Custom Art Piece

Custom Art Piece

Use designer Jennifer Farrell’s instructions to create a custom piece of art.

5 col

Laptop computer
Digital photo image of your choice
Masking tape
Adhesive shelf paper
Permanent marker
Assorted colors of acrylic paint
Water (for painting)
Paint brushes, variety of sizes
Interior latex paint with primer included (any color)
Paint roller
Paint pan
Utility knife


1. Prep the wall where your art piece will be, by painting it with the paint roller and your selected color of interior latex paint (we chose a rich, gold color). Allow time for the first coat of paint to dry completely before painting on a second coat. Once the second coat.

Note: We will be creating the painting in two phases: You will paint the outer, multicolor “frame” and then paint in your selected inner image inside.  However, before we do this, we need to block off and create the space for our inner image.

2. To begin, roll out and cut a large piece of the adhesive shelf paper. The piece we used was 5½’ long. The width of the adhesive paper itself was wide enough for our image to fit onto. Remove the backing of the shelf paper and stick the adhesive side of the paper to wall, vertically. This 5 1/2-foot long piece of paper is what you will draw your selected image onto.

Tip: To guarantee that your paper will be adhered to the wall straight up and down, you can use a level and pencil to draw a perfectly horizontal line where you would like the bottom of the central image to be. When applying the adhesive paper, be sure that the bottom of your cut piece rests perfectly horizontal on this pencil line.

3. Create a frame out of masking tape around the outer perimeter of the shelf paper.  This will be outline for our colorful background.  Use the level to ensure that the box’s sides are perfectly straight.

4. You will now need to establish the inner image of the painting. Using the projector, you will project your selected image onto the adhesive paper that you placed on the wall. Be sure to adjust the size of the image’s projection to fill up the space on the paper. 


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5. With the image projected onto the adhesive paper on the wall, use the pencil to trace the image’s outline directly onto the adhesive paper.

6. You will now cut out the inner image from the larger piece of adhesive paper. With the image traced onto the adhesive paper, gently use the utility knife to cut along the traced pencil outline of the image. Be sure not to press the knife too hard up against the wall that you scratch it. Remove the outer adhesive paper, leaving the cutout image on the wall.

7. Using the acrylic paint and paint brushes, fill in the background of the framed area. The adhesive paper will protect the area where the inner image will later be drawn and painted.

Tip: You can choose to paint the background one color, or multiple colors like we chose to do. When using multiple colors, be sure to wet your paintbrush with the water to better blend the colors together.

8. After the paint on the background has had time to dry, remove the adhesive paper cutout of the image. The projector should still be projecting the image onto the negative, unpainted space in the center of the frame.

9. Begin to sketch in the central image into the unpainted portion inside of the frame. Using the pencil, sketch in the details of the image on the wall. Once you are satisfied with what you have sketched, trace over your pencil lines using the permanent marker.  You can later paint over the permanent marker lines or keep them in the piece as clean outlines.

Tip: Once you have traced over the pencil lines with the permanent maker, use a damp cloth to erase the pencil lines underneath the permanent marker lines. This will prevent smudging of the pencil lead into your final product.

10. Once the image has been traced in permanent marker, use the paint and paintbrushes to paint the central image, completing the art piece.

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