Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tumbling Block Sharpie Wallpaper

DIY Tumbling Block Sharpie Wallpaper

Since I will be using this method, again, for the One Room Challenge, starting April 2nd(Ahem), I thought it was probably time for me to post the "tutorial".  I use the word "tutorial" loosely because it was really just me trying things until something worked and trying not to have to repaint too many times.  White over Oil-Based-Black-Paint-Marker is not a one coat job.  

My original inspiration  to do a design on the small corner that connects my hallway to my living room came from Mandi at Vintage Revivals and her Sharpie wall paper.  If you follow me on Instagram then you've already seen it, and you already know I was even featured in her monthly newsletter for this DIY!

Vintage Revivals Newsletter Featuring my Sharpie Tumbling Block Wallpaper

My idea for a design evolved from stripes, to chevron, to herringbone.  From white on black, to silver on black, to black on white...and so on, until I was finally inspired by the quilting tumbling block pattern, sometimes referred to as baby blocks.

Tumbling Block Quilt Pattern
courtesy of

My first idea was to print out the template they use to create the quilt pieces, trace the shapes onto cardboard, cut them out, and use the shapes like a stencil, but my angles weren't working.  This is a very finicky pattern, and the angles, and lines lining up, are crucial.  Say that five times fast.  

I tried to convince myself that a few lines being off wouldn't matter or maybe it would just look a little hand drawn, and unique, but I knew it would bother me until the day I died if I didn't get it right. Eye twitch inducing everytime I walked by it.

I had to cover my hard work with not 1, but 3 coats of paint, and start over.  Good times!  You can still see a shadow.  Back to brainstorming.

I had seen a tuotrial on Design Sponge where a blogger(Donna Yu) had created a graph on her wall using painters tape to create a geometric pattern.  So I pulled out my graph paper to see if something like that would work for me. Cue angelic chorus!  HALLELUJAH!! It would!!

Since I just wanted the lines, and wasn't coloring the sides of the blocks in, I would have to come up with something different than what she did.  I essentially turned my walls into graph paper.

I started at the top and marked off every 2".  Of course if you want your design bigger, go bigger.  I figured out my measurement by what was easiest and looked the most proportional on my graph paper.  Then I went down the side edge and marked every two inches and used the level and straight edge to draw straight lines up and down and left to right.  2" by 2" squares on two small walls took 2 days of nap times and after bed time and during bath time(I didn't leave her alone in the tub, her dad gave her baths. Don't call CPS) to do, but boy was drawing in the tumbling block design a breeze!  Kinda like connect the dots.  Please, make sure you use the PAINT marker.  If you use a regular Sharpie Marker, you will hate me for ever suggesting you try this and want to hunt me down and cut me.  Don't find out why the hard way.  Doesn't really matter if use water or oil based.  Trust me.

I think an easier way  would be to use a projector to get the graph lines, but I didn't have one, and was determined not to let this wall beat me.  

Close up:

Tumbling Block Graph Example.  Close up of grid for Pattern


Sharpie Wallpaper Tumbling Block Pattern Design in Black and White

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, cleaning the pencil lines up afterward was a pain and took many Magic Erasers.  Like, I had to buy them several times, several packages, and used them down to little knubs.  So, when I do this for the ORC I am using a Mechanical Chalk Pencil with Grey lead inserts. They use them in sewing.  There is yellow, too.   MUCH easier to wipe off, but I worry about smudging the lines while I draw the design.  I will let you know if it works better...or worse. 

Speaking of the ORC....

Don't forget to check out the One Room Challenge @ Calling It Home!

One Room Challenge Spring 2015 Reminder

Now go get started! It's tedious, but the finished product is so worth it!  

Hey, did I tell you about the One Room Challenge? HA

** Update: I finished my One Room Challenge!  You can see the reveal here, and see the amazing way the walls turned out in my bathroom!  I used two other quilt/optical illusion GOLD!

Tumbling Block within Block Pattern in Gold Sharpie
Block within Block Pattern Above Closet Door

Stacked Tumbling Block Pattern Sharpie Wallpaper in Gold
Stacked Tumbling Block Pattern on Entry Wall


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Friday, March 27, 2015

Wish Me Luck

Have you ever heard of the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda @ Calling It Home?  It is a 6 week event designed to encourage you to start a room you have been meaning to redo, or finish one you have been procrastinating about.  She enlists 20 pros and we are more than welcome to link up our own room redos and participate in the insanity!

6 weeks sounds like a long time, but it goes by really fast.  The pros will post their progress posts on Wednesdays and, us, non-pros, will link up on Thursdays.

It starts April 2nd and the reveals will be on May 7th. I am going to do it!!  At least, I'm pretty sure I am.  Most of me wants to to do it for accountability to finish my bathroom, but part of me is really insecure about'm 75% sure I'll be playing along.  I will for sure be following the other participants, you should too.

The last one was in the fall of 2014, check out the reveals of the 20 pros and 97 linkers! Amazing stuff!!  Very inspiring and some very cool and beautiful rooms...including some kitchens, if you can believe it. more time....

One Room Challenge

Hope to see you there.  Will you be participating?  Here is everything you need to know. I'm going to start putting my post together for week one right now.

Love Candy