February 21, 2011

Whimsical Nursery Wall Hangings

This week’s installment of Let’s Make Something Together has us playing with a variety of media to create darling wall hangings for a special little someone in your life!

Having just moved into our new home, our walls are still very bare for the most part. So, when the weekly challenge over at So You Think You’re Crafty was based on the theme Wall Decor, I jumped at the opportunity to adorn the naked walls in my youngest daughter’s nursery! 

When dreaming up the look I wanted to achieve with these, I came across these personalized animal wall hangings at Pottery Barn Kids. I loved the look of these, but not the price tag. (Isn’t that how it always works?) So, I opted to create some of my own, using the same initial/animal theme. Each of the wall hangings is personalized with Baby’s initials in bold denim and a corresponding animal shape for each letter. To really take this project to the next level, I adhered my fabrics to a special interfacing called Peltex to create an abundance of dimension. Machine stitching imparts a homespun feel to these wall hangings, while the variety of vibrant fabrics and whimsical animal shapes is entirely fresh and modern. The dynamic color palette and variety of shapes incorporated into these little works of art are sure to captivate Baby’s interest, too!

Interested to see how I put these darlings together? Let’s get to it!

For this project, you will need…

3 plain stretched canvases (I used 8×10)
Painter’s tape
Acrylic paint
Foam brush
Assorted fabric scraps
Fusible Peltex*, about 1/2 yard
Washable ink marker
Hot glue
Word processing software and printer
Jeans sewing machine needle (optional)
Sewing machine (optional)

*See note below

step 1 / Apply a frame of your painter’s tape to your blank canvases about 3/4″ from the outer edge of each, as shown. Use your foam brush to apply acrylic paint to this blank outer frame you created, both on the front and sides of the canvas. Allow paint to dry completely before removing your tape.
step 2 / Fuse Peltex to the back of your fabric pieces according to the product instructions. Using your word processing software, create tracing templates for each of Baby’s initials. (I used Rockwell Extra Bold at 550 pixels.) Cut out your templates, then use your washable marker to trace them in reverse onto the back of your fused fabric piece. Cut out your letters, and then machine stitch around the edge of each with your machine outfitted with your jeans needle, if desired.
For the animal shapes, create templates by hand, or find some images you like on the web. (See my notes below for things to keep in mind when creating your templates.) Cut these templates out, and trace them onto the back of your fused fabrics, just as you did for the initials. Be sure to mix and match your fabrics to give your wall hangings a vibrant, whimsical feel. Cut out each of the shapes, and stitch around these as well (optional).
From the scraps of fused fabric you have remaining, cut various triangle shapes, approximately 5 for each canvas, depending on the size of your triangles. These will be used to form a pennant banner at the corner of each of your wall hangings.
 step 3 / Arrange all of your cut shapes onto your dry canvases: your initials, your animal shapes, and your pennant triangles. Once you are satisfied with the overall layout of your design, use hot glue to adhere each element to your canvas. Apply rick-rack over your pennant banner, as shown. Embellish your animal shapes with buttons, rick-rack and other items, if desired. (I used button eyes for my animals, as well as rick-rack antennae and legs for my caterpillar.)

You are finished!

Helpful Hints and Tips

Peltex is a very heavy-weight interfacing often used in place of cardboard or other materials to add stability to the base of handbags or totes. This really is a key ingredient to these canvases, as the dimension it imparts takes everything to the next level. You can find it where the rest of the interfacings are located in your sewing supply store.

Because of the personalized nature of these, I was unable to provide animal templates for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. However, if your baby’s name happens to include any of the letters in my hangings above, you can download those animal templates here.

When formulating your animal templates, keep the shapes involved as simple as possible. Refer to my animal shapes above, which include basic shapes like hearts, circles, etc. Bear in mind that the more intricate the design you choose, the more tedious your work will become!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions!

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61 Responses to Whimsical Nursery Wall Hangings

  1. Amanda February 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    These are lovely, I really need to do something similar to jazz up my little boys rooms, thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Suzie February 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Yours are way cuter!

  3. Two Shades of Pink February 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    These are over the top adorable! They are just so CUTE!

