Green Eggs and Ham

Filling a large wall can be tricky.  In the boy’s room, there’s a big blank wall.  Well, was.  Before giving it a makeover, I had hung a gallery wall.  Which was fun, but some of those pieces moved above the beds.  That seemed like it would be too many small frames in one space.  For this wall, I wanted something big and fun.


Maybe XXL Wall Letters?  Cute.  Traced shapes filled in?  The boys would have fun doing that.  Toy collection display?  Nah, didn’t want Ev to play with the toys at night.  Simple abstract painting, could be awesome.  Then I stumbled on a Warhol Campbell’s Tomato Soup painting in a teen space and fell hard.

Ultimately, I was most inspired to make an over sized painting of an everyday object.  Rather than a soup can, I asked  the boys to choose their three favorite books.  Both chose Green Eggs and Ham as a favorite, which seemed perfect for their room.  A stop to Michael’s with 40% coupon in hand and I left with a 2 by 4 foot canvas.  The proportions of the book and canvas aren’t the same and I wanted it horizontal, so I chose a section of the book cover to enlarge.  Using the high school art trick, drawing a grid on the image and canvas for points of reference, I (roughly) recreated a few letters, plate, and guy.  Tangent, why doesn’t this guy have a name?!

V helped with some of the painting, filling in large white and orange areas.  Once it dried, we hung it on their wall.  A little higher than I thought looked right, but we lean against this wall when we read books.


The bits of orange in the pillow and lighter orange in the thrift store print tie in nicely.


Again, I think framing out the canvas will finish off the painting.  Even better, this art was affordable, light weight, and the boys chose the content.  Triple threat.  Ha.

What’s your favorite way to fill a large wall?  Do you have a favorite large piece of art?

Summer Playhouse

For me, thrift store art is hit or miss.  Mostly misses with ugly florals, but every once in a while, something great pops up, like this signed two color screen print titled Summer Playhouse:


There was a similar old man print, but I didn’t think I could talk Ben into liking it.


That print is precisely what prompted an art shift in the boys’ freshly revamped room.  I had hung a constellation embroidery set above their bookshelf.


But it felt too top-heavy with the art a good six inches wider than the shelf.  How lucky is it that this $10 print and frame was the same width as the shelf?  Serendipity, people.  Not the John Cusack movie, just a happy accident.


Especially because I had no idea where I would put it when I bought it.  I just knew I liked it.  And had to have it.  The details and colors are great, and it’s a limited edition.  And there are two boys, just like mine.


Now the sky maps flank the window.


One more wall to add art to.  Still haven’t gotten around to de-uglying the little kitchen set.  Whatever, the boys will probably out grow it soon.  Buuuuut, their room is one step closer to being finished.

What rooms have you been working on lately?  Finishing up a project?  Just getting started?

Good Morning

When working on the boys bedroom I got the idea to make speech bubble pillow cases.  Just a quirky, cute little thing.  And because Vincent likes to use two pillows at night, but the throw pillows aren’t soft enough.


I bought navy cases from Wal-Mart, then made a Photoshop template and grabbed our freezer paper.


Using a pencil, I traced my design on the matte side of the paper.


And cut out the letters.


For my design, I wanted to keep the letters and bubble surround navy and fill in with white.


I used a hot iron to adhere the templates to the corner of each pillow.


And filled in with white fabric paint.


A little paint got under the paper, but it wasn’t enough to bother me.


After letting the painted cases dry flat for three days, I turned them inside out to wash and dry.  Good to use, and cute to boot.  If you want to make your own, here’s the design I used.


A little personal touch really can take something plain and turn it into something completely custom.  And it’s so cute to see their heads on the pillows, saying good morning or night.


How ’bout we talk beds.  Specifically the beds Ben and I built for our boys.  You already saw them in action and we’re so happy with them.  At the beginning of the room make over, I threw out the idea of getting Ikea beds.  Sadly, Montana doesn’t have an Ikea.  So we had three options.  One, wait until our next trip to Minnesota.  Two, buy the beds and pay shipping to get them here.  Three, build something.  After crunching the numbers we realized building would be almost the same price as the Ikea bed and slat system.

To make two extra long twin beds we needed:

Three 4 by 4 by eight foot pine posts (we ordered four because we worried about the look.  Good thing we did because one corner was completely gone on one)

Six 2 by 8 by eight foot pine boards

Two 4 by 8 foot OSB sheets

Six 2 by 4 boards

6 inch long screws


We cut four posts at 20 inches long for the footboard and four more at 40 inches to make the headboard.  Then cut four 2 by 8’s to 39 inches to connect the posts together.


Two more 2 by 8 rails at 81 inches make up the sides.


Ben drilled staggered pilot holes in the posts.  The screws go completely through the post and in a few inches of each 2 by 8.


Each rail connects to the inside of each corner post.


To support the matterss Ben cut 2 by 4 boards in half length wise and nailed them into the rails.


Four more 39 inch 2 by 4 pieces go across, resting on the rail supports.


Which holds the OSB in place before putting the matterss on.


Oh, I should mention I sanded all the pieces with 120 grit paper before giving it two coats of Minwax Polycrylic.  Between coats I sanded with 400 grit paper, just to smooth the raised grain.


Now for the headboards.  Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of this because we both had to stretch the upholstery fabric.  Ben cut a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood to 19 by 39 inches, then nailed more cut 2 by 4 strips to all outside edges.  Two by 2 pine would also work.  Then we wrapped a foam matterss pad (cheaper than foam by the yard!) over the front, top and bottom, leaving the sides clear.  Then we stretched the fabric over, stapling to the back under sides of the frame.


Three inch screws from the back into the posts hold the headboards in place.

All the lumber cost $120, another $12 for the fabric, and we already had the screws, foam, and clear coat.  So, basically the same price as the Ikea beds, without hauling or shipping, but these beds are twice as beefy.  They’re extra long twin instead of a normal twin, too.  And took only two days to make.  Can’t say that about some Ikea items.  Ha!

Boy Bedroom Makeover

So, I’m trying something different with this one.  Rather than a play by play of makeover progress, I’m switching it up and starting with the before and after pictures.  This is what the boys’ bedroom looked like before I started:


Sure, we had done some work in there, adding striped curtains, install a new window (the other still has to change), and paint swatches on the walls.  But it was still such a blank slate.


Then I stumbled on the perfect dresser and gave it a makeover and swapped out the flush mount light fixture.


But that’s where progress stopped.  This room makeover really kicked off  by scraping the popcorn texture off and smoothing the ceiling.  While the furniture was out of the room we decided to change the trim (to match the other rooms) and paint.  I stayed close to the mood board, too.


Check out their (nearly) finished room today:


V requested yellow walls and Ev wanted green.  This bold yellowy-green (Anjou Pear by Ben Moore color matched to Glidden) is a great compromise and is still really youthful and fun.  Some original items are in there: the dresser, curtains, and some art, but most everything is new.  A ReStore light fixture for $6.40 (the barn light focused too  much light downward).


Matching custom built pine and upholstered beds replaced the vintage bed and Ev’s crib.


Gray, ivory, and navy bedding helps balance the bright walls.


A new art arrangement fills out the off centered window space.



The boys chose their favorite and I made new movie posters, too.


Fun pillows for a little pattern and color.


Across the room are the constellation canvases with added frames and bookshelf below.


But I’ve got two things I still want to do.  Find or make a large piece of art for this wall:


And get a 4 by 6 or 5 by 7 rug to go between the beds.

What do you think of the changes?  Any suggestions for art?  What are you up to this weekend?