Instructables

Paint a Mural in a Child's Nursery

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My wife and I are expecting a girl. She found a giraffe mural in a magazine that we decided to try. It turned out pretty good. This instructable documents how we did it. It requires what some might call basic art skills like tracing and painting in the lines. Supplies:

Picture of image to be painted on wall
Overhead transparency
Marker
Lamp
Carboard box
Tape
Colored chalk
Paint
Paint brush 1.5 or 2 inches wide
Small paint brushes - the artsy kind
Wall (duh)
 
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Step 1: Choose Image

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My wife found this picture in a catalog. The photo is a picture of the catalog.

Step 2: Trace Image

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Trace your chosen image onto an overhead transparency.

Step 3: Projection

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I made a makeshift projector using a box, a lamp and some tape. Project the transparency onto the wall. I found that using a light bulb without the "frosting" on the inside made for a clearer picture.

Step 4: Trace Projection

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Trace the projected image on the wall with chalk. I used pink chalk since white chalk didn't show up at all and the color I wanted to paint was pink. You can barely see the pink chalk in the attached photo. Looking at the photo I realize you can't see it all all. Take my word for it, there's a chalk outline of the mural.

Step 5: Paint

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Now that that the picture is drawn on the wall in chalk, paint. Just don't go outside the lines. This is the hard part. It takes a steady hand and patience. When doing touch ups I found these two things made a world of difference: 1) Solid lines with smooth edges and 2) A solid coat that does not allow the background color through.

Step 6: Finish

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Finish painting and when the paint dries, wipe the wall down lightly with a clean rag. This will remove the chalk left behind from before. Now step back and marvel at your artistry.
Kbm1231 year ago
I am trying this right now and cannot get the image to show on the wall
sleeder2 years ago
Any good tips to make transparencies???
You can take any image to one of the office supply chain stores or a copy shop and they will make one for you. Its fairly inexpensive.. If you want just outlines, then as far as I know, you'll have to make that yourself as suggested.
TIP: Depending on what you are looking for, GOOGLE your image, look for "cutouts" or "color pages" print them out, you can copy/paste multiple images on one sheet of paper to make your transparencies. Nine times out of ten, you can find just the outlined images.... :)
When I would prepare the nursery at church for VBS or "just because" I would always make my transparencies. I would copy my images to regular copy paper, then I would take my blank transparencies, run them through my copier like I would the paper....PERFECT transparencies every time, no need to trace or strive for perfection. One year the theme was about "Underwater" and being that I had 4-5 year olds, I needed to bring it down to their level which ended up with "Nemo" I have to say, the kids and I were thrilled with the finished product and I had many many compliments.... :)
** I would like to stress using the thicker transparencies rather than the thin ones. The thinner ones will come out somewhat "melted" making the image blurred. Its worth investing extra pennies....! Also make sure you use the right side, but if you don't, they still work....!
jscott312 years ago
I used a page protector from a binder and drew the image on with permanent marker. Now I just need to find a box....
tmoose2 years ago
For transparencies I would suggest using permanent marker on laminating paper or maybe wax paper? I'm not sure how wax paper would work but I know laminating paper would work well.
zeechan4 years ago
I would have never thought of making a projector like that! Thanks for the idea. Makes it so much easier to trace on the walls to paint now. ;)
Tamdort4 years ago
I like your projector idea,I was thinking to buy on.
thank's
jeff-o5 years ago
Nice work with the projection box! A halogen spotlight would also produce a nice, crisp image. The most useful place to find one is in a halogen desk lamp.