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The Cherry Blossom Nursery

Sunday, March 11, 2012

As promised, I have the first shots of my (mostly) completed cherry blossom tree mural!

Now, there are tons of cherry blossom tree murals and wall decals online to choose from, so after looking at a bunch my friends Ray & Julianne decided they wanted a modern style, like this:


So here's what I ended up doing:

You can purchase the inspiration wall decal from the original artist on Etsy for around a hundred bucks with shipping, (and you should check out the rest of her store regardless; all of her kids' murals are soooo cute), which really isn't a bad price. I just wanted to try my hand at painting a kids' mural myself! When we were faux finishers I did lots of things: stripes, stencils, every finish you can imagine...but I never sketched something free-hand on a wall before this.

To begin we painted the room a very pale pink. Even with high quality paint, it took three coats to cover the dark beige already on the walls. (Blurgh.)

We did all our work over three nights, so most of these process shots will be blurry iPhone pics. Sorry.

Next I used one of the decal photos as a reference while I sketched a tree shape onto the wall using pink sidewalk chalk:


Chalk is great for this, since it wipes off easily and doesn't mess up the paint sheen. (Keep in mine we used satin for the base coat, though. Flat paint wouldn't be so forgiving.)

Next I filled in the trunk with a soft brown paint:

The trunk isn't really that small; that's just a giant paintbrush on the ground.

For the blossoms I found a simple clip-art shape of a five-petaled flower. I printed out three different sizes (I winged it on the sizes), traced them onto clear plastic report-cover sheets (the thick ones, not the flimsy page protectors), and cut those out to form stencils.

From there it was a matter of plotting out the three different sized flowers and filling them in with the two shades of pink we picked out. (We pulled colors from the crib bedding.) I used chalk again to get the flower placement started, and then later John marked some areas with blue tape:

For the stencils I used two tiny foam rollers - one for each shade of pink - and rolled from the edges in to avoid the paint bleeding underneath. I still had to touch up a few with a small brush later, though.

The final touch was adding centers to some of the larger flowers for a little added detail, plus a few buds to some of the branch tips.

Which gave us this!

Taken in daylight so you can finally get an accurate idea of the colors. :)
And here's a close-up of those flower centers:

I used a pencil eraser to make the large center dot, drew the stamen lines out with a small artist's brush, and then tipped each of those with another tiny dot made by dipping the wooden tip of my brush into the paint. It was a little time consuming, but the extra detail really made the flowers pop.

Next I'm working on a coordinating mobile, and we plan to add more painted flowers around the room once we get the furniture placed.

I gotta say: even though I'm not a kid person, I love working on nurseries. I'll take one of these over a boring formal dining room ANY day.

Speaking of which, this room is just across the hall from the Ninja Nursery we did a couple of years ago. I think the occupant approves; Julianne tells me that two-year-old Isaiah actually tried to hug one of the ninjas on his wall the other week. :D

When this nursery is completely done I'll be sure to take more pictures, so look for that in another month or two. (I just got an LED cherry blossom branch to use for a night light. Woot!)

Oh, and if you're looking for a much simpler way to make cherry blossoms, check this out:

Mind: Blown. Check out the full tutorial here. (And thanks to whichever one of you it was who sent me the link last week!)

Posted by Jen at 11:31 PM Labels:

37 comments:

  1. That is ADORABLE! You did a GREAT job!

    That's a room any little girl would love.

    Congrats on such good work.

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  2. I hate you talented, creative people. I hate you, and yet there are so many of you I've loved. You people make my ass twitch.

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  3. Beautiful!! Yours is so much prettier than the online example you put at the top of this entry. Fabulous!!

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  4. HOW AWESOME! I love the pink and may now be inspired to try mural-ing my bedroom.

    I am impressed.

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  5. This is GORGEOUS! I love the idea of using chalk. I painted a mural for my niece nearly 12 years ago, and fought with the pencil marks.
    I am getting ready to paint a flowery creation on canvas, and this gave me some good ideas! Thanks.

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  6. "The trunk isn't really that small; that's just a giant paintbrush on the ground." I about died laughing when I read this. I really did. My first thought was "That's what he said..." Overall, though, I'm a huge fan of cherry blossoms, especially the scent. I think you did a wonderful job. It's not too babyish so it will probably be something she'll like for many years to come. And thanks for the painting tips for stenciling!

