Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nursery Mural: The Reveal!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was planning to paint a tree mural. Well, actually, my mother was supposed to paint it but that didn't pan out. So, instead,  I had to tune into my inner Craft Mom and step up to the (artistic) plate.

As it turns out, painting a mural is fun. And painting a mural of something simple like a tree is even, dare I say it? Easy, peasy. Once I got over my reservations about putting my paint brush on wall, and kept repeating to myself: If it looks like crap, I can always paint over it.

So, here it is; step-by-step (sort of) photos and all. At the end, I'll include links to all the materials I used; you know, in case you decide you'd like to deface your walls too.

First, you need an outline:

I tried a few things and thus, learned a few things about outlining your mural. 1) Don't use pencil. It's easy to erase, but that's just it: you have to spend time erasing it. 2) Don't use blue chalk. It doesn't fully wipe off and I can still see a little of the outline if I squint and lean my head to the side a little.

Next, get started with your painting:

You'll really only need to tape at the bottom where the tree trunk meet the floor board. I didn't tape around the sides of the tree. That's because I wanted an excuse for why it was bumpy I wanted it to look more realistic.

I also use a single color for my tree trunk and branches:
That's because I was too afraid I would screw it up if I tried to get all Pablo Picaso and paint shadows and highlights. Of course, I ended up painting those anyway when I forgot to shake the paint can before applying a second coat. Eh, Happy Accident.

Then it's time to add leaves. Because I (and I really can't stress this enough) I'm not crafty at all, I knew that I couldn't make uniform leaf shapes without a stencil. So, a couple of Whole Foods bags later and Voila! Stencils were born: 
After the first color of leaves, I thought it looked a little too much like Christmas lights:
So I added a second leaf color for contrast:

Then I got really creative and crazy and mixed together a little Mod Podge, water and silver glitter:
 And, I washed the trunk in that Hot Mess. It gave it a super whimsical, fun feeling:
It looks like dandruff in this photo, but trust me- it's cute.
Next came the really fun part; decorating. I saw an idea for 3-D birdhouses at Pottery Barn Kids and thought they would add the perfect touch to Bea's tree. However, they came with a $27 price tag per house and that just wasn't within budget. So, instead I went to Michael's and bought a few $2 and $3 plain wood birdhouses and painted them in vibrant glittery shades with regular ol' craft paint:

And finally, it was time to add the Aviary Inhabitants of Bea's tree. After searching for weeks on Etsy, I found a great set of Owl and Bird wall decals on Amazon for less than $20. It's amazing how expensive those things are!

Anyway, once I got everything adhered to the wall, the mural was complete! Take a look at the final product:

I have to toot my own horn a little on this one. The pictures I took really don't do it justice. I guess everyone will just have to come over and see it in person. Trust me, it looks nice. Beatrice Kate seems to like it as well. Each morning she wakes up saying, "Tree, Bord (bird), Oowwllls" and then laughs and smiles. I guess she could be laughing at my attempts at art, but I'd like to think it's her way of expressing approval.

I really thought by the end of this thing, Bea would have a few paint splotches on the wall and we'd be calling it an "impressionist" tree. But, I think it turned out great and is a unique addition to her currently-underway Nursery Re-do!

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the complete reveal of her Nursery-to-Toddler Room Transformation!
Tree Trunk Paint Color: Purchased at Lowe's; My Color inspired by Pantone Color: Griffin
Leaf Paint Colors: Purchased at Micheal's Craft Store on Clearance; Delta Creative Cermacoat Paints Colors: Village Green (light) and Medium Foliage Green (dark)
Bird House Colors: Purchased at Micheal's Craft Store in Crafting section; FolkArt Extreme Glitter Acrylic Paints Colors: Purple, Fuchsia, Aqua 
Wall Decals: Purchased on Amazon, Lot 26 Studio Add-Here Collection


  1. Cool! You are much braver than I am.

  2. OMG this is amazing!!! You did such a good job!