Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tree Mural Tutorial

I was afraid you might ask for this.  Keep in mind that I was quite intimidated by this project and taking pictures of my steps was not one of my strong points through it.  Plus, I consider myself a poor tutorializer.  We’ll see how this goes.

The biggest hurdle was finding the perfect tree.  Believe me.  It was difficult.  What I found when researching other people’s trees is that a lot of them were too flimsy and weren’t nearly substantial enough for the space.  I knew I wanted something very curvy, but also quite expansive.  I think I stupidly deleted my picture of my tree.  That’s what I do.  I delete things I need, and I keep things I don’t.  However, some sites that I swear by are flickr.com and istockphoto.com.  I typed in everything from tree mural to tree silhouette.

I started out by going up to my school and stealing borrowing an overhead projector.  This is essential. If you don’t have access to one, I believe you might be able to rent them from a library or office supply store. IMG_6169

I printed out the picture of my tree and enlarged it on the copy machine.  I honed in on the top part, because I was fairly certain I could handle the trunk.  Plus, I knew my daughter’s bed would hide any imperfections!  I kept pulling back the projector to enlarge the image on the wall until I knew I was happy.

IMG_6168

Once it was in place, I used white chalk to draw the image onto the wall.  It worked like. a. charm.  I simply painted right over the chalk, so I didn’t have to worry about any lines.  One piece of advice, though.  There are several spots where the leaves are fatter than I wanted them to be or the limbs are too thick.  That’s a result of me drawing the line on the outside of the image, and it distorted things a bit.  Not a huge deal, but it drove/drives me nuts.

IMG_6166

Another piece of advice?  Do NOT have your son take a picture of you in a tank top and broadcast it to the world.  It’s not flattering, but it’s a sacrifice I make.IMG_8739

This is the paint I used.  It was $9.99, and I used a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.  The brushes were costlier than I would have liked.  They were maybe $10.00 total.  I know that doesn’t seem like much, but I’m used to .47 cent brushes from Wal Mart!  However, these brushes made the difference.  Also, I watered the paint down just a tad.  It was just a bit too thick for the application, and it was a bit more flexible being watered down.IMG_8741

And finally…a lot of you asked about the color on the walls.  It is Benjamin Moore’s Iced Green.  That’s an odd name since it really is quite blue, but what do I know?  I’m not usually such a messy can keeper.  That is, until my dog jumps up on the counter, knocks the paint can off, and it spills open when it hits the floor.  My hardwood floor, mind you.  Still a little resentful over that one.

IMG_8738

Believe me when I say that I am not a painter.  However, as I got through it, I started to free hand several branches on my own.  If I can do it, anyone can.  Seriously!IMG_8726

Thank you for all your wonderful and encouraging comments!

110 comments:

Abby N Kay Boutique said...

OMG! I love this. I was looking for something to do in my girls room and this is perfect. You did such a great job!

design_aholic said...

I absolutely love this. Probably one of the best posts I've seen in blogland lately. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Rachel said...

My daughter saw me reading this post and told me that she wants her room to look just like this!! :)

Are you sure that tree isn't in your recycle bin on that computer of yours? :) No pressure.......

RedThreadDIY said...

That turned out amazing - great job!!

jociegal said...

WOW. Great job.

Jill said...

Just adorable!

Adventures in Dressmaking said...

Awesome!!! It looks so amazing! I have wanted to do this sort of project since we traced a map of the US on some big craft paper in 5th grade using this method. Wonder if there's a way to do it without the big projector?

Polly@MakeMineBeautiful said...

I think you did a great job on the tutorial. The tree looks great! One question though......are you going to be adding those cute little bird houses?

arkie said...

Your tutorial is fine! Lovely job!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

WOW...that is seriously the most beautiful mural I've ever seen! You did an amazing job. And the color of the walls is to die for, as well! Love it all.

~Amanda

YVETTE said...

OMgosh! So talented! I don;t have the nerve to try something as bold. Well done - you're an inspiration to all! Y

Huse Yo Mama said...

YAY! I'm so glad you posted this!! Can't wait to copy it all! :-) I'll be sure to blog about it and give you credit as well!

RNSANE said...

You are so creative and talented...and wonderful for your willingness to share all this.

