Balancing Act

Painting a Mural in Our Baby’s Nursery – Part 1 Outlining

We originally decided to plaster the wall with Mario themed decals, but since we already plastered the wall opposite of the crib with miniature version of the decals we wanted, a giant painted mural of Bowser Jr. seem more fitting for the nursery.

So that’s exactly what I started. I searched the web for an official Nintendo character image of Bowser Jr. that will fit the ambiance and theme of our nursery and found this little gem:


Next, I took the image, turned it into a vector so I can increase its size without losing quality and printed out a copy. I took a sheet protector and laid it over the print out of Bowser Jr. and then began tracing it with a red Sharpie. Had to use a red marker since I do not have a black one handy. The result is virtually identical.


I then created a DIY make shift projector using an empty Amazon delivery box, cutting out one end of the box and then taping the transparency with the tracing of Bowser Jr. over the opening with Scotch tape. I used my iPhone 6’s LED flashlight mode as the light source. The cost was zero dollars and the result:


To increase the size of the projection on the wall, the iPhone 6 had to be moved closer to the transparency. Moving the iPhone further away from the transparency reduces the size of the projection but also creates a crisper projection. Moving the projector further away from the wall also increases its projected size, but not as dramatically as moving the position of the light source inside the projector. This DIY projector is really just made out of three components that you can readily find laying around the household. Finally, I cut a mounting hole on an old shoe box lid and used the contraption to mount the iPhone.

DIY zero cost iPhone projector

My zero cost DIY iPhone projector

Components of a zero cost DIY projector

Components of a zero cost DIY projector

Tracing the projected image was easy once I was 5 minutes into it. I initially tried tracing with a pencil, then a pen but ultimately to no avail. The room was too dark and the pen and pencil markings were barely visible. So I whipped out my water soluble marker that came with our whiteboard set and went at it. Having never drawn on any canvas larger than a standard letter size paper, my shaky hand got the best of me for the first 5 minutes. After that, I figured the best technique is to NOT press against the wall as I trace and simply just trace with quick, graceful strokes. Best thing is if I make any mistake, I can just rub it off with my thumb as it is not permanent. Once I got the hang of my tracing technique, the remaining process was a breeze and took me only 15 minutes to completely trace out Bowser Jr’s outline.



The fun part is painting this mural and bringing it to life, another area I need to read up on, i.e. mixing paint, paint mediums, acrylic paint, varnish, etc. since I have absolutely no experience with painting but always wanted to get into it. Maybe this multi-weekend project will open up the door to a new hobby?

Base on my time and schedule, I will probably not finish this mural for another 3 to 4 weekends at the earliest while working on 1-2 color blocks at a time. Stay tuned for updates!

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