book-inspired nursery art: button beaks

July 18, 2010


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 Girl by  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!


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45 comments:

Leigh said...

Vanessa - that is beautiful! That will look fabulous in the nursery!

the cape on the corner said...

wow, that looks great. love the colors of the birdies!

thanks so much for stopping by the cape on the corner...don't those lamps rock?!

Mama E said...

I absolutely LOVE this! Stopping by from the Girl Creative party.
-Mama E
www.homeandheartsblog.com

Kevin and Kristina said...

wow! that is amazing! great job!

Debbie said...

This turned out absolutely beautiful! I have been waiting in anticipation to see the final piece from the time you introduced your idea! Love it!

Averie and Josie said...

It is beautiful!! Great job! The baby will love it. I love the way you made the little girl look like your family. It's the special touches...

Ticia said...

way too cute!

Jackie said...

That is really cute. I love all of your book themed decorating ideas.

C.R.A.F.T. said...

thank you for linking up to MMM!!! this is SO cute :)

Mod Podge Amy said...

LOVE this! How cute.

Michelle L. said...

Wow, how pretty is that?! I love the tiny circle birds, and love the book-inspired layout. Gorgeous!

TheCraftInMe said...

This is such a sweet idea. I love the little eyes, it really brings it to life!

oh amanda {impress your kids} said...

BEAUTIFUL. You are so creative!

The Fifth Street Mama said...

I totally love that wall art! Gorgeous! I am inspired for my little girls new bedroom!

Tauni said...

Wow. Wow. This is a lovely piece. I am so inspired!

Chels said...

That's so wonderful! I'm amazed at the inspiration you find in children's books!

Love and Lollipops said...

Vanessa, this is absolutely beautiful! You inspire me!!!

Brimful Curiosities said...

That is so adorable...what fun and so creative for a nursery picture.

Maya at memetales said...

I love love love this. So simple and so so beautiful!

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

Very pretty! I'd love it if you'd join my tuesday link party (tomorrow)! http://imtopsyturvy.com

vanessa @ silly eagle books said...

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone! :)

Kaysi said...

Oh wow, that is adorable!!! I love it!

Lindsey said...

This is SO cute! I love it!

Gloria Westerman said...

How adorable......great job.....this would also be a great baby gift....thank you for sharing....

C.R.A.F.T. said...

you did a great job! i love it :) thank you for linking up to MMM...I am going to feature you next week :)

Kendra@My Insanity said...

I love this! It's really beautiful, and special because of the book inspiration (but even prettier). Thanks for the shout out!

Missy said...

Love! I'm planning on doing some scrapbookpaper art for my little girls room soon also! I enjoy seeing what others are doing! Thanks for sharing!

Steph said...

Beautiful! So dreamy!

Bitterroot Mama said...

Beautiful! I love the birds.

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

Not sure how I missed this post first time around. Looks fantastic!

Suzanne said...

Absolutely fabulous! I love everything about it!

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

What a sweet project! I love it. Even beore they were birds, it was cute. Terrific idea and finished product.

Cathy @ The Far Fifty said...

That is so darling looking! I love the vintage feel of it, great job!

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans said...

This is darling! I love it!

Lenore @ Lather. Write. Repeat. said...

That is absolutely adorable, I love this. You did an amazing job!

XO
Lenore

emily said...

what a sweet art piece.

Kate said...

Just found your blog through CSI...love your artwork. My 2-year-old girl and I love to read, too. I'm signing up to follow!

Heather said...

Adorable! very creative!

Papgena Made It said...

i saw you on csi project, and i like your project! Is adorable, love the birds.
I didn't do a project based in a book but i did one inspired in vintage puzzle cubes, you can see it here: http://papgenamadeit.blogspot.com/2010/08/brincando-com-cubos-playing-with-cubes.html

Sarah said...

Wow, I'm really impressed. Your button beaks art is precious!
God's blessings,
Sarah :D

Michelle said...

I love it, so cute!

Bliss Bloom Blog said...

I love this!! So creative... and those little birds with the googly eyes are adorable!

The Creative Chickadee said...

I. LOVE. THIS!!! I have a friend who is having a girl in the spring and what a great inspiration for a gift.

http://thecreativechickadee.blogspot.com/

Diane said...

I really love this! So cute and simple!! :) Thanks for sharing! (came from CSI project).

Kimbo West @ a girl and a glue gun said...

love this...gave you an award at my blog

kimboscrafts.blogspot.com

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