Life with a new baby can throw a wrench in the best of plans. And when it is your sixth, well, survival is first and foremost. I finally finished painting the nursery…<ahem> this past fall.
Yeah, I think that having a finished nursery to welcome the newest little one fell by the wayside after Zip, our third child, arrived. And you know what? I don’t think that Pop, Van or even Baby #6 have minded a bit. They all sleep in our room for the first 6-12 months anyway. (And yes, I know that Baby #6 needs her screen name.)
That’s just life.
I must admit though. Finishing painting the nursery walls was a great feeling. I loved the fresh, crisp sight of the white walls. However, I felt like it needed something else-an accent wall of some kind.
So I grabbed some leftover paints (SW interior satin white and SW interior satin mindful gray) and eyeballed mixing the two paints until I was happy with the results. It ended up yielding a very subtle design on the nursery wall. This was exactly the “look” that I was going for, simple but also soft at the same time.
After I mixed my color choice, I only needed one thing: a pattern or stencil. I didn’t want to spend money on one and I also did not necessarily want the look of a stenciled wall. If you have one, great. And I may do a stenciled wall down the road. But this time? This time I was looking for free, fast and fun.
I found what I was looking for in my kitchen pantry. A potato.
Simple and quick was the name of the game.
Here’s the easy how-to
- I cut my fresh potato in half (width-wise) and then scored my pattern in the surface of the potato flesh (the flat side- see photo below). The cuts with my knife were roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep
*Note: Keep your pattern simple. You will thank me later for that bit of advice. As you can see, I chose a diamond for my pattern.
- I then took the knife and cut about 1/4-1/2 down from the top….slowly until I reached my scored shape. You are NOT slicing through here. You are just cutting away the excess potato from your desired design.
The goal is to have a raised pattern, thus creating a stamp for your project.
You can see my lovely homemade diamond stamp.
- I also added small notches on the outside of the potato skin to mark the points of the diamond.
This helped me later to keep my diamonds fairly straight and pointing the same direction. You may want to notch one or more sides of your potato stamp to mark the top of the design, etc.
- Stamp away. Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. You are more than likely going to have furniture, wall art, etc. obscuring the continuity of the pattern anyway. No one will notice crookedness or spacing issues. Promise.
Here is my stamp all covered with paint. You may notice the cut down the middle of the diamond. I actually cut half of my diamond off. This allowed me to continue my pattern on the left and right side of the window in my accent wall. (Thankfully stamping above and below the window didn’t involve partial stamping.)
*Note: Definitely keep in mind what you will do with your pattern around any windows, doors and outlets as well as along the ceiling and floor. You may want to adjust your spacing to help with any issues BEFORE you begin stamping.
I absolutely LOVE the finished result. Sure, it is not perfectly spaced. I used my hands, a ruler and my eyes to decide stamp placements.
This room is actually a little hard to photograph. If the light hits the design just right, the pattern melts away into the rest of the wall. This is exactly what I wanted. My pattern isn’t a bold, straight lined, completely colored in diamond shape either. Again, the freestyle of the stamp was right down my alley.
It was a quick little update for the nursery “crib wall” that I was able to finish between feeding times for my little nursling. And trust me, I like quick.
Want to try an accent wall in your home? Are you like me and you love quick and free for your home projects? This easy DIY wall project is right for you.