For all intents and purposes, my maternity leave is over. It’s sad, but true. What’s even more sad but true is that I did not accomplish half of the things on my maternity leave wish-list during that time, namely polishing off nursery updates that resulted from adjusting the room to fit two boys. I did keep a baby alive, though, so that must count for something. Right?
Despite being out of “free time,” I’m still chipping away at my list and this past weekend I finally got around to completing some artwork to hang over the crib.
Before I delve into the how-tos on this masterpiece, let me explain the back story. Back when this was just a room for one baby boy, this wall was home to our yellow dresser/changing table, with shelves and hooks hanging above, like this:
Once we moved the dresser into the closet and took the shelves down, we were left with a pretty expansive space to fill. The crib fits the wall perfectly, and the tissue paper poms and star lanterns I added helped fill up a lot of the space, but it needed something more.
The truth is, I needed something to cover up the holes left from the shelves that I didn’t feel like filling! The answer: artwork.
I pondered a gallery wall for a while but then decided on one large-scale piece. Between our fabric-filled embroidery hoops and other wall art, I felt that more small pieces would make it too busy. Of course, some may argue that adding a big colorful alphabet piece might make it too busy. But, to each their own. I liked the idea of the alphabet because it would be educational and decorative all at the same time.
Back in February, I picked up a canvas drop cloth and some acrylic paints at Home Depot. I had no plan other than to make something big with letters. The rest I just figured out as I went.
I started by laying the drop cloth on a table and ironing it. Yes, I ironed right there on the table. I didn’t cut a piece yet, just left it full size to see what happened.
This was the collection of paints that I found at Home Depot for just $2.97. Such a steal!
I started by adding 32 yellow dots with a sponge brush. I made them really rough circles so that nothing looked too perfect. The artist in me was really coming out…kindergarten style.
The yellow was a bit too bold for me so I softened it up and added some dimension by mixing some white paint over the yellow dots. It was starting to look a little funky. But I kept going!
Then I picked my palette of colors. What, you don’t put your acrylic paints on your glass plates? I do.
Since I had 32 circles (four even rows of eight circles), I needed to fill six with something other than letters. I chose to do randomly placed shapes, all painted black. I made sure not to do a circle, since it looks so much like the letter “O.” I didn’t want to confuse the tots, after all.
Once the shapes were in place, I started adding the letters, one color at a time…
…until all the circles were full! I thought for sure I would put a letter in the wrong place since I was doing the letters by color instead of in order, but I got it right.
After I let my masterpiece dry, I trimmed around the edges with pinking shears (so I didn’t have to hem every edge). I finished it off with two wooden dowels, one at the top and one at the bottom. I folded the fabric around the dowels, pinned it in place, removed the dowels to sew the two straight lines, then put the dowels back through.
I forgot to take a close-up picture, but I just used two pieces of orange ribbon attached to either end of the top dowel, tied them in the center and used that to hang the artwork. It was pretty simple. I might need to add something sticky to the back once Lincoln starts standing up and grabbing things, but it should be nice and secure for several months!
As for the letters, I decided to go with all lowercase. Ike knows all of his uppercase letters, so I thought this would be a good chance to practice his lowercase letters, colors and shapes all at once. I found it helps him learn letters when they are different colors. I can ask him to find the purple “b” and he can instantly narrow down the choices based on the color. We’ll see if it works. If not, at least it looks good!
So, what do you think? Is it a little too bright and colorful for your taste? Or is it something you would add to a kid’s room?