Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY Nursery Wall Art

If you've been following this blog, or my pregnancy blog, you know we're expecting a little boy in October.  Now, I love to decorate in general but I REALLY love to decorate nurseries and kids rooms.  I went all out with my daughter's nursery, and I am slowly making her "big girl" room amazing as well, and I have some great ideas for our little boys room.  I've decided to go with a car theme because my husband is a mechanic and LOVES cars, so I figured we'd just assume are little man will too.  I like my nurseries/kid rooms to look young but I don't like them to look "babyish".  I prefer to make a room that a toddler will really like, and if I'm lucky maybe an older kid too. I will be posting several DIY's and product reviews as I decorate the nursery and then I will do an entire post showing the room in it's entity with links to each individual DIY and review for you all to reference!

I like to have some sort of decoration above the crib. I feel like that space if very underutilized but can really look amazing. I understand it can be a safety issue in an earthquake prone state like California, where we live. But if you secure your decorations well it won't be a risk to your little one and will really stand out because it's not that common.  My original inspiration for this project came from pintrest, however these weren't the type of cars I was looking for and I didn't really want to pay $100 for them. So I decided I'd make exactly what I wanted!!! I had to play with everything a little, so I figured I'd make a tutorial for anyone else looking to do a similar thing in their kiddos room...happy crafting!


Please excuse the picture, it was a hot day and my daughter was swimming so I did some of this outside.

1) Canvases: I used nine 8X10 canvases for my project
2) Paint: I used grey because that was the color wall I was going to hang the on
3) Mod Podge
4) Paint brush
5) Pictures: These can be actually photos or paper print outs, I used paper printouts.

Step 1: Paint your canvases. You want to completely cover the canvas, top and sides. You may need to do two coats depending on the color and type of paint used. I used the basic acrylic paint found at and I only needed to do a single coat.

Step 2: Print out your pictures. This is only if you are doing paper pictures. I chose to do the paper pictures because I wanted to make them as study as possible, so I decided to print them out on cardstock paper so it would be very thick.  I wanted old muscle cars so I just did a google search for my husband's favorite muscle cars.  This took a while, and printing was a bit of a pain (see picture below)

I have a Mac and for me, it was a little difficult figuring out the sizing for the pictures to get the car to completely fit on the canvas and maximize space.  What I ended up doing was I went under paper size and selected 8 X 10, there was an 8 X 10 with boarder option but I didn't want the car to be too small. Then I changed the orientation to landscape because I wanted my canvases to be horizontal. Finally, I moved the scale to "scale to fit" and selected "fit entire paper" this made the car fit the entire paper and canvas without getting cut off. Use the preview box at the side so you can see what will get printed. There were some that I had to move back to "scale" but because I moved to scale to fit first the ratio was a little larger and it fit better than the original.

All my pretty pictures!
Step 3:  Next you want to measure out your picture based on the size of your canvas.  The picture paper was bigger than my 8 X 10 canvas, so what I did is I laid my picture on top of the canvas and centered the car on the canvas.  Once I got the picture exactly where I wanted it, I made tick marks at each corner. I then laid the canvas on top of the picture making sure to line up the tick marks with the corners and then traced around the entire canvas. This gave me a perfect outline of the size of my canvas.

Step 4: Cut the outline. This is pretty self explanatory, just make sure you cut all of the line, you don't want any ink left on your picture.

Step 5: Now you will need your wonderful MOD PODGE .  You will cover the entire top of your canvas with a generous layer of mod podge. You want to move quickly because this stuff dries FAST. Once the mod podge is on, place your picture on top of the canvas and press down. I used a brayer to even press down the picture and get all the air bubbles out.

If the paper begins to come up a little (I had this on some of the ends where I didn't put enough mod podge) just add a generous layer of the mod podge and use the brayer to press down. You can also use your palm/thumbs to press the paper down. Just don't forget to wipe the sides of the canvas to make sure all of the extra mod podge is gone.

Step 6: Now you want to press your canvas. This will make sure that the picture fully adheres to the canvas while the pod modge is drying.  This is really simple to do, all you need is a couple heavy books. What I did is when I was done putting the picture on the canvas I placed the it to the side with the book on top of it.  I then did the entire process again with another picture, by the time I was ready to press my new picture the old one had dried and adhered to the canvas, SO EASY.

Step 7 (optional): If you would like your pictures to have a little bit of a shine to them you can put a layer (not too thick) of mod podge directly onto the picture and let dry. The mod podge dries clear but will leave a slight sheen on the picture.  If you would like a stronger gloss there is a Mod Podge Gloss you can use. I chose not to do this, because I thought the matte finish of the paper looked more "boyish".

Step 8:  Hang your new beautiful DIY canvas pictures!! Here are mine:
Yes, I know the Camaro in the middle is not an old muscle car, but my hubby drives this year and of course it had to be in the center!

Well, I hope this tutorial was helpful. Feel free to comment with any suggestions, questions, or improvements I could do. Also, any cute nursery ideas you've done...I love hearing other creative ideas!  Keep checking in for more awesome nursery tutorials and then the eventual NURSERY REVEAL!

If you are a new or soon to be mommy, please feel free to check out my posts on the best and worst baby products.  I have tried all of these and I give very honest opinions. Hope it helps!!

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