One of the things I really wanted to add to our baby’s room was hand painted nursery wall art. I decided to paint cute little animals on wood, and I’m sharing the tutorial with you today! You don’t have to be an artist to make these — I’m definitely not. (More info on the printables coming soon too.) To find the animal silhouette photos I used for this art, I just did a Google search for baby animal silhouette clip art. (By the way, you can see the whole nursery here.) My main objective was to create all of the art in the room in order to save big bucks, plus I knew each piece would be much more special if I poured my heart into creating everything myself.
Too funny — when I was trying to go back and find this clip art again to share with you, I came across this post at Lolly Jane. Turns out they made some art using these images too, but used a different method, so be sure to check out their tutorial for another technique! (Great minds think alike, what can I say?)
What I used for this project:
- (2) 1×4 boards at 6′ long
- Minwax Stain in Classic Gray
- RYOBI Sliding Compound Miter Saw (Any saw will do. Or you can have your wood cut for you at Home Depot when you purchase it.)
- Wooden yard sticks or thin scrap wood
- RYOBI Brad Nailer and 1/2″ brad nails
- Wood Glue
- Overhead Projector and Transparency film or stencil/template (I used a projector but you do NOT have to. Simply print out a template and cut it out instead if you don’t own a projector.)
- Pencil or chalk to trace your images
- Artist’s paint brushes
- Acrylic craft paint (I used metallic gold)
- Sanding block/Sandpaper or sander
First, I cut my wood into 9 boards, each 12″ long. I used my miter saw for this, but you can use a hand saw, or ask to have your wood cut to size at The Home Depot when you purchase it. Then, I cut my yardsticks down to 6 pieces at 10″ each. (You will attach these to the back of the boards.)
Next, I sanded the edges of my boards to get rid of splinters and smooth everything out.
I lined up my wood into groups of 3 parallel boards, creating 3 separate “pallets.”
I attached two yard stick pieces to the back of each “pallet” using wood glue and my brad nailer. This keeps all of the boards together.
We stained the pallets with Minwax Classic Gray (two coats). Here’s a tutorial for how to stain wood that you might find helpful. Afterwards, I very lightly went over it with a fine grit sandpaper just to give my acrylic paint a surface to better grab onto.
I printed some animal clip art and traced it with a Sharpie onto a transparency film, and used an old-school overhead projector to transfer my image onto the wood. I lightly traced it with a pencil. You could just print a larger template and trace it onto your wood instead.
I have to say thanks so much to my friend Dena for letting me borrow her overhead projector. This made the job super easy.
I used artist’s paint brushes and metallic gold acrylic paint to trace my pencil line and then painted the silhouette of the animal onto the wood. It took about 3 coats of paint to get good coverage.
You can mount the artwork onto the wall with D-rings, but I chose to use large Command picture hanging strips.
Even if you don’t have a nursery to decorate, this artwork would make a great baby gift! I love handmade gifts, and these are pretty easy to make. Did you create your own art for your nursery, or will you be making these? I’d love to know!
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