Monday, 30 March 2015

Quick DIY Tutorial for Those Who Aren't Particularly Crafty

I just wanted to quickly pop this up here, as I know some may find it helpful. I've started work on my nursery and, being of little money (and I mean very little), I decided to do everything on a budget. Which mostly means I get to make a mess and pretend I'm oh-so-crafty. Thus, I have painted the walls to match a theme which I hope isn't too girly or overly 'neutral' (which mostly means yellows and greys, apparently).

You'll need:
Some paint brushes (I picked up a set of 5 from eBay for £1.49)
Pencil (and sharpener)
Brown paint (if you have an eye for detail you may like to get a few shades)
Green paint (as above)
Colours to match whatever theme your going for
Mayyybe some decals, to finish it off (mine were roughly £2 for a sheet of 30 butterflies, and I bought two lots of different colours, on eBay)

Step 1

Make sure your walls are clean and well-prepped.
If you have recently painted, wait for the walls to be thoroughly dry before making your move (I live in the UK, so it'll generally take roughly 2-3 weeks, usually).
If you aren't painting, or haven't painted recently, grab some sugar scrub from a DIY store, or online (roughly £2-£5 depending on where you go). This will help get rid of dust and general rubbish that may have built up on your walls over time- which is brilliant for sating that nesting appetite- and will help the mural your painting last longer. Always follow the instruction given on the bottle and keep the room well-ventilated!

Step 2
Grab your pencil and start drawing the outline- the easiest way I found was to move in one direction in a smooth motion. If you make a mistake, just go back to where the mistake started and continue as if nothing happened- you can erase mistakes later with either paint or an eraser so don't worry about them now.
Your tree will most likely differ depending on your drawing style. My particular drawing style is something I like to call 'clunky' (which is a nice way of sayin 'sh*t') and, if I had the intelligence to think ahead, I would have taken a picture at this point- but your general aim is for something along the lines of this:

Step 3:
Fill in your lovely outline with your brown paint (or paints, if you like to add the knots and boughs that trees naturally have- shockingly, I didn't) so it looks like the one above.
Now, let's all agree that the one above does look a little too Halloween-esque for a babies room at this moment in time. I was thinking about filling in that little hole with a darker brown/black and popping an owl in there but was concerned I might damage my child for life, so opted out.

Step 4:
Add your leaves! The easiest way to paint leaves (in my opinion) is to do two quick, short strokes of your brush, from the top of your leaf, outwards slightly and meeting at the bottom, in the middle. Don't worry if yours turn out a little fatter or longer than mine. I like to think of this as being something you have created organically for yourself and your kid- rather than see these as mistakes (because for some reason we always desperately strive for perfection), I like to think of these as 'adding personality'. Because sometimes I need to find a better way to describe my problems, or I'd go mental.
Your tree trunk + leaves should look something along the lines of this:

Awwwwww. Much prettier.

Now add a little grass to the bottom of your tree by doing short, sharp upstrokes with your green, around the base of your tree, so it doesn't look like it has popped up out of nowhere.

Step 4:
Go a little mental with your chosen colours and draw some purdy flowers to match your theme. My curtains and general decor is blue and purple, so I went along those lines. I also drew the very simple-looking daisy-shaped flowers, because I'm just terrible at drawing things in too much detail.

Step 5 (Optional):

Add your decals. These are brilliant little removable stickers that you can reapply until you decide what's 'just right' with you and they are wonderfully cheap. I'm going to be getting some other woodland creatures to add, as well. Y'know, foxes and other cute little buggers to look like they're playing around my tree but if you have a simpler theme, then your finished product should look something along the lines of this:

Step 6:

Stand back and let people admire how brilliant and talented you are. Yes, that's right. Look at how crafty you are. You're clearly going to be a brilliant mum.