Please help me DIY this vague wall art quote idea!
November 3, 2014 7:27 PM   Subscribe

I have a big white wall next to my stairs. I want to decorate the wall with a 10-sentence quote, like going up alongside the stairs. I am only moderately artsy but not totally hopeless. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this myself.

So far my idea is to buy ten blank canvases and paint one sentence on each, or something. But can you help me come up with any better ideas? I'd really like to do something that is a little more...playful and out of the box. I saw a sort of related old question that suggested cross stitch for a much shorter quote, but no way do I have the patience for that and I'd rather not spend $250+ to get it done custom.

If it matters, the apartment is a bi-level loft with lots of exposed brick and wood beams, but not much natural light. The room where this art would be visible from is decorated with white, curvy linen furniture and bright, playful colors. I'm renting, so I should be able to restore the wall to basic white with spackle and paint.
posted by ootandaboot to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have no idea how to do this but I've seen a few cool examples of wall stencils with words. Usually it's more of a word cloud but I think it would look great in ten lines.

Google image search of some examples

Good luck and have fun!
posted by danabanana at 7:53 PM on November 3, 2014

You could design your own customised wall decal - that would allow you to play with fonts and layouts and would be easily removed when you move out.
posted by girlgenius at 7:53 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was thinking the same thing as girlgenius - a wall decal would be perfect. Blik does them.
posted by radioamy at 8:59 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've done graffiti-ish word walls for me, for a friend, and for a relative. For the friend, I used drippy black shoe polish to draw letters on several really big canvases. It was pretty gorgeous. The lettering looked like this. For myself I used big rolls of paper (white wrapping paper, to be exact) and that sort of looked like this. For the relative I just painted right on the wall, with a look like the first one I linked. Free form with a bit of preplanning with a pencil looks best to me, way better than the perfection and prefab look of a decal or stencil.
posted by the webmistress at 9:59 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I did something similar, I wanted Banksy's flower chucker on my wall, but life-sized and with a real vase of flowers. You can see the result here. I'm betting you can modify how I did it to suit your needs.

First, I vectorized my image and printed it on full page clear labels. It ended up being somewhere around 50 pages or so. At this point it was kind of like a puzzle - using an X-Acto knife I cut the pieces out, then lined them up. Then, making sure the wall was clean, I worked from the bottom up over the course of several days, lining up and putting the pieces together. The labels were sticky enough to hold, but not so sticky that I couldn't remove and reapply if I messed up.

Once everything was in place, I wanted it to be a little blacker (you know when you print a lot and the black starts to get kind of gray? It was like that in places). I took black acrylic paint and went over the image to darken it.

When I moved, I just peeled off the stickers and did minor touch-ups where I'd gotten the dots of black paint on the wall between the pieces. Then just wipe it down and the stickiness is gone. The only real problem I had with it is you can see the transparent areas in the bottom of the outline where dust and cat hair had gotten behind the sticker over the course of a year. If I'd kept it I'd have just kept my original vector and just reprinted that area. It's not reusable, and it took a chunk of time, but for a little over $20 I got exactly what I wanted. You can DIY this for cheap, it just depends on how big you want the words and how much time you have to put into it.
posted by sephira at 6:41 AM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

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