Nikki@ Cheap Like a Birdie said...

I LOVE it! Now just to find something I want to paint on the wall... oh and a projector.

Carol said...

OK, I got the answer to my question about overhead projectors. That's what happens when you look at photos and don't read everything a person writes. Sorry about that.

Vanessa said...

It's simply gorgeous! You're so talented!
Love, Vanessa

Terry said...

I love what you've done! The room just comes alive now! Very pretty!

Hopeful Housewife said...

It looks amazing!!!! Thanks for the tutorial!

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

That looks great! Wonderful job!!!

Ashlee said...

that is beyond gorgeous! When I saw the overhead, i thought "SHE STOLE THAT FROM SCHOOL!" lol

Amy O'Connor said...

beau.ti.ful! I love it. I can't wait until I get to start painting my kids rooms. In fact, I'm glad my kids are asleep because they would throw a fit for something like this immediately if they were to see it. You did a great job!

Astrid said...

Absolutely stunning! A truly beautiful room...certainly one to be proud of!

Cheri said...

That is spectacular... I LOVE it. You did a wonderful job. Well you have a back up job just in case you quit teaching. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

swedafrican said...

So beautiful! What a gorgeous idea!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

I'm totally bookmarking this - sooo helpful! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

So sweet! Great job...love the color and the tree.
Heather R.

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Gorgeous! I simply love this! You did an amazing job :)!
Blessings,
Stacey

Julia Feitner said...

I can't tell you how much I love this mural idea!!! I've seen lots of murals that I think are tacky, but yours is FABULOUS! We just recently bought a house, and for the first time my boys have their own separate rooms. I've been struggling with how I want to decorate them - I think you've become my inspiration! If I end up blogging about it (it'll take me 6 months no doubt to get it done the way life seems to work these days), then I'll make sure you see my end result. THANKS SO MUCH for the tutorial. Once again - FABULOUS JOB!!!

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

I think this is extremely beautiful. I love everything about this room, girly but not fru fru.
The color also is amazing also. You did a great job and thank you for sharing it!

Kari @ Ucreate said...

Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial with us!! I LOVE IT!!
I'll definitely be featuring this!

Abbey @ Practically Perfect said...

Amazing!!! Just LOVE it! When I do this it'll look just the same, right?

Bridget said...

So cute! I want to do huge dandelions in my girls room but had no idea how to get the picture on the wall, thanks for sharing!

Care said...

GORGEOUS!! I want to do this for sure!!

Chanin said...

Beautiful! What a fabulous idea!! I may do something like this in my own room!!

Shelly said...

Oh, thank you! I have been wanting to put a tree in my sons room. I am a little intemedated because my MIL paints so well!

Lauren said...

Love this mural! Oh how I wish I had an overhead to help me out! Quite, quite lovely! Cheers to you!

Stacy said...

Again, the room is so beautiful! A few months ago I painted my daughter's room a similar blue color and also have pink and green accessories. I'd love to know what color pink you sprayed her chairs? THanks!

steffany said...

This is beautiful! Such a peaceful bedroom, thanks for sharing.

Aria said...

this is exactly what I wanted to do with my little girl's room! THANK YOU! And beautiful job!

Lynette said...

That is super cute! If only I owned my own walls to paint! :) Someday I will! :)

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

This is so amazing. It actually makes me want to have a baby in order to do this in a nursery.

Wow.... did I just say that? I hope my mom doesn't read this. ;)

Tammy said...

This tree shape is exactly what I'd want! Let us know if you find your tree picture! Did you draw it up yourself or find it online somewhere?

Goings on at the Glenn's said...

very very cute! I love the tree with the wall color with the pink bed. It really looks great together!

Hollis said...

I have been looking for a good projector project. I got an old one and have been waiting for the right inspiration to come along! thanks It is very very cute. Love the colors too

Neisey said...

i love it! that is super cute!! you did a great job painting and on the tutorial. :)

Sarah said...

LOVE the simplicity of the entire room...beautiful (as usual!)

Sarah said...

this is gorgeous!!There are some very average looking ones out there and some way over the top ones but this is simply stunning. Well done.

Nikki said...

Your little girls bedroom is adorable! You are so right about good paint brushes, they really do make a huge difference.

