I’ve had my eye on a Roald Dahl quote for Baby A’s room for months. It’s from his masterpiece Matila, and reads:
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
I just adore it. And I love what it means for my little guy and how it fits into his vaguely circus themed nursery – it does a lot to capture the wonder and magic that I want for his childhood. I’d been on the hunt for a suitable art piece that captured it for sometime, but was by and large disappointed with the options for purchase. They didn’t work stylistically, or weren’t the right scale, or weren’t in stock, etc. So never being one to shy away from an art project, I decided to make my own, inspired by my favorite of the purchase options that was both too small and out of stock.
Read on for how I did it, with a massive assist from my most-talented baby sister.
I started by downloading free fonts that fit my vision for the piece and playing with their kerning and size and whatnot in Adobe Illustrator. Then to make my mock up complete I added the polka dots. I printed it off and sought approval from Aaron, and my sister friend, because she has a great eye.
Then it was all about translating it from my 8 x 10 mockup to the 36 x 48 canvas I’d ordered (if ordering large canvas look for sales and coupon codes, I got two for the price of 1!). Originally I’d planned to cut a stencil using my Silhouette Cameo, but my cutting blade was in dire need of replacement and thanks to my pregnancy brain I was also having a hard time figuring out where to divide the piece to get the cuts just right, so the Cameo plan was failing. I called in my crafting partner-in-crime, baby sister for a consult.
Together we came up with a plan. We started by printing the image (scaled-up to size) in tiles of letter sized pages, then lined them up and taped them together to create a template. Then we affixed it to contact paper, which was then traced with an exacto knife to create a giant stencil. Sounds simple enough right? But here is where MASSIVE amounts of credit are due to my baby sister, because she actually did the cutting for 90% of the project. She has an incredible capacity for detail work and thanks to her steady hand, dedication and perfectionism, my design was transferred to canvas for painting!
Then together (with a little assist from Daddy-to-be) we got to work painting over our letters outlines, adding our polka dots, and filling them in. A few hours of work later we had this:
I was so excited to get it hung up in the nursery, one step closer to being ready for Baby A!
And in case you’re interested in a similar project of your own, here are the supplies I used:
Luckily I had everything but the giant canvas already in stock, so at $40ish for the project it came in pretty cheap! Now let’s hope Baby A loves it as much as we do!