Sunday, July 28, 2013

Simple Easy DIY Wall Art

This is the reason I love Pinterest, despite the fact that if I see another adorable item unnecessarily placed in a mason jar and decorated with twine, I might lose it. I saw something on there, made a run to Michael's and Staples, and BAM! two days later, my hallway is all jazzed up.

This project is great because while it makes it look like you might actually have some artistic ability, in reality you just have to channel your 3rd grade skills in sticking on stickers and slathering on acrylic paint. Easy peasy.

First, here is the first inspiration, which I saw on Pinterest but traced it to "How About Orange", an adorable blog with tons of ideas that immediately got popped into my rss feed.

I like how simple her version is, but really what I needed was something big for the hallway. I felt like I had seen abstract flowers like that around but had a terrible time figuring out what to call them (for the record, apparently they are dandelions). Then, a google search revealed this piece by PitterPatter Press on etsy. If I hadn't already become bound and determined to make it myself, it would have been a good choice (and, much more delicately done than mine), but that ship had sailed so off I went.

Here is what you need:

--Art tape (surprisingly I found this at Staples and not Michael's- do NOT get some other non-art tape, this stuff was awesome). I got both 1/4 and 1/8 inch tape, so that there would be variability in the stem size.
--Stickers- unlike the tape, I'm clearly agnostic about sticker type. Basically, I wanted some variability in size, but if you get official mailing stickers they come in packets of hundreds, which I just didn't need. Luckily, down the aisle were a variety of other stickers. The smiley faces were surprisingly effective, as were the mailing seals- the price stickers were a little cheap and didn't stick as well
--Paint- I just got regular acrylic paint in a color I wanted. you will also need white paint (I used leftover primer from my dresser).
--canvas- now, I lucked out on this one- 24x30 canvases were on sale ($6 instead of $19!). I wanted mine to be big but just so you know, these really are pretty big!

Now, get going! 

First, you have to paint the canvas with the white paint and let it dry. This is boring because I know you want to get your hands on those stickers, but it's critical because the stickers just really don't stick that well to the plain canvas (I did a test). 

Once that is done and dry (overnight) put the tape and stickers on in a pattern you like- one thing to consider is balancing out the density of the flowers so it doesn't look like one side is weighed down, and also putting in variability in height. When you put the stickers on be sure to really push them down at the edges with your fingernail.

I made two because I have a whole lotta wall. Here is the other one (this picture is awful, sorry).

Next, paint over it all. Honestly it was a lot harder than I would have predicted to get an even coat, it definitely took multiple coats and then I had to go back and redo some spots. Am I some kind of expert painter? no way. Did I manage to successfully slather the whole thing with paint after literally staring at it with a flashlight to find white streaks? yes.

Let that dry (it does not have to be 100% dry). Now is the best part, which is peeling off the stickers. I can't even explain how satisfying this is.

And here you go! these are drying (the one on the right is on the shoebox lid to keep it from sticking to the floor).

Now, up on the wall! I suspect I might have hung them too high, but with my high ceilings it gets kind of confusing where to put things, I'm letting them stay there while I ponder it.

And here they are with my cloth-on-a-frame in the foreground:

Overall, this took a few days all things considered, but I really am happy with how they turned out. One thing I particularly like is how the white pops agains the dark background- it made me really glad I didn't pick a lighter shade of paint. Try it!


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