  4. Rachel {BubblyNatureCreations.com} February 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    I adore everything about this!!! Great job!

    we are having a giveaway this week on my blog… check it out if you like!


  5. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} February 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    This is SO cute! I love the bright colors and the hidden hearts on each animal. Definitely an eye grabber for baby!!

  6. Erica February 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    These are amazing! Man, I wish I was having another baby just to make some of these! Thanks for sharing!
    erica @ http://bisforboycreations.blogspot.com/

  7. The Cottage Mama February 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Oh my gosh, SO cute!! And did you notice how they match your blog colors? I just love this project – thank you for sharing with us!!


  8. Erin @ Crafts and Sutch February 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    These are so darling! I love every little element…the denim, the pennants, the cute little critters! So charming!

  9. amy@flexibledreams February 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    These are SO amazing!! I love everything about them, including your photos!!

    I featured you on my blog today. Stop by to check out the post and pick up your featured button 🙂


  10. Lisa Summerhays February 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Absolutely adorable!

  11. Kelli @ RTSM February 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    These are so cute! I love the mix of fabrics and the fun penants with the rick rack!

  12. Hillcrest Acres February 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    These are absolutely adorable!! Love the fun, bright colors .

  13. Becca February 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Those are amazing! I’m trying to figure out something fun to do with initials or the name for our nursery, but we have to name the baby first. This is when I start to wonder why I agreed to not finding out the gender…

  14. Allie February 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    These are perfect. I love them. The colors are so bright and cheery. Awesome job!

  15. Sew Like My Mom February 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    I really loved these, Amy! If I was an outsider voting, they would have been my choice! 🙂

  16. Alison February 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    OH my goodness! Amy these are so incredibly cute! At first, I wondered if you were doing an ABC kind of thing, but I love that you used her initials!! It’s so whimsical, fun, bright, and happy–perfect wall decor for a nursery! And those pennants are darling! Way to go!

  17. Stef February 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    These are darling, Amy! So cute. I love the all the dimension with the layers and the stitching. So cute!

  18. Jen-CraftOManiac February 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    How darling and adorable are these. Love the colors and everything about them. Well done. Jen

  19. Natalie February 21, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Love this idea!! Too much cuteness! I’m a new follower and would love it if you had a chance to check out my newbie blog sometime!

  20. Maria Teresa February 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Me perdoe, não sei inglês, mas você é super criativa, amo suas sugestões e agradeço por compartilhar idéias tão belas.
    Abraços carinhosos de Maria Teresa

  21. Bobbi February 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    OMG. I love them! I’m going to have to try it out soon! Thanks so much for the tutorial! ♥ BJ

  22. Heather February 22, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Amazingly cute + great tutorial;)

  23. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish February 22, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Love these and great tutorial!! Have to share on my FB page!

  24. Infarrantly Creative February 22, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    Love it , love you, stumbled it.

  25. cade+sierra+averlin February 22, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    adorable! You are so talented!

  26. Sincerely February 22, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    These are adorable! You could do so many variations. This post is definitely going into my inspiration files!


  27. Shelley February 22, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    these are precious! thanks for sharing. I don’t have any kids of my own, but I have several preggo friends who may be getting these as shower gifts! Also, yours are WAY cuter than PB’s

  28. krissyjosephine February 22, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    How stinking cute is that! With all of my friends having babies, this looks like a gift I might have to try sometime 🙂

  29. Jane February 22, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    Love this! Thanks for the detailed tutorial!

  30. Sugar_Tart February 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    These are so adorable! I’ve been looking for a cute way to post the Alphabet in my daughter’s room and now I think I’ve found it! Thanks so much for sharing this!


  31. Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} February 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    So fun! I love all the different elements together, it just works! And the elephant is adorable, ps.

  32. radn February 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm #


    I am having 2 giveaways on my blog.A chance to win $15 store credit from LiaGeneFab11 who has fancy headbands and hair clips for your daughters and a fairy silhoutte tee from ElizabethHorton. Just leave a comment to win. http://houseonashwelllane.blogspot.com/2011/02/fancy-headbands-and-hair-clips-giveaway.html

  33. this blessed nest February 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    i can’t take the cuteness!!!!

    these are crazy cute.

    of course, i think you know i have a thing for some bunting on EVERYTHING!!!

    love love love this idea.


