you can buy, so don’t be afraid to go a little crazy.  Also, get some tacky glue.  It holds a lot better than hot glue and it is really cheap.

Next, I went online to search for images that I thought would be fun to re-create.  (This is not a mandatory step by any means.  You can use a stencil or freehand a pattern or whatever you would like.  I have another suggestion at the very bottom for how to use the beans, so keep reading!)  I knew I had white beans and green split peas, so in a google search I typed in green and white floral art.  (Make sure you click the images button at the top.)  I immediately fell in love with the first image that came up. 

Next, I had my dad project the image for me using the laptop and his projector.  I simply traced the image onto the back of the artwork that was there before.  (it made it easier to see the lines since it was a plain cardboard piece.)  I don’t have a picture of that because it was really hard to take a picture showing the pencil lines.  They didn’t show up very well.  So here is a partially painted board instead.

I didn’t want to the brown to show through though, so I painted the artwork so that when the beans were on, you wouldn’t be able to see the brown through the cracks. 
All that you need to do now is add those beans.  It is almost like a big paint by numbers project only using beans instead of paint.  It was very tedious and it took forever because of how detailed and huge my project was, but it was worth it in the end because I love the way it turned out. 
In the original picture, there was no black, but there are also no dark green beans.  So I decided to just add in the black beans and I am really glad I did because it helped to define the picture a lot better then if I would have just left the dark green.  The frame recieved a coat of black spray paint and then ta-da!  It’s finished!  Very carefully place the artwork back into the frame.  You will have some beans fall off of the picture while you do this.  Try not to cry (too much) because it can easily be fixed.
 There you have it!  A large accent piece that can be customized to any taste and room. 

 Now, if you don’t want to spend 11 hours making this (like I did) you can try a different option.  These were the inspiration for my project in the competition.

 My mom made them for me and it really can be made by anyone.  You will need to get some frames from the thrift store, some of your favorite prints and some beans.  I made color copies of the art so that I wasn’t using the originals, then my mom glued the prints in the middle of the frames.  Next make a border around the art using any sort of color of bean you want and in any pattern.  It really is so easy and it looks great!  I have these in my kitchen which is the perfect spot for such a tactile, organic piece of art. 
Go get started.  You will love it, I guarantee!  And if you do decide to make one, I would LOVE to see it.  Send me a link.  Oh, and just like always, if you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to ask.  I would be more than happy to answer them!
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40 Responses to Bean Art Tutorial

  1. Marie C. February 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    WOW, your art looks amazing! I really want to try this! :-)

  2. Natalie February 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    I am in awe of the picture and of you! Holy cow, that is some dedication! Fabulous and I might just try my hand at this (on a much smaller scale!).

  3. Baker Family February 21, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    This is SO COOL! You are very patient! I love it :)

    <3

    Risa

  4. Michelle@Somedaycrafts February 22, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    Fabulous! I will be featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  5. Gina February 22, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    WOW! Girl that is amazing! I was skeptical when you said “bean art” but it really is art. Its beautiful! You are so fabulous!

  6. Amy at Ameroonie Designs February 22, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    Jonie, this is gorgeous! I love looking at the close-up picture, it’s amazing the texture and detial in the art! So, so cool!!! No wonder you went so far- you’re amazing. :)
    xoxo,
    Amy

  7. C.R.A.F.T. February 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    WOW! super impressed :) Come on over and link up to MMM…it closes in 5 hours, but I would LOVE to feature this next week!

  8. Tabitha February 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    I saw this posted on Someday Crafts and just had to comment. That’s so awesome! Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Deneen February 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I love this art! You hard work paid off!
    dreaming-n-color.blogspot.com

  10. Meghan February 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    WOW. Amazing! What a great idea! I have been wanting to put something on a big wall in my kitchen, and this would be perfect! Thanks for the inspiration! great job!

    SimplyStoked.blogspot.com

  11. Katie February 22, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    this is amazing. it is definitely getting me inspired–i cannot believe you glued all of those beans on..its just awesome! wonderful wonderful job..i hope this piece makes you smile EVERY time you look at it!

