Wednesday, November 3, 2010

DIY Nursery Art: Serenity's Storybook Nursery

Since my first pregnancy seemed to take FOREVER, I had plenty of time for lots of crafting!  I settled on a storybook theme, figuring it would work for a boy or a girl and I just couldn't wait twenty whole weeks to start making baby stuff.  One of the first projects I tackled was this easy canvas wall art.  We were living in an apartment that we didn't plan to paint, so the nursery needed lots of color!  Here's how I got it:

I wanted alphabet wall art that fit my storybook theme, so I chose a different fairy tale or character from my favorite books for each letter of the alphabet.  Let me tell you now, some letters are easier than others.  I almost gave up on I and Q. But first, here is how I did it.  The process is very simple.  I just found coloring books or free coloring pages from all over the internet for each section of my pictures.  Then I held the picture and the canvas up to the window and traced it in pencil onto the canvas.  I printed the letter in a font I liked (I used Dolphin I believe) and traced it as well.  Then I used bright acrylic paints to fill in the colors.  Then for the challenging part =)  I traced around all the pencil lines with a black sharpie.  Veeerry carefully.  I went through several sharpies, they get dull after a while! 

I bought 3 canvases in size 18 by 20 and 3 in 20 by 20.  I really liked the square ones best but I got a great deal on the 18 by 20.  I put four or five letters on each one.  I planned to hang them two across by three down, so I got out my colored pencils and planned the colors so that the same color was never next to it.  I also made it work in case I decided to hang it in one long line, which I have also done. =)

Here is the A-D canvas.   You can see that I didn't want all the squares to be the same size, so I mixed it up.  Some are ten by ten, Curious George is ten by twelve, and so on.  Graph paper and colored pencils were my best friend on this project =)

And then here is the list of what each letter stands for (with extra options in parenthesis)

A: Alice in Wonderland (Ariel)
B: Babar (Berenstain Bears)
C: Curious George (Cheshire Cat, Care Bears, Corduroy)
D: Dragon (I was thinking of the one in the Paper Bag Princess, but Serenity thinks it's a pic of a dinosaur anyway. =)
E: Eeyore (Eloise)
F: Fairy (We used Tinkerbell here because we had lots of cute T choices.  Also considered Fish for Rainbow Fish)
G: Gonzo (Had to have a muppet.  Also the Genie from Aladdin)
H: Harry Potter
I: Inigo Montoya (This was the HARDEST!  I also considered Incredibles but they aren't really from a book...  Anyway, to get this picture I took a picture of Captain Hook and modified it to look more like the guy from the movie.  Princess Bride is a great book at least =)
J: Jemima Puddleduck (Jasmine.  I didn't want TOO many Disney Princesses on here though, and Beatrix Potter rocks.)
K: Kanga and Roo (Ditto with too many Winnie the Pooh characters, two was pushing it but I didn't have a better K and I HAD to use eeyore =)
L: Little Mermaid (Little Bo Peep)
M: Madeline (Mulan, Mouse from the Give a Mouse a Cookie book.)
N: Nancy Drew (Also hard to get a good pic of, I was proud it turned out slightly recognizable. Thought of Narnia but how do you draw that?)
O: Oz (I can't believe it now, but back then I didn't know Olivia the Pig!!!  So much easier to draw!)
P: Paddington Bear (Peter Rabbit, Pippi Longstocking, Peter Pan, Puff the Magic Dragon)
Q: Queen Lucy of Narnia (Cheating a little bit, but I just don't like the Queen of Hearts! And this way I worked the Narnia books in.)
R: Raggedy Ann and Andy (Rainbow Fish)
S: Snow White (Sam I am)
T: Thing One and Thing Two (Tikki Tikki Tembo, Tinkerbell, Tigger)
U: Unicorn (From the Last Unicorn... Hence the purple mane and tail, although that's just in the cartoon version.)
V: Velveteen Rabbit
W: Wild Things
X: X-Men (Also a stretch.  My friend Jack drew versions for me =)
Y: Yertle the Turtle
Z: Zazu


  1. those are absolutely adorable! If you have a chance come link up to Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings.

  2. Wow I am WAY impressed! What a very special piece of art you've created, that's the kind of thing you pass down. Who knows maybe it will end up in your grandchild's room one day:) Thanks for the list too, I was thinking it probably took a long time just to come up with that! So glad you shared it A Crafty Soiree!

  3. What a great way to add color to a rented space. The baby has a cute nursery, which is ready to move when you are. Terrific idea.

  4. This is amazing! I love all of the colors and characters that you chose. Hope you'll link it up at the Pink Hippo Party @

  5. These are fabulous. I love that you put five letters on each canvas. The characters are amazing. You are superbly talented. Great job!

  6. Such a fun idea. You did an amazing job on putting this together!