outside in

Although Owen still sleeps in our bed he does indeed have his own bedroom. As it does not get used very often it has been left alone for quite some time with empty walls and bare corners. However, with my nesting instinct in full gear I was feeling it was finally time to make this space special for Owen. The walls in his room are very tall and so I could never picture simply decorating them with paintings or photographs and new some kind of mural would be the way to go. Birch trees are the first thing that came to mind, I played a bit with wanting to add in some animals but finally decided so keep things simple. Birch trees are one of my favorite kind of trees and I was excited to be able to bring a little of the outdoors into our home.

To get started I googled birch tree sencils to get an idea of how I wanted my trees to look as I knew I had many options. I choose a few pictures I liked best and read a blog (which I now cannot find for the life of me!) about what steps to take to paint birch trees freehand and was blown away at how simple it was going to be to actually do this. I was feeling a bit nervous about painting freehand on our house walls, so it was great to see the process broken down into simple steps. I am a painter but painting on our actual walls was really freaking me out. These three easy steps however really calmed me down and reasured me that I could do this without it looking like a total disaster.

Materials Needed:

  • Roller brush (I used one 4 inches wide)
  • Different sized paint brushes to paint branches and make touch ups.
  • Paint and paint tray (Note about my paint color choice: In Owen’s bedroom three walls are of a light blue and one of a darker hue so I simply used the paint leftover from this to create my mural. Using the darker hue of blue paint to paint the trees, this allowed me to use the lighter blue paint to touch up any mistakes I made. This made the whole process incredibly forgiving).
  • Blue tape

Step One:

Tape off base boards and ceiling in areas you will be painting your trees. Using the roller brush make your tree truck from the bottom to the top of the wall, this could be a straight line or curved, up to you, I choose to do some straight trees and some curved. I also choose not to make all of the tree trucks the same size. To do this I would only press down on one side of the roller brush instead of pressing the entire brush down to the wall. I would then use the smaller sized paint brushes to make touch ups along the sides of the trucks.

Step Two:

Add branches using smaller sized paint brushes.

Step Three:

Using the same color as backgroud wall color (here I used the lighter blue paint) paint lines into the trees to create the look of bark on the trees. Once this step in complete you are all done! Step back and admire your work.

I am really happy with the final product of this project. His rooms finally feels alive and like a fun place to be. As for Owen, he definitely seems happy about this new addition to his room. He’s been pretending to climb the trees and talking about monkeys and owls playing around up in the tree tops. Now I just gotta get Papa to build him some wooden shelves for his books and toys and his rooms will be complete. It took me about a year to get around to this project so lets see how long it will take Papa.


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