At our sons’ school, the kids run an organic cafe. It’s THE cutest thing and the community really rallies to support them. Aside from promoting entrepreneurship, the children also develop their own recipes, harvest some of the ingredients on campus (herbs from the garden, eggs from the chickens, prickly pear for lemonade, etc.).
Anywho, they had a festival (fall/harvest festival) coming up and asked if I could create a booth backdrop for them. As soon as they asked, my head exploded with glee and I got right to work. I knew immediately I wanted it to be two-sided, one side for cafe sales & one side for interaction.
Sketching out the basic setup. Decided I wanted one side to be faux boxwood panels + a neon quote, and the reverse side to be the interactive mural people could pose with.
Dug through our random pile o’ wood and built a frame for the boxwood. The square panels come with clips that hold them together, but they are pretty flimsy, so I used (LOTS) of zip ties to further secure them. Not pictured, but I then added cross beams for additional support. This bad boy would be standing upright and it gets pretty windy here in the desert. I didn’t think squishing oodles of small children with a butterfly mural would look awesome on a resume. I used a staple gun to attach the boxwood panels to all of the beams.
I used two sets of EL wire to create the quote, one blue and one pink. Where I didn’t want the line to shine through, I wrapped the EL wire with black electrical tape. The on/off battery packs are attached to the side of the frame for easy access.
Next, it was time to build the mural side of the installation. I used dog-eared fence slats to create this side. We had a small pile of them on the side of the house just dying for a purpose. Pretty sure I acquired them while dumpster diving at some point.
Two layers of matte black paint.
It was FINALLY time to doodle paint! I just doodled whatever came to my mind. I’m not so great about planning designs like this. I do better, if I just blast music and see where it all goes.
Looking at the time stamps on the photos, I started around 9:30 PM and finished around 2 AM. I ended up using 3 of these Mean Streak Markers. I had never used them, but found them at Home Depot and loooove them. They are awesome for doodling on uneven surfaces and they are permanent once dry (just a few minutes). If you press heavily, they leave quite a bit of texture to the paint strokes, too (though, you will squish the tip of the marking point, if you get too heavy-handed).
And more doodling…
I hid lots of words and images in the mural that mean something special to the children and faculty at the school. It’s like a giant search & find!
And finally, mr.sweets4ever helped me lift the beast and build a rolling contraption for it. Now they can move it around the school easily. The wheels lock for safety, too.
Painted the legs & supports to hide them a bit and then she was ready to deliver to the school.
Boxwood side in action at the festival.
A couple of my adorable friends posing with the interactive mural side.
And my youngest working at the cafe one day. Just because he’s so damn cute in that itty bitty apron and I want to share. He was running to cars in the afternoon pick-up line to ask them if they wanted to place an order. He’s so petite, he couldn’t reach up to their car windows to see them, so he would just tap on the side of their doors to get their attention. It was the best.