  34. Jaime February 24, 2011 at 1:38 am #

    Too darn cute and your workmanship is beautiful. Job well done.

  35. Suzy February 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    So cute!! I love the colors! I would be thrilled if you stopped by my Commercial Break Thursday at http://www.suzyssitcom.com and linked this project!


  36. Lindy@Itsy Bitsy Paper February 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    This is amazing art! I absolutely love it. Stopping by from http://itsybitsypaper.blogspot.com

  37. Kristen February 26, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Very well done, and nice and bright and cheerful. I think the buntings are what make it sheer perfection. Love!

  38. Catherine February 26, 2011 at 2:02 am #

    These are amazing – thanks for the great tips!

  39. M* {Daydream Believers} February 26, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    These are so cute! I love the modern styling. Your color choices look great! 🙂 Nice job.

  40. Melissa February 26, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Love these!!! Adorable!!

  41. Brook February 26, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    Love!! So adorable.

  42. Beverly @ FlamingoToes.com February 26, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    These are so darling!!! They are seriously some of the cutest nursery art I’ve ever seen. I love the fabrics and colors!

  43. Susan @ Living with Punks February 26, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    These are darling! I love the colors. I’m sure they will be enjoyed for years to come 🙂

  44. Michelle @ Loving Every Second February 26, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    To DIE for!!! Love, love, love these! Such fun colors and just adorable all around 🙂

    Found you @ the linky party @ TT&J and I’m a new subscriber!

    Michelle 🙂

  45. Laurel {Make and Takes} February 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    These are fabulous! I’d love for you to submit these over at the M&T Spotlight: http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

  46. Jamie February 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    OMG! Those are adorable. What an inspiring post. I absolutely love the little bird and elephant. I’m your newest follower. It would be great if you could stop by my blog Monday and add your project to The More The Merrier Link Party.


  47. Jen-CraftOManiac February 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    You have been featured at CraftOManiac, thanks a bunch. Winks-Jen

  48. Liz February 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Wow! How adorable! I’m so glad to have found your blog!

  49. CraftySix February 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    This is such a great idea! I really need to dust off my sewing machine! 🙂

  50. I♥naptime w/ Chocolate Sundaes February 27, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    SO SO cute! Love your blog. I hope you’ll link it up at I Heart Nap Time.

  51. Chelsea February 28, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    I LOVE these… will definitely be referring back to this tutorial when I have my next baby! I actually featured it today on my blog, http://www.nestingtime.blogspot.com. Thanks for sharing your creative talents!

  52. Kim February 28, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    These are FABULOUS!! You did an amazing job on them. Thanks for sharing!

  53. Perpetual Blind Date March 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    My brother and sister in law are having a baby in october… looks like i know what i will be making them! thanks for the idea!

  54. Rachel at Sun Scholars March 18, 2011 at 4:49 am #

    Those are so beautiful! I love them!

    I’d love to have you share at my For the Kids Friday Link Party! I’m sure you’ll find some fun ideas while you are there! Come join the fun!


  55. Amanda @ Frills and Frolic March 23, 2011 at 5:40 am #

    You are one crafty lady!!!

    I have featured this project on my blog today and I would love for you to stop by!



  56. Jaimee April 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    These are absolutely incredible! I love LOVE how creative and cute they are!! Very good work! Your dress up ones about knocked me off my chair, too! Your canvases are a true inspiration : )

  57. Connie the crafterbug May 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I almost didn’t leave a comment because you have so many,but I had to tell you that these are fantastic!

  58. Morgan March 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Oh you can’t even imagine how thrilled I was to come across this post! I am using E is for Elephant theme in her nursery and to have the elephant pattern has literally made my month!!! Thank you so much!

  59. Welcome to AB Designs April 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    so nice! love your site
    Ashley ,

  60. Kelly Jean June 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    I think yours are WAY cuter than the ones you got the inspiration from!

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