Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fly, Baby, Fly! (A DIY Project Post)

I’ve been away for a few days, partially because a certain baby girl has decided sleepin’s for suckahs, and partially because I’ve been working on a little DIY project for Mason’s big boy room. Since I doubt you want to see a picture of what stress can do to a 33 year old woman, I’ve instead decided to make a quick post about the DIY project. Lucky you!

A little over a week ago we began the process of transforming Mace’s bedroom from baby-haven to big-boy-space. Of course, every Big Boy needs new Big Boy decorations, and since I’m too cheap to actually buy any, I was left with the task of making my own. Enter Pinterest

I had pinned this idea from Suzy at the Pennies a Day Decorating blog a while back, and it kept coming to mind whenever I thought of the space above Mason’s bed:
Suzy had made this great piece of art for her son’s bedroom, and after carefully considering the extent of my paper-airplane-making skills I thought “Boom! I’m going to do the same thing!”. The whole project cost me less than $50, and  here’s how I did it:

{disclaimer: I don’t actually know what the hell I’m doing most of the time, so take any instructions given with a grain of salt … and a stiff drink, if you so desire}

(1) Paint one or more canvases with your choice of paint colour. I bought 3 18 x 24 canvases at Michaels when they had them on sale for 60% off (regular $22 each, so about $18 total). With a tester jar of CIL Marigold Blossom paint from Home Depot ($6), I used a small foam roller ($5) to apply 3 coats of paint to each canvas (yes, this colour took three coats. Boo-urns!). No primer, nothing. Not sure if that’ll come back to haunt me, but I like to live dangerously. 
(2) Find a font and word you like, print/cut it out, and trace onto the canvas with a pencil. And no, I don’t normally grip a pencil in the limp-wristed manner that the picture indicates.
(3) Carefully (I said carefully!) fill in the letters with your choice of paint. Initially I used a Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pen ($10), but after numerous coats of white still left it looking splotchy (see picture below) I switched to a white acrylic that was left over from another art project, and painted it by hand with a brush.
(4) Using cardstock or some other slightly-stiff paper, fold airplanes and arrange on canvas however you’d like. Notice that I only folded one of the two wings, since the other side was going to be glued flat to the canvas. This is part genius, part laziness on my end. And see how I added that one blue one? Thats to symbolize Mason, who’s favourite colour is blue. “Fly, little Mason, fly! Spread your wings and leave the riffraff of white planes behind!”. Deep, deep stuff.
(5) Paint dash marks in various patterns to mimic the airplanes’ flights. I again used the Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pen (in white and blue, bold point), and found them to be perfect for this part of the project. The blue didn’t even need to have a second coat.

(6) Glue the airplanes down. I used a few glue dots to do this, and slapped one on the inside of each plane for good measure … don’t want those babies opening up when they’re not supposed to!
*update September 2012: I was an idiot. Do not use glue dots to adhere the planes to the canvas, or you will spend the next months of your life continually picking them up off the ground and having them scare the crap out of your child in the middle of the night by falling on him. Instead, use a glue gun. Glue guns = good. Glue dots = bad* 

Voila! Super-cheap, super cute art!
Thanks again to Suzy at the Pennies a Day Decorating blog for this great idea! What a totally ingenious way to fancy up a kid’s bedroom!

Doesn’t it look ah-ma-zing over Mace’s bed?
Once his room’s finished I’ll do a formal photo tour, so stay tuned! Oh, and I’d just like to plug my recently-created Facebook page … join up, and you’ll be able to stay on top of all my latest posts! See yah there!Photobucket


  1. Thanks, Suzy! Your idea is what started it all!

  2. Love this idea. It's all about the DIY when it comes to kids rooms, I think. Otherwise, the minister of finance (aka my hubby) starts giving me a hard time for breaking the bank at Homesense!

  3. LOVE this! It looks adorable and totally manageable for this novice DIY'er :)

  4. I really love this!
    I might have to start watching a lot of airplane shows with K so I'm "forced" to do something similar.

  5. Just finished this project for my son's room. Thank you so much! It turned out great. Don't see a way to post a pic to show you.


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