Amanda said...

thank you for sharing that!! it does look pretty easy-but the final product looks AMAZING!! and looks like a magazine pic I tell ya! you should really submit these to a magazine to publish. BH&G does a Creative Home magazine that features stuff like this. great job!!! now im off to "steal" a projector

Cate O'Malley said...

What an awesome project - it looks gorgeous!

Kimba said...

Holy cow! I'm in love! It looks beautiful!

Jen C. said...

Thanks for the step by step! This is a must try and I am feeling so very inspired by you!!

Brooke said...

I love it... now I just have to figure out where I can steal (I mean borrow) a projector.

LOVE IT

Joi said...

Thanks for the tutorial---this room is so perfect!

Kelsi {John, Jake, Georgia} said...

beautiful! can't wait to decorate my girls' room... i'll be using this tutorial. thanks!

laurylaro said...

Absolutely. LOVE. IT!

Anonymous said...

I love it! You did such a good job and the room looks perfect. I've never posted anything online but this is one comment that I couldn't pass up. You've got talent dude. -Andrea D.

leelea said...

This is great!!!!!! Perfect touch to the room!!!!

Jennifer said...

It is *adorable*! You did a fantastic job!!

Emilia Photography said...

This is beautiful. I love it. I was looking for a Wall sticker for my son's room, but I may try to paint something like you did. Thank you!!!

spenceandcass said...

I LOVE it!

Anonymous said...

Hi! could you tell me where you purchased your daughters new bed at?and how much it cost?
dcsm2249@att.net

Thanks,
Vickie

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Love the room, love the tree and am grateful for the woman in the tank top to share it with us :-)

Christmas blessings!

happy go lucky mama said...

I am inspired to paint a tree anywhere in my house. Thank you.

happy go lucky mama said...

I am inspired to paint trees all over my house. Thank you.

jenjen said...

Beautiful! You did a GREAT job. It is so pretty!

XOXO
Jen

Chris said...

Does anyone ever check this? If so, I bought her bed at daybeds.com. It's the "Casey daybed". Thanks!

Sonya said...

Wow, I totally love it! Thanks for sharing the tips.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I am a nurse in a neonatal unit and we want to paint a tree outside of our unit to make it a little less intimidating for families. Each nurse will have her own leaf on the tree. (there are 70 nurses)
I am in charge of this project and have been trying to decide on how to get the look of professional without paying an artist.

THANK YOU!

will email you a pic when we are done (now i just need a projector ugh)

Jeri (jeristine@insightbb.com)

Cheryl said...

I never saw your original post about this, but you did a wonderful job. It looks beautiful!

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

This is incredible, Chris! Kudos!!!
I also scrolled down to see your amazing mantel this year. SO SO lovely!
M.L.

Book Baker said...

OMG! This is lovely. It's so BEAUTIFUL!! Great job!

Mandy said...

Gorgeous! And a little trick of the trade...floating medium added to acrylic paint works wonders! It is in the craft section with the craft paint. You just mix a little with your paint and it makes the paint glide on smoothly. You did such a good job!

dawn said...

okay...that tree is gorgeous. I love it. i want to do it. I don't know where, but I will find a place. i love it!

Karyn said...

Love, love, LOVE your mural. Thank you for sharing the how-to. Blessings!

Grace @ One Craft Girl's Corner said...

It's so beautiful! I would love to do that on my little girl's wall one day. Great idea working the projector! I LOVED my overhead when I used to teach!

Sarah said...

What a fantastic job! Bravo. I need to do this for my youngest boys room, he'd love it.
Thanks for sharing.

Mikael@starter home to dream home said...

SO IN LOVE with this idea!!! I LOVE that blue!! What color is it?? Gotta do this for my daughter's room soon :) Your home is exactly how I want mine.... LOVE IT!

Mikael@starter home to dream home said...

ignore my last question about the paint color- just saw the iced green!! GOING to buy it NOW!

Barb said...

Absolutely gorgeous!!! I'm so proud of you.

Mom

Heidi said...

Turned out awesome!!! Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Adorable and how great that was featured on Ohdeedoh too! This is my first time commenting ...I've been lurking for a while..sorry! You've given me sooo many good ideas.!!!!

Patty

prashant said...

