We were matched with our baby girl in mid-September and when it came to putting a room together for her, I knew I wanted to do something fun and special. And in my mind "fun" and "special" meant wallpapering one wall. Well...we ran into a couple of issues when it came to finding the exact wallpaper we wanted (too expensive, too cutesy, not available, etc), so at the urging of my dear husband...I designed my own pattern and set about making my own paperless wallpaper (as seen in this book)...
Step one: Choose the perfect color scheme (I like Behr paint from Home Depot).
For all of the walls (except the focal wall), I used "Fresh Day" in semi-gloss, and for the focal wall I used "Vintage Linen" in flat. The other colors, in the order below: "Retro Avocado", "Solar Fusion", "Spring Stream", "Dragon Fly", and "California Dreaming". Not pictured but used, is the brown: Ralph Lauren's "Crosby". These colors make me ridiculously happy.
Step 2: Create stencils:
I made two of each thing I needed: the tree shapes, the trunks, the bird (right and left facing) and the squirrel (right and left facing). I used .005mm Mylar sheets, cut down to 8.5" x 11". I traced the shapes onto the mylar, applied some adhesive, then cut them out with an exacto knife.
Step 3: tape off the wall.
I used a laser level that sticks on the wall to get the straight lines. And...I admit that I completely lucked out on the spacing. The shapes I created were just the right size that I was able to get a full 12 rows up without cutting the tops or bottoms off of the design. Total fluke. I didn't do any maths or anything.
Step 4...should read: "Apply stencil to wall and using a stencil brush, quickly and efficiently stencil shapes onto the wall for a perfect crisp image."
Step 4 instead is...throw all of your preconceived ideas of how you're going to do this and how long it's going to take out the window.
That's right. I forgot one crucial thing in my planning...our walls are really textured. And stencils don't work on really textured walls. I found this out when I did the first set of tree shapes and the paint...bled...everywhere. Not neat and tidy and crisp at all. And being the insane perfectionist that I tend to be, I knew I couldn't continue with it unless I committed myself to making it the best I possibly could.
This is where you all are going to think me a bit crazy.
So...Step 4: Commit to painting each tree shape, each trunk, each squirrel and bird...by hand. Yup. I did. I still used my stencil, but only as an outline. I outlined the shapes in pencil on the wall, then proceeded to paint by hand, which leads to...
Step 5: Choose your tools.
These are the 5 tools I used to paint the entire wall. A number 3 round brush, a number 4 round brush, a number 8 round brush, a flat brush...and a pencil.
The final result:
So. How long did it take me all told? Well...I worked a solid 7 days...10 to 12 hours a day. But you know what? I really do think it was worth it. I enjoyed doing it. And I'm really happy that I committed to doing it as best as I could.
Of course, this does mean that we can never move. And that Emilia will have to live with us the rest of her life.
Totally worth it.