Okay, so here it is! The book-inspired nursery wall art I’ve been talking about and working on for the past several weeks. It’s finished. It’s hanging on the wall. And it looks good. (Phew! You never know how something like this will turn out–it could have easily been a disaster!)
I had a big space on the wall to fill and I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on something this huge. I got a canvas at Hobby Lobby, some scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, googly eyes, and set to work.
Here’s the inspiration book: The Ice Cream Cone Coot and other Rare Birds by Arnold Lobel (of Frog and Toad fame). It’s a really fun book if you’ve never read it. I was lucky enough to stumble across a copy in our local Goodwill. It’s not in great condition, but we’re not too picky.
The image I loved was this one of the button beaks–if you can’t see it, they are little buttons with beaks and feet that are flying off the little boy’s shirt.
I know that they make paper punches that will give you perfectly rounded circles, but I just went with the old-school route and used my x-acto knife and three different sized bottle caps. It was kind of tedious, but very cost-effective! I think I spent several evenings cutting these guys out.
I made the little girl figure using a template from my favorite McCalls Golden Do-It Book–this is one of my all time favorite vintage finds! She was just the right size–I just changed her hair and skin color a bit made the dress to match the room.
I was nervous about actually gluing onto the canvas because once I started, I knew I could not go back. I began using regular Elmer’s glue, but that didn’t seem to work that well, so I switched to Mod Podge. I used a brush to evenly cover the entire back surface and then smoothed out the paper once it was on the canvas.
Once they dried, I applied the googly eyes. Again, this was scary because I wasn’t sure how it would look, but it seemed fine. The beaks were the most nerve-wrecking part because I was using a permanent maker. One slip of my hand and it could be an irreversible mistake!
As expected, I got better at drawing the beaks after I had done about half of them. I found that longer, skinner beaks looked better than the shorter, wider ones, but since there are so many birds, you can’t really tell.
Here’s the finished product waiting to get hung on the wall…
And here it it is in its permanent home. I happy with it and hope that Lucia likes it as much as I do.
Do you have a favorite book that inspires you? I recently discovered a creative blog called My Insanity. Kendra created some adorable nursery art inspired by the vintage children’s book The Very Little Girlby Phyllis Krasilovsky. I’ve never read the book myself, but it looks like something I would love!
I’d love to hear about or see pictures of any book-inspired projects you’ve worked on!