Whoop whoop - saw it, pinned it, did it!
Like a million other people I pinned an absolutely beautiful cross stitch mural from the uber talented Eline Pellinkhof .
So to cut a long story short, I pinned this idea a couple of years ago and last weekend our daughter and I created our own very simplified version for her room. This is the before:
Warning, we were so excited to do this project there are only a few slightly rubbish phone photos of the process (and it was a very grey rainy day, so the light was awful!)
To do the same you will need:
Tester pots of paint - emulsion/regular paint for walls
A meter/yarn stick and spirit level
a pencil and rubber
paint brush - we used size 10
A simple cross stitch design
Choosing a design:
First you need to be sure your design will fit.
All our crosses were 2 inch square, that seems like a good size for this kind of thing to me, it's bold but not to huge. Count how many squares your chosen design takes, both up and across then times by 2. This is approximately how many inches of wall space your design will take up.
I sketched a couple of different designs and our daughter chose the one she wanted.
You can use these (just right click on the image then save so you can print it), design your own or just go online, there are hundreds of lovely cross stitch designs out there.
Our chosen design was 12 squares x 13 squares so the finished design is just over 24" x 26".
To mark it on the wall:
It was going centrally over her bed so we measured the half way point, then drew a pencil line straight up using a spirit level.
We then drew a horizontal line, again in pencil, centrally on the wall space above the bed.
So basically there was a big cross, nice and straight, centrally over the bed. Keep the pencil lines faint, that way they are easier to rub out afterwards.
I marked the middle lines on the cross stitch design too, in bold (you can see that in the image above of the cross stitch chart)
Originally I thought we could just do the crosses free hand, along the centre lines, then just building the design up and out from there. When it came to it though that just seemed to be leaving too much to chance so we decided to mark it out a little more thoroughly. I didn't fancy drawing dozens of straight lines to make a full grid - that would be a lot of rubbing out afterwards. We considered decorating tape, but didn't have any so instead I made a template.
As we had decided each cross should be about 2 inches square, I took a bit of scrap paper, folded it in half and half again, then cut a 1 inch square from the corner, when opened up this gave me a 2 inch square "window".
I simply held the window up to the lines and drew a cross, then moved it along. That way I only marked the crosses we needed for the design.
Just work your way out from those centre lines, count, count and count again. How many crosses in each row, horizontally and vertically? Just keep counting and checking.
These were the paints we used, just inexpensive tester pots of emulsion.
It was just a case of filling in the crosses, using the chart. Again - count, count and count again.
Keep checking the chart, count each cross from the centre, from the edge, from the crosses you have already painted. I think it would be hard to go over the darker colours with light ones if you made a mistake. Best not to make a mistake, then you don't have to worry about it!
It was easiest to do the main colours first, they were mostly around the edge and right along those central lines so counting them was easy.
We actually bought a green, dark pink and light pink paint tester pots. We already had white paint. The light pink was way to light and we had to mix it with the darker paint to get a good medium shade. On reflection we could probably got away with just mixing the dark pink with white paint and saved £1.49 but never mind.
It was pretty easy to do in the end, took us about 3 hours start to finish. I think a more complicated design would look amazing, but take much longer to do and have much more room for error. I'm glad we kept it simple.
Some of the crosses had a 2nd coat of paint then we left it to dry for 24 hours before rubbing out the pencil lines with a good quality soft eraser.
This project was quite a long time in the "yes, yes, we'll do that mural one day" stage but now it is finished we keep high fiving each other - I'd call that a rainy day well spent!