May 30, 2011

Nora's Nursery - DIY Custom Mural

I LOVE my daughter's nursery. It turned out exactly as I had planned {which never, ever, ever happens in my life}. It is warm and cozy, shabby chic and a little tropical {think, Bob Marley's Three Little Birds}. Just perfect!

I used Waverly's Small Talk Blackbird Fabric for the base of the nursery design. The design contains birds, leaves and trees and the core colors in the fabric were black, white, gold and grey. Not too girly, kind-of tropical... perfect for my style.

DIY Custom Mural {for non-artistic people like myself}

Step One: Locate Design

I knew I wanted a mural on the wall, but drawing is not a skill I possess. So, I faked it. Using the fabric as a guide, I found a tree design I liked on the web, printed it and traced it onto a clear sheet protecter. 

Step Two: Trace on Wall

On a borrowed overhead projector, I traced the tree outline onto the wall. A laptop and LCD projector would have worked even better because you could skip the whole "trace it onto a clear sheet" part!

Step Three: Create Templates for Small Details

Once I had the tree drawn, I created templates of the leaves, birds and flowers. I simply placed freezer paper over the fabric and traced the items. Then, I traced the template onto a heavier card stock. I randomly placed the templates on the tree and traced them onto the wall. I made some mistakes...okay...lots of mistakes. Thankfully, pencils come with erasers.

Step Four: Paint

Once everything was drawn, paint your mural {don't be scared, it's just paint}. For this mural, I used acrylic paint in white, black and gold. I mixed the white and black to get my grey. I bought 4 ounce bottles of each color and had plenty left over! 

I found it much easier to get the tree and branches painted first, then the leaves, then the birds.  

Step Five: Admire

Step back and admire the mural!  

Because I was 7 months pregnant and still suffering from "morning sickness", this project took me about six weeks.  However, it could EASILY be completed in a weekend by a non-puking person.


  1. Awesome! I have been trying to figure out what to do in Abigail's room. I've been thinking "beach," but all the beach-themed things look very whimsical. I think I'm leaning more toward the "tropical" aspect of the water - brightly colored fish mixed in with some shells, etc... So I may steal your mural idea for her room. :)

  2. Let me just say that I now have a pretty serious case of Nursery Envy. I love Nora's room - you did an amazing job!!