We're in love with paint around here and recently decided that my daughter's room needed a tree. All of the instructions I found around the internet suggested the use of an overhead projector. I neither had nor wanted to get a projector, and so this tutorial is to empower you to take your mural into your own hands and paint it without the help of tracing aids!
Step 1: The Outline
First my daughter and I chose a background color and painted two of the walls in her room. There is a little wooden shelf on her wall that I painted over and decided to incorporate into the tree.
I was a little too chicken to put paintbrush to wall without some kind of guide, so my first challenge was to sketch an outline of my tree. Chalk is the best option for this step. Anything can take it off the walls with ease. I suggest using something cloth and something dry. Chalking on wet surfaces gets icky.
Step 2: What Paint to Use?
You can get cheap, small sample paints from the hardware store. One small container completed our tree with ease, and it ended up being a pretty good sized tree!
Step 3: Beginning Painting
I have three children ages 5,3, and 14 months. Time management is always an issue around here and I was concerned that taping the outline would be too time consuming. BUT! Its absolutely necessary if you have textured walls. I pictured the messy branch I started without taping.
Step 4: Taping the Outline
I taped some, then painted some, taped some, then painted some to give myself a sense of accomplishment as I went along.
Incorporating the shelf was slightly more challenging than I'd anticipated. Its hard to get the angles right. Don't be afraid to paint a little then step back to get a good look at your work from a different perspective.
Step 5: Voila!
The best part was pulling the tape off. Even taped the lines bled a bit, but this added texture and a sense of realism to our tree.
Step 6: Adding Leaves
We were very interested in removable leaves as we'd be changing them per the season. I purchased a pack of autumn colored photo mats from the scrapbooking section of the craft store (40% off :-) and sketched a simple leaf template. It had to be easy so that little hands could participate in the cutting.
Step 7: Adhesive Putty
Good ol' Scotch brand removable adhesive putty, the kind you find on school walls, was what we used to stick up the leaves. The kids LOVE pulling the adhesive putty apart, rolling it into little balls and smooshing it onto the walls.
Step 8: The Finished Project
It takes some time to get all of the leaves up, but once they're up they're lovely! We painted a tiny balsa wood bird house and put it on the shelf in the branches. We intend on slowly adding to the tree. There's a rounded space on the right side where a painted fairy house may sit, or a family of owls. We haven't decided quite yet. For Halloween we'll be adding paper ghosts, witches, and jack-o-lanterns to the brances. Then in December we'll take all the leaves down for winter.