Bedroom Mural

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Bedroom Mural
Total Time weekend projects Ages school-age

Using the overhead projector, that one-time staple of lecture halls, parents and kids can turn any traceable image into a mural. Simply project an easy-to-make transparency of an image onto the wall, trace it, then fill it in as though you're painting in a giant coloring book. The result is a professional-looking, inexpensive mural that can transform a blank wall into a truly unique focal point of a kid's room.

Download Bedroom Mural Template

What you'll need

  • Projector (you can rent them from most camera stores)
  • Computer, smartphone, or tablet to store and display the image
  • Fine-tip markers
  • Masking or painter's tape
  • Paints (interior latex and artists' acrylics)
  • Paintbrushes in various sizes for outlining, filling in, and detail work
Helpful Tip:

For straight lines (such as our baseball diamond), use masking or painter's tape as a paint guide.

How to make it

  1. Choose an image. We suggest sticking to fairly simple, two-dimensional pictures or designs that don't rely on elaborate shading or perspective. And the fewer colors the better. If your child has trouble selecting a favorite, search for clipart or coloring pages on the internet.

  2. Location, location, location. Decide where you want the mural. Do you want to incorporate architectural details? For instance, you might paint a jungle animal "sitting" on a radiator.

  3. Project your picture. Borrow a projector from school or rent one from a camera shop, and connect it to your phone, tablet, or computer. Experiment with the distance you project from and the size of the image to get the mural dimensions you want. (For the mural Daphne made, the baseball diamond on the transparency was 5 inches tall, and we set the projector 10 feet from the wall to enlarge it to almost 4 feet tall.) Use a pencil to trace the outline of the projected image (including any shaded parts) onto the wall.

  4. Select your paint. Interior latex paint, which comes in quarts, is best if you're painting a few colors and filling in relatively large areas. For detail work, use artists' acrylics, available in tubes and bottles at craft and art supply stores. You'll also need appropriately-sized paintbrushes.

  5. Paint like a pro. For a more realistic effect, paint the background before the foreground. Step back from your mural regularly to see how it looks from the distance it will be viewed from.

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