There are many things you can do with a blank one. I usually buy those stretched across a board (cheap, amateur artist’s canvas), but this calls for canvas stretched across a wooden frame and apparently they run pretty cheap (around $3+ per canvas) in art friend too!
First, you need to get a really sharp knife and a cutting board.
The main expense were these two. The knife was about $11 but it come a whole box of blades and takes awhile to get blunt anyway so it’ll probably last me a lifetime, assuming I store it properly and nothing rusts. The cutting board (A3 sized) was surprisingly cheap, at about $7 for a self-healing one, i.e. the cuts join back if you leave it for awhile.
Draw whatever you want to cut on the back of the canvas face down on the cutting board and slice ‘er up. I didn’t take pics of my drawing cause it was really ugly.
It will turn out white.
You can spray paint it any color you want. I chose matte black. The entire can of spray paint cost $6. If i’m ambitious one day I’ll try an ombre type gradient.
All in all, very cheap if you are going to be churning this out by the dozen. After the start-up cost, you’ll really only be paying about $3.50 per canvas. One problem I have with doing this kind of thing is that I don’t know where to keep them. I’ve made more than 5 terrariums by now and three of them are on my living room table :S The two paintings I did are stuck in my room with nowhere to go and no where to be displayed really. I suppose I should frame them. The terrariums I saw in this hipster shop near Dhoby Ghaut MRT (that is not in Plaza Sing) were like $80 a pop and really underwhelming.
I would love to have an artist’s loft/studio in town where people can come in and buy the stuff I make.