Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baby J's Nursery

I was a little all over the place when it came to deciding the theme of the baby’s room. I love so many pop culture things that I wanted to put in the room that I couldn’t settle on one thing. Plus in terms of making blankets I knew I wouldn’t be able to find character fabric to coordinate with the characters that I wanted to paint on the walls. So ultimately the baby’s room is a mishmash of different characters, bright colors, animals, and DIY. The second bedroom in our condo was already painted a fun, bold blue-we both love the color blue and we aren’t finding out the gender so we decided to stick with it and add pops of lime green- which makes the color scheme that of Monsters, Inc. Babies R’Us actually has adorable Monsters, Inc.  nursery décor and had I known that going into decorating I might have just committed to one theme but it was too late for that by the time I saw what they had. With the blankets I stuck with the blue and lime green theme and went with various animals and geometric patterns. The characters we included in the room are Winnie the Pooh, Baby Muppets, and Baby Mario from the Super Mario video games. See what I mean about being all over the place?
                I wanted to do some sort of a wall mural in the nursery but knowing I’d be pretty pregnant by the time I actually did it I wanted to cut myself as much slack as possible. Even though I am successful at drawing cartoon characters I have never painted them on a wall. So I came up with what I thought was a pretty good idea of finding images online I wanted to use, tracing them onto transparencies and then renting an overhead projector to project the images onto the wall to trace. I really wanted to do Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, and Baby Princess Peach- I thought it was a nice way to tie in two things that Chris & I both love- I love Mario (plus my eBay Mario stuffed characters collection will be displayed in the nursery) and these characters appear in MarioKart, a racing game and Chris loves racecars (and some of his racecars will be displayed in the baby’s room). I planned to incorporate the character’s racecars as toys into the mural. I first focused on these characters- there weren’t tons of options to choose from online for images and they were all separate, so I picked three individual images for the characters and then scaled down Mario and Peach’s racecars to put next to them as toys, putting the overall design together myself. I couldn’t really find exactly what I wanted for Peach’s car so I ended up drawing it myself. After I got all the images onto transparencies I went to my local craft store and picked up all the paint I needed (on sale! Woohoo for planning ahead). Originally I was going to get wall paint in sample sizes from Lowe’s but Chris had the idea of using craft paint and I’m glad he did because the smell of real paint has bothered me throughout my entire pregnancy.
                As more time went by before the project was launched I realized there was no harm in finding images for my other favorite characters- the Muppets and since it’s for a baby’s room, the Muppet Babies.  I was strategic about picking the characters since I wanted the colors to match up with the Mario characters, both for continuity and also because I already bought the paint and figured it’d be nice to not have to buy an entire separate set of colors. Mario and Luigi are primarily green, blue, and red and Peach is blonde with pink clothes- which perfectly matches with three main Muppet characters- Kermit (green), Gonzo (blue with red), and Miss Piggy (pink clothes with blonde hair) unfortunately that meant that Fozzie Bear was left out. I was able to find a lot of images online for these three and I quickly selected an image of Kermit and Gonzo riding a bike together, and an image of Miss Piggy also riding a bike- I thought this coordinated with the racecar theme of the Mario characters. I traced these to transparencies and figured I’d just see how it went the day of the project as to whether I was going to do both murals on two separate walls.
                The day we rented the overhead projector we started by projecting the images on the wall, one grouping at a time (in the moment we decided what the heck let’s at least trace out both while we have the projector rented for the weekend, we could always just paint over it with blue if we decided to only do one mural). First we traces the outline only of the overall picture in chalk, then Chris painted within the chalk outline with primer. 

We opted to work exclusively on getting the outline of one set of characters with the transparencies in place (we taped it to the machine while working) even if we turned the machine off this ensured it would lie up while we were getting the outline on the wall.  So we waited for the primer to dry fully before I went back and did all of the outlining for the characters with black paint. 

After that was done, we repeated the process for the Mario characters.  Once the characters were fully outlined in black we were done with the overhead projector and then it was just a matter of coloring in the characters.  I took my time with this, doing the colors over several days. We love the way it came out and I am so happy we used the projector.

             Since we have a two bedroom condo and not a sprawling house, we have an in-one, out-one policy with furniture so if we bought all new furniture for the baby it would have meant getting rid of some of our furniture. I really didn’t want to part with my grandfather’s desk and book case so we decided to rework both pieces, the desk will be used as the changing table and the book case was updated from black to the lime green and will house mostly my books for now but the babies as well. 

Chris built a shelf to attach to the back of the desk and painted that lime green as well to give storage for wipes, diapers, lotions, etc. We ordered a changing table pad and he built a box for the pad to sit in so the height is more ergonomic for my back. 

We did splurge and get a pricey nursing glider in a durable, light blue fabric with a recliner which means we’ll be getting rid of Chris’s old beat-up recliner. Randomly on Ebay one night I found the cutouts to make Muppet Baby pillows, so I impulse-bought Baby Beaker and Baby Bunsen to stuff and sew.

 In terms of wall décor, we are sticking with some things that were already in the room like a framed puzzle we did of a hot air balloon festival and an original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie poster (fitting since I’ve already read the book to the baby). We also ordered a ‘Wookie the Chew’ print from artist James Hance who wrote and illustrated the book of the same name (which, sadly, is currently unavailable) the book is a mash-up of Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars (another favorite pop culture thing of ours).
We are waiting on our hand-me-down crib from my brother and sister-in-law which will go on the wall where the Mario characters are, I got some cute Monster's Inc. sheets and some lime green polka dot ones as well for it. And the crib mobile is Winnie the Pooh, to continue with our pop culture mash-up!

No comments:

Post a Comment