earlier this year, i redecorated our kids’ jack-n-jill bathroom (new vanity, mirror, light fixtures, beadboard paneling, and paint). when i was done, after 3 weeks of work, i didn’t have much money or creative energy left, but i knew the main wall above the paneling needed something. i had such a hard time figuring out what to put there… i knew if it was photos or words, the kids wouldn’t be able to really see them unless they were huge (that part of the wall is much higher than their heads, and the bathroom is really long and skinny). i had an idea to paint something on the wall, but then decided against that…wanted something dramatic, but that would take less time than a mural, be less permanent, and be more 3-dimensional.
when we installed the new vanity, we had to buy a jigsaw because the plumbing in the wall was much lower than the inside of the vanity cabinet. easy fix, AND i was super excited that we finally had a jigsaw. i wanted another excuse to use it….thus, the giant plywood sun idea was born. i googled it a few times to try to get a good visual of my idea, but never could find exactly what i had in mind. so i just bought the $20 piece of plywood and winged it (typical). i got my van in the picture so you could see how big this piece of wood was!
WHAT I USED:
- mental template
- pencil or Sharpie
- paint or stain (i used very-watery craft paint.)
- brad-nailer (or you could certainly use hammer/nails or drill/screws)
WHAT I DID:
- Bought a cheap piece of plywood.
- Sanded it.
- Drew the basic outline of the type of sun I wanted (I used a nail and string/pencil to do the semi-circle, and a yardstick for the rays). Obviously you could do any shape you want… the possibilities are endless!
- Lifted the plywood onto sawhorses and cut along my pencil lines. (I eventually put all kinds of random things from out of the garage under the cut sections of wood, because I was scared the rays would break off without support…i really wish i would’ve gotten a better picture of all the junk i used to hold up the wood…it was kinda hilarious, but the rays were obviously super fragile, so the junky support was necessary!)
- Carefully set the completed shape onto the driveway. (I highly recommend putting down a drop-cloth first, especially if your loving husband has recently painstakingly pressure-washed your driveway.)
- Painted the wood and let it dry. (I used watered-down craft paint…basically made a stain out of it, because I really wanted the grain of the wood to show through. And the manufacturer’s stamps show too, which i like. Basically, I wanted to make sure it still looked like raw wood, only yellow.)
- Carried it inside and tried not to have a heart attack while doing so. (I’m telling you, those rays were SO fragile!)
- Got that baby up on the wall!
(a view of my girls’ super messy room. you’re welcome.)
FEW EXTRA THOUGHTS:
- you may have noticed that the completed sun on the driveway doesn’t look exactly like the one on the wall. that’s because when i got the piece inside (so precarious!) and lifted it up into place, i realized i had totally measured wrong and the sun was about 8 inches too high. so i had to trim it. then i rested it on the trim and nailed it in place with a brad-nailer. after i got it up, i thought it “needed something”, so i ran out to the driveway and cut some random triangle shapes out of the scraps, and then nailed them up next to the mama sun. DONE.
- i wasn’t 100% happy with the color when i got it on the wall, but i just let it go…decided i’d already used up all the time and energy i had for the project. and now i’m perfectly fine with it. that’s party because….
- even though it is a huge sun, it really isn’t a focal point because of where it is in the room. actually, that bathroom doesn’t really have a focal point because it’s so long and skinny! it’s impossible to see every wall all at once. i think the sun is more of a pop of color from any angle (case in point in the mirror pic below).
i am really happy with how it looks….one project that turned out almost exactly like i’d envisioned it. and it miraculously took the amount of time i’d allotted (i think it was right around 3 hours). i also love the fact that it could possibly be hung somewhere else when i get sick of it in the bathroom (which is inevitable…and probably next week haha).
here’s to quick projects with big impact!