What a fantastic job! Bravo. I need to do this for my youngest boys room

Work from home India

Ellen said...

This is so great! I want to do this in the nursery I am preparing for my new baby.

Are you sure you can't remember where you found your tree? ....it is just perfect and I can't find anything similar! :)

Kristen @ Miss Prissy Paige said...

Wow - this is amazing! Makes me want to paint one today!

Micah and Tawni said...

I have been trying for a couple days to find a similar tree, it just takes a lot of looking! But I found one that was so close on flickr.com and then type in the search box: folk art tree. It's on the ninth page, and the title is: "Folk art square tree with two birds papercutting by VegasLammy"

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the tree by VegasLammy is really close. Here is the link...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vegaslammy/4150080580/

kermiefrg said...

Gorgeous! I love it!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

It's gorgeous! Wow. Thanks so much for sharing the details with us. I'll be linking to this.

Sonia said...

This is amazing..Im gonna do it soon..My husband will grimace alot seeing his favorite dull majenta walls getting smeared by white, but I cant help being in love with it!!

Sonia said...

This is amazing..Im gonna do it soon..My husband will grimace alot seeing his favorite dull majenta walls getting smeared by white, but I cant help being in love with it!!
check my blog@ http://kosmicchai.blogspot.com

katevet said...

that's amazing!

zobars said...

Excellent paint on the wall and even better is the mural. You are pure genius. I loved your project I feel like doing it for my daughter's room.

Tote, Debby, Sammy and Caleb Jimenez said...

Oh.My.Goodness!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! I've been looking for a tree just like this to paint on our bedroom wall. This one is perfect and you're right it's so hard to find a good one! Wish you could find it! =)

Angela said...

To those who are wondering how to do this without a big projector...

Print the transparency and tape it to a card board box with two sides missing. On the opposite side where you tape the transparency, put a bright light (LED flashlight or a lamp without the shade).

Miss Mustard Seed said...

I'm a professional decorative artist and you did a wonderful job! Projectors are awesome for murals. Well done!

dr said...

I think I'm going to have to paint a tree in my living room! I love it! But first - I gotta paint over the pinkish color that came with the house...

Becki said...

That is beautiful :)

Candace@CraftySisters said...

Great job. I love it!

Bethany said...

wow! that is GORGEOUS!!! i totally love it!!!! hmmmm -- i am trying to figure out where i can borrow an overhead! LOL!!! cuz i really NEED to copy this greatness!!!
thanks SO MUCH for sharing!!! ♥♥♥

jenna said...

The mural looks beautiful. What a great idea to use an overhead and trace the tree out. Thanks for the inspiration:)

Corn in My Coffee Pot said...

I love a good ol' reliable overhead projector!

It is a great project. Thanks for sharing.

Angie said...

Love this!!! I just painted my daughters room a similiar color and I showed her this tree! I will be umm... copying.. it for sure!!!!!

Katie said...

I love this! I've been wanting to paint a tree on our living room wall, and have been searching for the "perfect tree"... thanks for the tutorial.... now my husband doesn't think I'm as crazy for wanting to do this! lol...

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Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com said...

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE! :)

I did the same thing in my kitchen back in November.
http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/2009/11/add-character-to-your-kitchen-with.html

AND then I used the same concept just barely for some wall art:
http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/2010/01/tutorial-decorative-wall-art.html

We are MEANT to be friends. Check them out if you want. No pressure whatsoever! :)

I love your blog. I'm in love with your projects.

Melinda said...

The quality of these acrylic paint is awesome did ya know ! I always use it !

Melisa Robinson

knee anatomy

Condo Blues said...

I want to do a mural like this in my living room. My biggest hurdle is finding a projector to rent/beg/borrow.

Roger Whiting said...

This turned out beautiful :) As a tip, I got my projectors on surplus from the local school districts for about $3.50 each. They're goijng out of style with the new LCD projectors, but they still work great for murals! :)

Ennay said...

Love your mural it came out looking like a professional mural or one of those vinyl decals.

I recently attempted a birch tree mural but I used a pencil to draw out the lines. Should have thought about chalk! Anyway, here is a progress post, would love to hear what you think:

http://everything-under-my-sun.blogspot.com/2011/05/diy-tree-mural.html

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