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  7. "JEN IS THE NEW DEMIGOD OF CRAFT PAINT"

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  8. I think you did a beautiful job! I'm curious about these ninjas - do you have photos of those?

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  9. Hannah, if you click on the words "Ninja Nursery" in the post it will bring you to the pictures. Enjoy!

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  10. That is a gorgeous mural for the nursery!

    If you guys have kids you're gonna do the nursery in steampunk right? :p

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  11. Ohhhh, it's so pretty! Very well done!!

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  12. *Sigh* I wish I had a friend like you...that is just too adorable and I totally want it...for my own room!!

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  13. Sweet! You are talented. I hope the tree has a long and wonderful life. I would have loved to have something besides boring white walls growing up. *sigh* Regrets. Stupid parents.

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  14. Oh. My. Gorgeous! You did such an amazing job, Jen! Heck, forget nurseries--I want you to come paint that on MY bedroom wall!

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  15. I LOVE this. This is amazing, wonderful. If you're ever in MN, want to paint some of my walls?

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  16. The wall is BEAUTIFUL Jen!! So impressed! I love the colors and the detail in the bigger flowers. Sigh. So dreamy.

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  17. Seriously, you need to come do this in my son's room now. I wanted a tree mural (we actually looked at this store as one possibility) behind my son's crib (in his woodland/gnome themed nursery), but I'm afraid he'd peel it off the wall. :)

    What kind of paint did you use for the mural? Do you think it would cover well over bright blue walls?

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  18. And see, for the pop bottle version, use a two-liter for larger blossoms, and a one liter or 20 ounce or something for smaller ones. :D

    Always love your posts, Jen. Maybe when I have kids I can move closer to you so I can have you paint their nurseries too...

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  19. @ Amber, we used the same kind of paint for the mural as the walls' base coat; it's satin interior Valspar. The brown and darker pink needed two coats, so coverage wasn't fantastic, but that's to be expected, really.

    You could easily use acrylic craft paints instead - the coverage might be a bit worse, but you use so little paint it'd save you some money over buying full paint quarts.

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  20. Incredible. Simply incredible. If I ever have my own little girl...

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  21. Depending on the size and scope of the project, most hardware stores offer "sample sized" cans of paint (I think it's about one cup?), and that might be just enough without having too much leftover, as you might have with quart sized cans. Just a thought.

    Oh, and great work Jen! I got annoyed just reading about having to paint three coats.

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  22. Oh my! You clearly had nothing to worry about with your cherry blossom painting skills! It turned out AH-MAZING!! The center detail really gives it character. :) Reminds me so much of the cherry blossoms in DC... that is going to be one tranquil and beautiful nursery - the LED blossom branch is genius!

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  23. OK, seriously. PLEASE do NOT EVER doubt your talent AGAIN. EVER. You are the maven.

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  24. I all have to say is wow! I wish I could do something like that in my girl's room. But we rent and I don't think they would like that too much :) You did an awesome job!

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  25. Wonderful! Well done! More pics please!

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  26. That's beautiful! And thanks for the mini-project idea so we can all enjoy a few blossoms of our own at home.

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  27. It kinda reminds me of She Silverstein's "The Giving Tree"! It will give that blessed baby girls many years of enjoyment!

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  28. ...ohmygod.

    My house is incomplete without trees on the walls.


    CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

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  29. It turned out so beautiful! What a lucky little girl! :)

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  30. That's amazing. I really need to add a couple of wall murals to my life somewhere. My mom might be upset if I start painting on her walls though.

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  31. I love it - you did a great job! It is always so much more fun to paint things directly on the wall than just using decals!

    I've had a ton of fun since my husband let me paint whatever I wanted on our walls (something my dad never trusted me with when I was a kid)! The chalk is a great idea! I usually use a pencil and an overhead projector to transfer my designs to the wall. Then I just paint over all my pencil marks - I will have to keep chalk in mind for next time.

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  32. The USPS just released cherry blossom stamps- that would be cool if birth announcements are going to be sent out! Plus they tend to have matching accessories at their website- notebooks and scrapbooks and such. There might be the items needed to make a cute matching baby book there. Just a thought...

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  33. Wow... so pretty..sure Im gonna try doing it :)

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