When we moved last year, it was nothing short of a whirlwind. Moving day met me with a *giant* belly, a rowdy toddler, and a house that desperately needed updating, but was perfect for our family. Since that day last March, we have done a LOT of work, and our most recent project, may have been the most ambitious. We gave Will a big boy room he could grow with.
Like any mother I asked him what he wanted, and was surprised when his answer wasn’t “Mousey” (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, ughhhh), or “Paw Patrol”. Instead he wanted sports, but what I didn’t count on was my inability to find anything “sports” that I would like, so instead, he got Super Heroes. He now tells me his room is cool, so I will count that as a win. I started my search on Pinterest, and of course found the best of the best to use as inspiration. Pretty wicked right?!
Which leads me to: Question 1. How are we gonna draw those circles?! We figured it wouldn’t be too tough, but we thought wrong. Our initial plan was to put a nail in the wall, with a string tied to it with a pencil on the end. Then we would simply draw the arc on the wall, bad plan. It did work to make “circles” but certainly not clean enough, or perfect enough for what we were trying to do. Eventually we realized, okay Jordan realized, that using a compass was our best bet. Luckily we already had a hole in the wall, so keeping the same point as the center was very easy to do. The compass worked like a charm. Geometry for the win!
Having had some success with DRAWING the circles, we came to problem number 2, How do you tape off a circle? Of course the picture I found above didn’t link to a blog with a how to DIY your own Capt America room, so we were really figuring this out as we went. My father-in-law had suggested using pinstriping tape because it is easy to curve, the only drawback is that the tape itself is only 1/4″ wide. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT have the kind of precision needed for that to be an adequate buffer between colors. Luckily, I have a very innovative husband. Using the compass once again, we taped along the outside of the ring, and then traced the circle once again. This left marks on the tape, and we simple cut the excess tape off with an exacto knife. This worked well, but took forever! So, we decided to follow what we had initially drawn with the pinstriping tape, and then go along the outside with painter’s tape to give me more wiggle room while I was painting. This worked beautifully and took a lot less time. **One Note, make sure you buy pinstriping tape that is a different color than the color you’re painting. We had a few spots we forgot to tape because we couldn’t see it against the red.**
Both methods worked great, and as far as the finished product goes, there isn’t any difference looks wise. The next challenge was the star. If you note in the original picture, it’s only HALF a shield, we opted to do the full thing, meaning we had to draw a star, on two different walls and have it be symmetrical. We started by using that same center point and measuring the diameter to the next ring. We knew that the tips of the star needed to touch the next ring, and so we started with the top center point. From there we drew a line with a ruler to get to the bottom left point. To connect the top left and right points we drew a line straight across, but really the toughest points to complete were the bottom left and right. We couldn’t draw a line across the wall, and struggled to find a way to get that spot where the two should intersect on the wall. Ultimately (I am taking credit for this one!) I suggested using a protractor and measuring the angles we knew to determine the angle we needed. It seems my hubby and I totally held on to that “useless” stuff we learned in 8th grade math. You’re welcome everyone, we just found that real world application you didn’t know you needed! To start the inner circle and star, I painted everything white, then taped off the star and added the blue. We were both pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Decorating was next. I was really pleased to find the Spider-Man picture, the Hulk comic decals and the “W” at Hobby Lobby, and all on clearance! There was often an option between characters, so Bug was always the one to make the final call. We also ordered the world’s coolest night light. It is Thor’s Hammer. And it looks like it is stuck in the wall, cracks and all.
Another personalized touch that we chose was to cover his light switch covers, and his name in comic books. Literally. This was my inspiration. I had seen several examples of people painting wooden letters to look like individual heroes, but, I am not crafty, so mod podge and comic books seemed much more my speed.
I was really pleased with how they turned out! This didn’t take too long. I used the Mod Podge like glue, and then wrapped the letters with pages of the comic books. The toughest part was that the letters we have are curved and the comics would tear. After the first “L” I realized that it made more sense to just cut thin strips to do the edging rather than try to get a rectangle to fit on a rounded corner. We bought the comics at Hastings, and kept the ones we chose in the Marvel universe to fit with the rest of the theme. This project took cost less than $10. Four comics were $2.50, and then a bottle of mod podge.
Overall, we are thrilled with how his room turned out. While there are still a few things we plan to add (he is getting bunks later this summer, and my friend is making pillows!), the decorating and painting is all done. I was able to do all the painting over 3 days of nap time, and learned quite a bit along the way. Ultimately we are hoping he enjoys this room for a long time, and that we can apply the techniques we learned to other projects around the house.
–Use good tape, we had a lot of issues with bleeding, especially around the stripe. We were told next time to use frog tape.
–Chalk Lines are worth it, we both hate taping, so it’s ironic that we took on such a tape heavy project, but doing the stripes were a breeze because we marked the lines out with chalk. We made sure to measure the width of the stripe, and once it was marked, taping it was very easy to do.
–Don’t be afraid to DIY, we aren’t good painters, and we aren’t very crafty. We were very apprehensive to take on this project, but using the right tools made all the difference.
-Shop Clearance, we are a frugal family. As I said above, everything I found was on clearance. Even the blue paint, which turned out to be my favorite. Hobby Lobby had almost everything we bought in a slightly newer version, for 3 times more than I paid. Going through the clearance sections at your local stores can lead to finding treasures you would have missed otherwise.