DIY (Dream it Yourself) Nursery Art

I’ve blogged about my mother the artist many times.  Unfortunately, her artistic gene did not get passed on to me.  Give me a blank canvas, paint brush and free reign – and I will cry.  Give me an idea, structure and lines to “color” between and I generally do okay.  That is basically how I did my own art for Kenton’s nursery.

A couple months ago, I pinned this fantastic piece from Etsy on my Pinterest account:

At the time, I said it “might be a MUST for the nursery.”  Well, after that, I could not get it out of my head.  After all, I’d decided on yellow as an accent color in the nursery – and who couldn’t envision singing “You are my SUNNNNNSHINNNE!  My only SUNNNNNSHINNNE!  You make me HAAAAAAPPPYYYY!!!” over and over to a newborn?!  When I went to order it on Etsy – not only was it no longer available (looks like it is now though – if you’re interested!), it came with a pretty hefty pricetag – $125 plus shipping.  So, that’s when my creative wheels started spinning.  I knew I could create something similar – and I knew I could do it for less than $125. Also, while the weathered look was cool, it didn’t exactly fit in with my modern nursery aesthetic… so I was anxious to amend it a bit to fit our space.  What I managed to create isn’t perfect… but ain’t bad either (if-I-do-say-so-myself):

etsy on the left, my version on the right

And here’s how it looks in the nursery…

And here’s how I managed to pull it off…

I started with an 18″x18″ wood canvas that I scored on sale at an art supply store for $12.  My cute hubby got the ball rolling for me and primed it before I had a chance to take a naked canvas picture, so here’s the label:

After one coat of primer, I painted the front side white – using the same paint we used for the dresser/changing table:

I just did one coat.

Then… the letters.  Oh, the letters.  Aren’t they fun?  Yeah, I couldn’t figure out (for the LIFE of me) what font they were – so I just printed the original image and kept blowing it up until the letters were the size I wanted for my creation.  They were a little fuzzy – but clear enough that I would be able to trace them – which I did, on sticker paper:

After making sure the letters fit into the space, I peeled the back off the sticker paper – and tried to get the letters to stick to the surface.  As you can see, I was only somewhat successful:

blame the cheap sticker paper, maybe contact paper would be better?

Not to be dismayed, I pressed on.  I knew if I totally screwed this up – I wasn’t going to be in the hole as much as I was for those DARN curtains!  So, up next, some high-quality spay paint and latex gloves (also a mask because I was still pregnant when I did this).  I went crazy with the spray paint and made sure the entire thing – front & sides – were an even coat of my chosen shade of yellow:

Once it was dry, I peeled off the sticker paper…

Overall, not bad.  However, that cheap sticker paper did cause some issues…

I just used a small paintbrush to touch up those spots.  From a distance, you can’t tell – but don’t get too close!

Here, again, is the completed project:

This was so easy – and cheap!

Wood canvas – $12

Artist’s spray paint – $7 (you could probably use the cheap/regular stuff too – but I needed a very specific color)

Sticker paper – $3

White paint and primer – already had

TOTAL = $22

Not bad for $103 less than the original!

In other news, this email just came in:

Which means the nursery is almost OFFICIALLY done!  Once that canvas arrives and we swap out the lamb painting – I will do a full “post” nursery post.  Can’t wait!

About Michelle Fortin

Michelle Fortin is a follower of Jesus, a wife and a mom. She's also an award winning broadcast journalist and public relations professional. Michelle spent nearly a decade working in television newsrooms across the country, both behind and in front of the camera. Training future broadcast journalists in her faculty associate roles at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and at Arizona Christian University was a cherished focus of her post-TV career. Today, she maintains a roster of public relations clients focused on empowering fellow “momprenuers.” She also serves as a speaker for various women's and mom's events. Michelle received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University and Master of Mass Communication (MMC) from Arizona State University. She and her husband, two young kids and English bulldog call Scottsdale, Arizona, home.

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