It’s a jungle in here!

Zack's room as it stands today.

Zack’s room as it stands today.

With the baby coming we are going to be making some big changes to the living arrangements around here, so I thought I’d make a post detailing how we made Zack’s room before the chaos starts and everything is different.

My "helper" getting in the middle of things (as usual)

My “helper” getting in the middle of things (as usual)

Inspired by a matched crib blanket/valance set we’d bought, we decided on a Jungle theme for his paint. Knowing how fickle little boys can be I thought it would be best if I kept things vague and just stuck with sky, clouds, grass, and a few stylized trees. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time and energy painting palm trees, vines, or animals I’d be painting over in just a couple years when Zack (or us) gets tired of looking at them. I sketched out a rough idea of what I wanted the grass and trees to look like. My wife had the brilliant idea of not refining it, suggesting I just blow up those rough sketches and use them as my guide.

Still in the process of blocking in the grass, sky, & clouds.

Still in the process of blocking in the grass, sky, & clouds.

The painting was simple enough. Following my sketches, I penciled in the outline for the grass, trees, and clouds. I used a yard stick to make sure that the grass was generally a uniform height and didn’t gradually get higher or shorter as it went down the wall.

Working my way to the left I've already done the first coat of outlining on the right side of the tree.

Working my way to the left I’ve already done the first coat of outlining on the right side of the tree.

Using Valspar Semi-Gloss, I First blocked in the blue sky, clouds, and the green grass. After they dried I was able to go back and work on the darker outlines. It was more time consuming than I had planned on, mostly due to my discovery that the latex enamel required two coats. Perhaps with different brushes I could have done it in one coat, but I’d already blown most of our budget on the paint.

Trying to keep organized.

Trying to keep organized.

When painting a design like this it’s always a good idea to label all your left over paint well. It’ll come in handy if you have to make any touch ups later on.

The finished product with original Ikea sun light.

The finished product with original Ikea sun light.

I found a Sun shaped ceiling lamp at Ikea that looked great on the sky ceiling. Unfortunately at night it tended to give the room an orange tint, so I ended up ditching the fixture and modified the scalloped sun edge to fit onto his previous room light. It might not be as cool looking as the Ikea light, but now we can see everything and we still get impression of a sun.

Replaced the Ikea light with the old ceiling light and parts of Ikea sun. Doesn't look as good, but the light is better.

Replaced the Ikea light with the old ceiling light and parts of Ikea sun. Doesn’t look as good, but the light is better.

The “Z A C K” letters were a previous project that we’d made for his nursery in our old house, we were fortunate that the colors matched his new room. The light up moon was a gift from Zack’s grandmother and blends right into the design.

Josh poses in his brother's room.

Josh poses in his brother’s room.

We picked up a few other jungle themed items to decorate with. We got the wooden monkey on clearance from Babies R Us and the jungle animal prints are by artist Lisa Rasmussen.

Rassmusen Print, Monkey rug from Target, Animal hangings from Babies R Us.

Rassmusen Print, a monkey rug from Target, Animal hangings from Babies R Us.

I had always intended to go back and put in some shelves, but never got the chance.

Showing the  second tree, this one is just inside the door of his room.

Showing the second tree, this one is just inside the door of his room.

I wasn’t kidding about big changes coming to this room. In the months ahead the boys will be moving in together so I’ll be constructing a loft bed for Zack (with stairs to get in), a twin bed for Josh, book shelves, modifying the closet racks, and new shadow box letters. Stay tuned, I’ll be posting these projects here as I get them done so that others can get inspired, learn from my mistakes, or just laugh at my lunacy.

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