October 22, 2012

Too Much DIY Art for One Post.. But We’ll Do It Anyway

We’ve been updating Zoey’s big girl room bit by bit, but the past few weeks we’ve knocked out several major to-do’s that we can’t wait to share! Some of those updates being a new (and mostly DIY’ed) art wall, repurposing her closet, painting her existing chest of drawers, and rearranging her room layout. Today we’re focussing on the art wall! The rest will come throughout the remainder of this week and the following!

One of our favorite elements in Zoey’s nursery was her DIYed wall of fabric-filled frames, so we knew we had to do something special for her new room as well. We loved that her room was once filled with primarily handmade pieces, as opposed to store bought, so we started by making a few of our own. And by we, I mean I made the art and Ricky hung it on the wall 😉

I can’t take credit for most of these ideas, as Pinterest played a HUGE role in inspiring me. For example, the 3-D butterfly collection, the miniature pink animal heads, and the string heart. However, I did modify each a bit to my own personal taste, so they’re unique in that way!

Lets’s walk through them each one by one.

1. Yellow String Heart on Canvas – Aka, my favorite. I love hearts. Zoey loves hearts. And it’s yellow. Triple points. This was a super easy piece to make. With just these few simple materials:

– A few feet of string in the color of your choice.

– A pack of sewing pins. I chose yellow to blend with the string, but a contrasting color could be fun too!

– Canvas. Make sure you buy the thicker ones. Maybe an inch and a half or so, to allow enough room for the pins to stick through without hitting the wall behind.

Once you have all your supplies, you can begin tracing the desired shape onto the canvas. I just did a quick sketch of mine on paper first, doesn’t have to be perfect, and cut it out. Make sure to make light pencil marks that can easily be disguised or erased later. After your shape is in place, begin inserting the pins at equal distances apart until they outline the shape entirely. Then go crazy with the string! I’ve seen simple outlines that look great, but I decided to cover the inside of the heart with random lines of string as well. This would also be great for kid’s initials! We love the canvas approach, as it’s a little less permanent than the nails into the wall approach we’ve seen.

2. Educational Moon Print – Zoey is obsessed with the moon right now. As soon as it’s dark outside – she’s up against the window moon searching. Playing with playdoh – making moons. Any circle shape to be seen – “Mommy! Moon!” Needless to say, she LOVES this print. Added bonus, the moon is surrounded by random moon related facts! Plus, you can print your very own free version right here!

3. Spray Painted Animal Heads – Sounds a little creepy at first, and to be honest, we did feel a bit awkward as we were cutting mini animals in half with a giant knife (be careful with this step!). But, totally worth it. We first saw this idea over at Harper’s Happenings, and I knew immediately that I wanted to incorporate it into Zoey’s room. We opted to go the pink route (Krylon’s Watermelon Spray Paint in Gloss) and we’re really digging how the color pops off the bright white background. We adhered the animals (found at Michaels for a few bucks) to a piece of cardstock using a few drops of krazy glue. Doesn’t get easier than that. I think I like this one more than Zoey.

4. Fabric-Backed Letter “Z” – The name really describes all there is to this one. We had a similar fabric letter in her previous room and wanted to carry that over into this room, just with a new fabric. I used a piece of card stock cut to size, traced and cut out my letter, and then lined the back with fabric. We went with the same fabric used for Zoey’s pillow case, and one that we hope to incorporate into a few more areas around the room as well. Loving how everything ties into it!

5. Zinc Letter “Z” – An original piece that we’d used previously in Zoey’s nursery. This guy was picked up a few years ago from Anthropologie.

6. Leftover Paint Chip Art – An easy way to bring a pop of color into any room. We used a few leftover paint chips, cut down to eliminate the text, and secured them with a few pieces of double stick tape. The frame’s glass holds everything in place and keeps the pieces from sticking out. Love how you can customize “artworks” like these to any color combination you desire. We went with a pretty random approach, using an array of colors, but I think a more monochromatic choice would be pretty too! Maybe a few shades of green, from light to dark. Even an ombre effect! Lots of options with this one.