  12. Lauren February 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    That piece is amazing! You did such a wonderful job :)

  13. Lauren @ YoungNester February 23, 2011 at 3:40 am #

    This is crazy amazing! And so cheap! LOVE it and can’t WAIT to try! I would love for you to link up to my Ten Buck Tuesday link party!

    http://www.youngnester.blogspot.com

  14. Jana February 23, 2011 at 3:58 am #

    This is absolutely amazing. Thanks for linking up over at Giggles, Glitz & Glam!

  15. Lex-a-roo February 23, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    wow, that is very impressive.

  16. Lani K February 23, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    This is wonderful! I think it looks like great fun and seems it might make a fantastic 4H project. Thanks for resurfacing this vintage folk art!

  17. Susan @ Living with Punks February 23, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    I love this! I have been doing lots of different wall art too, but this takes the cake :)

  18. the cape on the corner February 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    that is ridiculously amazing! i love the colors and the pattern-you would never know!

  19. CountryBelle February 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Wow! That is such a neat idea. Great payoff in the end after all that work though!

  20. Carmie of the Single Nester February 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    You did a great job and well worth the 11 hours. Did you spray the bean artwork at the end with some kind of sealant or something?

  21. Let'sMakeADifference February 25, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    Truly amazing!!! I’m going to try it!!! So,So cute!!! I’m blog hopping and found your blog. I’m following. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back! Have a great weekend!

  22. lauren@WESTFURNITUREREVIVAL February 26, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    the picture is beautiful. i can tell it took alot of work and it think it was worth it too. it turned out beautiful

  23. Emily Love February 28, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    Wow! Here’s another project to go on my to-do list!

  24. Emily Love February 28, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    Wow! Here’s another project to go on my to-do list!

  25. Kristen Duke Photography February 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    LOVE this idea!!!

  26. Susan February 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    I loved this project, it definitely got my vote! Thanks for posting the tutorial.

  27. Shay March 1, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    I know this might be a dumb question but did you put the glass back in? It looks really great! I am doing this!

  28. Jen March 1, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Are you KIDDING me??? You are amAZING!!! =)

  29. Jennilyn March 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    40 years ago my mom made a bean art owl in a RS mtg (way before “Homemaking” was disbanded as mtg name). I remember watching her patiently gluing on white beans and kidney beans onto a huge owl shape board. I love the earthiness, the texture, and the super colors of your piece. Great job! And thanks for the paint-it-first tip.

  30. I absolutely LOVE this. Great job. I love how this turned out. The texture is awesome, and so is the color variation.

  31. celeste April 9, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    I made a bean mosaic piece a few years ago and glued it on a cardboard but it began to warp with time. I thought if I ever do another one it would have to be a thicker backing. What did you use? It is beautiful!! Anyways, mine ended up in my shed/art studio only to be eaten by wildlife during the winter!!haha

  32. Laurie@The Baking Bookworm May 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful! I love it!

  33. Caralee June 9, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a kitchen art idea and I think I just found it. Love it! I want to try it with a picture of some silverware of some kind. I’m going to feature this on my blog and then use it for inspiration to get started on a project. Thanks!

    http://www.caraleecrafts.blogspot.com

  34. Elizabeth July 20, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    My compliments.. really nice. I like this very much.

    Vanuit Nederland een hartelijke groet. Ik vind het geweldig.. ook een mooie afbeelding.

    Elizabeth

  35. Ellana October 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    HI, loved your artwork! It’s beautiful!!! Since I also do similar pieces, I wanted to ask you about green peas. I found that with time they change color and turn yellow. Did that happen to you? Also, I switched to green mung beans for that reason. Good luck with your future projects!

  36. Segmation November 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    What beautiful art! Love it!

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    [...] Read more about the step-by-step process of making bean art at http://just-between-friends.com/2011/02/bean-art-tutorial.html. [...]

  2. How To Create Bean Art: A Tutorial - April 2, 2013

    [...] Read more about the step-by-step process of making bean art at http://just-between-friends.com/2011/02/bean-art-tutorial.html. [...]

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