Paperless Wallpaper.

12.15.2009

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."

Ha.

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.

8 comments:

Shelley said...

I love how you poured your heart and talents into your baby girl. Not many people on this planet have a whole wall that stands as a testament to their mother's love for them.

You are amazing. I love you.

Yoli said...

I follow your other blog and I just found this one through your post. I love how artists work and I am so happy to see how you created the wall for your sweet girl.

The finger puppets are a great idea. We received our daughter at 19 months and she loved boxes and little papers. Was not interested in any of the toys we brought. I wish I had thought of finger puppets.

on the eastern journey said...

What a neat process. Your hard work has definitely paid off. The wall is incredible!

insaknitty said...

it's true. I think you're crazy. but in a really, really good way. ;) you never cease to amaze me!

Frank said...

I admire your tenacity. Great job. I cant help wondering how an airbrush would have handled the wall texture.

Amy said...

I LOVE this wall. LOVE it! I've been admiring and pondering whether you found wall paper that suits you perfectly or if you painted. I decided it was the former because how could anyone paint anything so perfectly. But you did paint it! Incredible!!!!!!!!!!! Speaking of your blog. I read that you were working on your etsy site? Um... please share? I haven't been able to figure out what you are listed on. Safe travels home!

Jacqui Dodds said...

Wow this is fantastic - you have a lot of patience but it really looks worth it.

Justine said...

I found your blog through Wendy's blog.

That wall is AMAZING!!!!

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