Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kitchen Wall Quote

I love this quote by Luciano Pavarotti: "One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."

I think it very nicely sums up a lot of things... festive holidays, friend and family gatherings, the delight over a delicious, well-cooked meal, and how, no matter the chaos of the day or distractions of modern-day life, we still have to settle down and eat. It also reminds me that I'm pretty thankful for the lifestyle we have and that we do have food to eat.

So, when it came to our kitchen, I wanted to put this quote on the wall. I looked into vinyl wall stickers, but not only are they pricey, but I couldn't find one large enough. I decided to do it myself instead. Here are the results!

Here's how I did it.
1) I picked a font I liked and put the quote in that font. Bob approved.
2) I made the entire quote, in the font I liked, into a PDF.
3) I pasted that PDF into Excel, which will let me blow up an image to multiple pages.
4) Using print preview and the size ratio adjuster, I blew up the image to my liking, and printed it out. Bob gave the thumbs up.
5) I pieced the image together and hung it on the wall where we (yes, we, not just me) decided to put the image. This also allowed us to test where exactly to hang it without having to commit to sticking it on the wall there:

6) I then traced out the words. Here's the result halfway through.

Wondering how I traced it? I used a trick I learned from my (genius) friend Natalie over at Almost Never Clever. Going one word at a time, I cut the word out of the overall quote (being sure to know where to put the word back so the quote stayed aligned).
I took the cut word and I shaded the entire back of the cutout with a pencil. I then taped the word back on the wall (in the correct spot) and outlined the letters. The shaded back meant that when I outlined, it left faint traces of the word on the wall. So, when I removed the cutout again, I was left with this:
That permitted me to go back over it with a black sharpie, which gave me a lot more wiggle room when I finally painted in the letters in black. I love Natalie's trick-- it's cheap carbon paper (and really, where can you find carbon paper nowadays?)! All my letters and words transferred over without any problem.

With the letters (finally) all transferred over to the wall, I was left with this:
So, 7) it was time to paint. I didn't need much paint, but I needed black paint. So, I went to Home Depot and got a sample-size of paint (on clearance!) of eggshell Martha Stewart, but tinted to Behr paint's "Mickey Ears" color. That was the blackest black I could find. Total cost? $1. And really: that was my only cost for this entire project (besides my labor hours!).

The sharpie black outline really was a blessing. I could be more quickly precise with a sharpie than a paintbrush, so, while I could have done without the sharpie, the sharpie made the process go a lot faster.

So finally, voila. The quote is on our wall! We did have to keep the golden retriever out of the kitchen if there was any wet paint-- we didn't need that tail swatting wet paint around.

Yes, it's on there permanently and vinyl wouldn't be permanent. But, we like the quote enough that we expect it to stay up there for years, and, for that amount of time, vinyl would likely create a shadow (from fading) on the wall anyway. Plus, this was exactly to our liking and we won't ever have any peeling (hey, it's the kitchen-- the wall could have gotten wet and we could have had peeling vinyl!)

So, long story short, we love our new wall and our new quote. It was easy and very custom-tailored to us... because we did it ourselves!

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