7. 3-D Butterfly Collection – Zoey is a bugaholic. She’s crazy for any insect that can crawl, fly, or jump. “Buh-uh-fiiiies!” included. I first came across something similar at this Etsy shop. I love, love, love the detail that went into the piece, and wanted to make something along the same lines. I chose to do a much smaller version, using the same paint chips from the previous art, and a in a butterfly pattern. I picked up butterfly punch from Michaels, a little pricey, but with a 50% coupon, totally doable. And worth the time I saved by not having to cut out each individual butterfly shape. I folded them in half to help them pop off the paper, a little glue, and instant butterfly art!

8. Colorful Zebra Art – Or as Ricky refers to it, the zebra with two legs. A print found through Society 6 that Zoey and I will love on, regardless of how many legs he has 🙂

So, that was quite the breakdown for one post, but I didn’t want to keep my lovely readers waiting when I have a gazillion (technical term) projects to share with you! Yes, you can blame that on my quick absence last week. We were busy wrapping up a few projects before our visitors showed up… what visitors you ask? Oh, just John & Sherry from Young House Love. No big.

Oh wait, yes, that is a big deal. Dude, these two are awesome. We had so much fun spending Friday evening with them, and even had the pleasure of spending an hour sitting in traffic (ha!) as we waited to bring them home for some house crashing,! Whoop, whoop! Annnnd, we picked up a copy of their new book on Saturday before attending an author session, where they gave some great tips and advice for DIYers! Love these guys and looking forward to seeing the crash!

How about you? Anyone getting into some DIY art lately? Maybe a different approach on one of these Pinterest finds? Any other YHL Cincy fans drop by Books on the Banks? We’re hoping we weren’t the only ones totally giddy over meeting them!


22 thoughts on “Too Much DIY Art for One Post.. But We’ll Do It Anyway

  1. Megan

    So jealous that you got to meet them already – I am going to their book signing on Nov 14th in Minneapolis! And I love all the art – it helps that my daughter is named Zoey too!

  2. Shift Ctrl Art

    Love all these art ideas. Did you see the “dreams” nail art at Pinterest as well? Love that. I have that one on my list. Love the animal one. You could do one with the left over’s as well. That would be really funny… Maybe for the powder room… ?

  3. Erin Fay

    I had to miss them while they were here in Cincinnati this last weekend!! I was so mad 🙁 I have really enjoyed your blog since your move… Can’t wait to see the house crash!!

  4. Alana

    These ideas are so cute! I wondered if you would be at the Book Festival on Saturday (considering I found you via YHL). I geeked out upon seeing them and laughed louder than I probably should have at most of the jokes. Looking forward to the crash!

  5. Jamie

    Oh man. I so wish I’d been able to get up to Cincy to meet them (I live in Louisville)! I’m so looking forward to the house crash and getting their book in the mail.

  6. Terra

    Any information on the frames you are using here? They are just perfect. I found you through YHL and have had fun looking at your newest updates. Love your house – Love your style – esp. that pallet wall. Lurve 🙂
    Have a great day!

    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Ohh, should have included that! Most of the frames shown are from Target and Ikea. Thanks for the comment 🙂


  7. Lauren

    Hi there – such cute ideas! I’m making the string art and the painted plastic animals for my nephews for Christmas. The string project is in full swing but I can’t seem to get the pins to stay solid enough to pull the string tight enough to make a shape. Is there a secret? Are your pins pushed all the way in to the canvas? I’m using standard sewing pins with a standard pin head not the ones with a ball on the end. Any advice would be most welcome!! Thank you!!


    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Hi Lauren!

      Great ideas for Christmas presents! As far as the pins go, it definitely took a little patience to get the string to stay in place since the pins continued to move around. If you’re looking for something a bit more stable, maybe try placing a piece of foam block, trimmed to size, behind the canvas to grasp the pins when they come through? Hope that helps!


      1. thisnewmama

        I just wanted to say I love all of your DIY art and am working on my own string art for my daughter’s nursery. I ran into the “wiggly needle” problem also and decided to place a blob of hot glue using a glue gun on the back of the canvas around each needle to hold them in place. So far it’s working like a charm!

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  9. Grace


    Love all the adorable diy art!
    Silly question, but for the butterfly and animal heads pieces, did you enclose them in thin shadow boxes?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Thanks Grace! The butterfly art is enclosed in a shadow box-type frame (Ikea, I believe), however, the animal heads are just on a regular frame, minus the glass front.

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