Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Made: A tale of two trees

We tried growing trees this weekend.  Not from seeds or seedlings, but using paint, paintbrushes and alot of elbow grease.  I didn't want to hang paintings or pictures above Junior J's bed, in case he should pull them down when he was older and damage them in the process, so I thought a tree mural would fit that particular wall very nicely.  I sounded the hubby out on my idea, and he very nicely went out and bought two tins of paint some time back, and we finally got down to painting the mural on Saturday.  Actually, the man was very skeptical about our painting prowess, and kept going on and on about me having "crazy/silly ideas" and saying that it would take the entire day to paint.  The verdict:  It took us about 3 hours (even with me having to run in and out to feed the boy, and the hubby even took a nap during that period!), and it turned out pretty ok.  At least I thought so... how about you?

I started by drawing the outlines of the trees using coloured chalk, since most of the online tutorials on mural painting recommended that.  Usually, the outlines are traced out either using a grid method or by enlarging the design of interest using a overhead projector, however, I was too lazy (and of course, didn't own an OHP) and just drew the outlines freehand, rubbing out my mistakes using a tissue paper.

We then painted the outlines using emulsion paint, and then filled in the rest with colour after that (the hubby did the brown parts, while I did the green parts).  For the smaller tree, I left the leaves "un-filled" since I liked how it made the tree look different from the other one.  We had proper paintbrushes but those were a little too large to paint the branch tips and leaves, so we ended up using art brushes, which were too soft and made it quite hard to paint solid outlines.  However, the little mistakes and bits of uneven paintwork gave it a more organic appearance, which I think is totally fine since trees are uneven and have knobbly bark anyway!

After the paint dried, I stuck on two little hooks in the shape of owls amidst the branches.  We had purchased these hooks in Taiwan (the Taiwanese seem to really like owls!), and I was just waiting for a suitable place to hang them up!  Now, the owls help me to hold up some cotton twine, which will be a space for displaying Junior J's artwork (the pieces are held up using tiny wooden clothes pegs, which go for S$2 for 40 at Daiso).  I found that the easiest way to ensure that the twine is hung straight would be to stick up one hook and tie one end of the twine to it, and then use a piece of blue tack to affix the other end to the wall.  This way, you can shift and adjust the twine until its level, before sticking up the other hook!  (I'm ok with organic, uneven paintwork, but an unevenly hung line will just drive me nuts!)

So there you have it... two trees, in three hours!

Now Junior J not only can watch the clouds go by, but he can also sit under a tree and read a book, even when there's a thunderstorm outside! :)


  1. What a great idea! This turned out really cute!

  2. Wow!!!! I'm impressed! :D Very nice. I don't think my husband would even trust me to decorate a room like that (That would be 'vandalism'). I think I will stick to hanging quilts and buntings on the walls ;)

  3. Oh wow! They look fabulous! I've always wanted to paint a tree mural, but wondered whether I'm brave enough. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Wonderful painting! Especially like the owl hooks, such great idea :)

  5. What a great idea!
    I´m decorating Lara´s room. I will show it soon.
    I love the trees, they look adorable! and I love the idea of you making them together.

  6. Thanks everyone for all those encouraging comments! :) I'll show them to the hubby so that he'll not be so skeptical the next time I embark on a painting project, heee...

    Yvette, I think you'll paint really nicely seeing how artistic you are! But quilts and buntings are nice too!

    Catherine, you should try it! It's not difficult, and was really fun!

    Kira: Yes, I read about that over at your blog, and am looking forward to seeing her room! Post lots of pictures k?

  7. That's a great way to put up Baby J's creations! Love the trees.



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