DIY Apartment Art Installation

DIY Cartoon Mural

Do you have a big, bare wall just begging to be decorated? Instead of smothering it in posters, why not take it to the extreme and make your own cartoon mural? You don't need paint or anything that might take forever to cover up later. Just grab some tape, construction paper and a few other materials to transform a boring wall into a wow-provoking masterpiece!

What you need:


1. Think hard about what you wouldn't mind staring at in your kitchen as you eat oatmeal in the morning. Would you like the head of the Trix rabbit greeting you every day? Or perhaps you might prefer making a tribute to the Powerpuff Girls or Scooby-Doo? It's up to you. Copy a simple cartoon image from a coloring book or a cereal box and get started. You'll be using the picture you find as a guide to duplicate the same image on your wall but in much larger form.

2. Most cartoons are drawn with a thick black outline. That's where your black gift-wrap paper comes in. You'll want to cut your paper into varying lengths, but attempt to keep the width (a couple of inches wide) the same. Decide if you want the entire image to be on the wall, or just his big goofy face. Anything goes.

3. Begin by taping the backs (non-glossy side) of the paper and fastening them to the wall. Most of the time you'll be glancing back and forth at the wall and your image guide. Don't be impatient! This takes a lot of trial and error to get it right. It doesn't hurt to have a pal stand behind you to give pointers on where to place the next strip. Sometimes two pairs of eyes are better than one. Plus your friend can hold the ladder if you need to climb higher to complete long rabbit ears or beehive hairdos.

4. When you are finished with the outline using black gift-wrap, now is the time to add some color -- just like filling in an oversized coloring book. Use either colored construction paper, or if you plan on keeping the mural up for awhile I suggest using fade-resistant colored paper. You don't want the sun to bleach out the cartoon's happy little face, now do you?

5. Cut the colored paper into shapes matching the nose, hair, eyes, mouth, clothes or whatever else that needs to be colored in. Also feel free to experiment with glitter, felt and pipe cleaners. As long as they can be fastened to the wall using tape, you should be dandy.

6. Since this mural won't be permanent (like a painting would be) you can change your mind anytime you want, and take the mural down. This comes in handy if you don't want to freak out a nosy landlord or conservative roommates.

7. Sit back, sip cups of tea with your buddy and admire your mural art. Take photos and send them to your high school art teacher. Have a party and show off the mural with some spotlights like a real pop art icon would. Gloat. You deserve it!

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