Well, Arch You Cute

 A few months ago, I squeezed a little makeover in in the girls' room.  The twins share a room now (the youngest two moved out into this cute room) and I really wanted to make it more "them".  They're not toddlers or little girls anymore and they get closer to being bonified big girls everyday...ok, they are big girls - major denial over here...and so I wanted to make their room something cute and happy and whimsical and all those fun words.

We started with the rug that was already in there and the blank white walls, added some bold velvet curtains, and some pattern to the dresser, and then I took a page from Mandi's book and painted some arches on their walls.  Initially, I was going to go more bold and paint hearts all over their walls (just like the diamonds I painted in the kids old shared room) but they really, really wanted arches over hearts.  Ok girls, it's your room.  Arches it is.

I did it a little differently than Mandi did mainly because I didn't have the stuff she used on hand and I didn't want to buy anything new besides paint to do this.  First, I measured three inch spaces on the walls around the entire room, making vertical tick marks as I went.  I made them about 59 inches up from the top of the baseboard.  I started with the largest arch and, taking our largest level, drew a vertical line from the tick marks I had drawn all the way down to the baseboard.  This line would get painted over but to minimize seeing any pencil lines, I used one of the kids light pink colored pencils and drew as lightly as I could.  (I'd be using pink paint later.) 

Then, I made tiny horizontal ticks marks at what would be the top of each arch.  I went for three different arches so I made marks at three different heights.  The tallest arch topped out at 71 inches, the second at 68, and the lowest at 65.  Next, I grabbed three things I could use to make arches.  This required a little bit of a treasure hunt around the house.  For the largest arch, I used the top of the girls hamper.  The second highest arch was made using the lid of a pan, and the third, a mixing bowl.  I started with the highest arch (the hamper lid) and, lining the sides up with the lines I had drawn and the top with that horizontal mark I had made at 71 inches, lightly traced around the top edge of the hamper. 

I had Gianna take a picture of me doing this on my phone but then we got new phones and this one photo didn't want to transfer over so it's a picture of a picture.  In case you were wondering...  ;)

With the lines of the largest arches traced, I painted.  A sample pot of Valspar's Pacific Shoreline was all I needed to do all of the arches in this room (and I still have half the pot left)!  Yep, you heard that right.  These arches only cost me $4.  

The largest arch was painted full-strength color-wise but diluted with a little bit of water, maybe a teaspoon of water to 1/8 cup of paint.  I do this every time I paint patterns on walls so that the paint doesn't leave ridges that will show up later when whoever paints over the arches.  Thinning the paint also helps achieve that watercolor look I was going for.

For the second arch in, I tried a different method.  Instead of drawing lines from my tick marks down to the baseboard, I traced the top of my pan lid for the arch with my pencil, painted it, and then used the level to paint the rest.  I covered one side of the level in tape to protect it from paint and just painted along the level, down the wall, starting at the bottom of the arch and following the level to the baseboard.

Also, to get that ombre look, I added white paint to the pink at a 1:1 ratio.

I don't really know which method is easier - drawing the lines first or just painting along the level, but I ended up drawing the lines on for the last, smallest arch.

Last, I removed the tape I had covered the baseboards with, moved furniture back into place, and surprised the girls with a finished room after school one day.  

They LOVED it and still do.

I feel like I was a little all over the place with steps so let me list 'em real quick like:

1.  If needed, paint the walls whatever color you want to be your base.

2.  Make small vertical tick marks on the walls every three inches around the entire room.  With my highest arch topping out at 71 inches, I made my tick marks 59 inches up from the top of the baseboard.  Next, make small horizontal tick marks at the top of where each arch will be.  If you want more arches than the three I went for, make your marks closer together.  I'd say a good rule of thumb would be to subtract a half inch for each extra arch.

3.  Tape off the baseboards.  I actually didn't do this at first but kept having to wipe up paint I'd accidentally gotten on the baseboards trying to make my lines the same width all the way down.  It's worth the extra time to just tape them off quick.

4.  Find three different sized circular objects around the house to use as guides in drawing arches.  You can also just make your own stencils out of cardboard if you can't find anything or you can adjust the width of your lines to fit whatever you find.  You just want to make sure your circular objects are three inches (less if you go for more arches) different in diameter from each other so that you'll keep that three inch space between lines all the way along.  

5.  Draw lines from your tick marks down to the baseboards using a light hand and a matching colored pencil, if you've got one.

6.  Start painting, diluting and adding white as you go.  If you want the arches the same color all around, that's great too!  Or maybe you want multiple colors!  The sky's the limit.

I did this within the span of a week so it's definitely something you don't have to do all at once...in case you don't have huge chunks of time for projects like me.  I just worked on one wall at a time.

A few more things...

The rug is this one that I "dyed" a few years ago.  It's definitely lost some of the bold color and it's now more of a dark salmon than bright orange-red but it fits perfectly in here and is still going strong.  The curtains are these velvet ones*.  I found their quilts at Dirt Cheap but they're these from Target*.  "They" were actually a king-size that I cut in half; serging down the cut side to get me two perfectly sized quilts.  They're less wide than your average twin-size but I've found they're even better because there isn't a ton of excess quilt I have to stuff down the side of their beds.  We all know how fun it is to make bunk beds...  If you scroll up a few photos, you'll see what their dresser looked like before and then after I covered the drawer and door fronts with this removable wallpaper*.  I got the wallpaper at Dirt Cheap for under $10 and the dresser was in dire need for something so it was a match made in heaven.  It's been on there for at least three months without any tearing or peeling incidents so I'll say it's a win.  I'm currently on the lookout for the matching bedding so I can whip up some coordinating pillow covers for the girls.  Let me know if you spot any (they're not sold in-store anymore)!  The lamp on the dresser is the acrylic version of this one*, also found at Dirt Cheap (for $3!!!)  The doll house is the same one we made over a couple of years ago and the shelf is old but the cute baskets on it are all from Dollar Tree.

I'm sure that when the girls turn into teenagers, another makeover will be on its way but until then, it's cute.  It's real cute.  And happy.  And whimsical (or should I say twinsical?)  And all those fun words.  ;)

When I look back at where we started, sometimes I think about how I should've just kept the old pink wallpaper up just for a fun challenge (and then I remember that Seb had to sleep in here too for awhile)...

But we didn't.  It came down oh-so-stubbornly...

And the four kids snoozed in here for at least a year together...

But now here we are and here we'll stay...for a little while at least.  Kids rooms are so fun.  😃

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  1. Oh it's so cute Sheena! It's the perfect girls room!

  2. Cute make over! Love how thrifty you were!