making it personal

Our house is full of color.  Between the accent walls of deep red and luxurious purple (in two different rooms), the living room of cool blue and each bedroom with a serene, restful color – it looks like a crayola box threw up.  And, I mean that in the best possible way.  In addition to the colorful walls, both of the girls’ rooms are personalized with a quote that is significant to us as a family.

I love you to the moon & back

Beckett’s is a beautiful pledge to remind her that we will always love her – through thick and thin, through rough tantrums and through hilarious laughter – to the moon and back.

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

Camden’s is a reminder to always have faith in yourself, believe in yourself and remember that you are an amazing you.

Adding these personal touches to their rooms has been a fun project and I love finding words that put together the feelings and thoughts of a parent into beautiful prose.

So, how do you do it?  Oh, it’s a fun project and easy-peasy for any novice.  Plus, it’s cheap, cheap, cheap.  A bit of advice because hindsight is 20/20 – do not attempt this project when you are 8 and 3/4 months pregnant because you will inevitably be perched on a stool with one arm raised for long enough periods of time that all circulation and blood is lost.

Find your quote.  Scour the internet.  Pick up your favorite childrens’ books.  Remember lyrics or verses from your childhood.

Find your wall and figure out the layout and sizing for this “canvas”.

Print out the quote onto regular computer paper, preferably using a laser printer, not inkjet.  Inkjets smudge too much.

Prep your canvas using a laser level or chalkline (we’ve done it both ways, but the laser level is great because it doesn’t wipe off disappear).  Cut the words of the quote out and tape it together so that it’s one complete string of words.  Using your measuring skills, center the quote onto the wall – don’t tape it yet, just mark where the beginning needs to be taped and where the end will be taped.

Purchase a sheet or two of graphite paper.  You can find this at any high-quality art supply store and it runs about $1.50 for a 16″ x 30″ piece.  For Camden’s really long quote, I only needed one and a half sheets.  Cut the graphite paper into strips that are a bit taller than the letters in each word of the quote.

Create a “layer cake” on the wall.  Using your centering guidelines that you have penciled on the wall and your laser level…Tape the graphite paper down with the graphite portion against the wall.  Next tape the quote down on top of the graphite paper.

Use a pencil or other hardtipped writing instrument to color-in/fill-in each letter and punctuation mark of the quote.  You are etching the graphite onto the wall.  My writing utensil of choice is a dull tip pencil – I can see where I have drawn/filled-in and the pencil writes even when it is upside down or at an angle.

Keep chugging along….

Remove all your paper – graphite and the words. On the wall should be a rudimentary outline of the quote.

Let your arms rest a bit – then begin painting.  I have tried paint pens, but have not had much success.  I prefer a decent quality fine tip paintbrush dipped in paint.  I have used leftover wall paint (Beckett’s quote is chocolate brown) or purchased a small bottle of acrylic paint (about $2 at the craft store) for Camden’s quote in black.

After the paint has dried and you can muster up the energy to reach for the wall again, do a bit of touch up.  I use an eraser to take off any bits of graphite that are leftover and do a quick wipe down with a damp rag to remove any fingerprints or other smudges.

And, VOILA!  You are done!

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