Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Project: Flower Panels

As previously mentioned in my clock post, I have been striving to put crap up on the walls of our apartment and since I think wall decorations are overpriced, I have been making mine. I anticipated this post would be up earlier since I anticipated the project not taking months and tears and sore fingers to be completed.

In my old apartment, I made this. Apparently wall decals are one of "the hottest trends in home decorating" but can also be expensive so I researched on how to DIY. Mine is made from tracing and cutting out black contact paper (that stuff you put on the bottom of drawers or kitchen cabinets). It was so cheap and fun and turned out so well that I decided to take on another contact paper mural for my new apartment. This time was a bit more difficult. I found a picture of panel decals (similar to this) and decided to recreate that design.

One of the reasons I decided to post this project is for the benefit of those that might want to try this at home so you can see just how much harder it is to do by hand instead of buying someone's computer guided laser cut decals, even if they are upwards of $100.

 Exhibit A: another sad, blank wall. But look at the pretty TV! Oooo!
This is my sketch of the first panel of the design. It's a flower. I used the paper from a desk calendar I found shoved behind a desk in my office. It's from 2006.

After sketching out the design, I cut it out with an Exact-o knife. Then I took the design and taped it to the back of the contact paper (reversed), traced it onto the contact paper, and then Exact-o-ed the design again.

Then we carefully applied the decal to the wall after we measured about a thousands lines to make sure they would be straight. The white pieces are the designs for the next two so we could space out and mark where they'd go once they were finished. The wall looked like this for some time. But I persevered...

Skip ahead about a month... And this is the finished product.

And this is from an angle that you can better see our new super-cute IKEA lamp.

I know it seems like I skipped over some steps but the next two panels were the same process. The last one was the hardest to draw and apply. Luckily by that point I figured out that I needed to put little pieces of tape on the black side after the design was done so the decal stayed put while I applied it to the wall.

My conclusions from this project- while it's nice to be able to pat yourself on the back when you look at something cool in your apartment and know that you did it with your own two hands, sometimes it's okay to spend the extra money. This project took FOREVER! Cost wise, this project cost me less that $20. Time wise, I have no idea. It did give me chance to catch up on summer reruns on the CW.


  1. Oh, I LOVE IT!!!

    My dad got a truck ...bed cover? I don't know what it's called. Anyway, he got it for free from Craig's list. He's now spent over $75 customizing it to his truck. (He's unemployed so he has all the time in the world but not all the money in the world.) I have no idea how many hours he's spent on that thing. Of course, new ones retail for $1500 so he's saved quite a bit of money...just if someone like him who DID have a job that took all his time, they wouldn't be able to put in the effort to restore a free item.

    But, um, I want to hire you to do one for my house. I realize it took you several weeks...totally fine. I won't have a house for several years so take all the time you need. :o)

  2. It looks GREAT!! congrats... I always say I'm going to do something cool, but I really just don't have the patience. I think it would've taken me much longer to do... if i ever even finished it. ha!

  3. Kelley you are a constant inspiration to me! I tried to create one of these only I bought the actual stuff they use in the machines to try it with and my design was simple enough but when I finished with it, BLEGH! The lines weren't pretty at all. Maybe I'll just pay you the big bucks to make me one ;-)

  4. Where is your Vanna White in this one?

  5. beautiful! you can come over and do one for me any time you'd like!

  6. Awesomeness. And just FYI: Your napkin turned wall art inspired me... still in process but color inkblots are about to adorn this psychologist's walls...


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