Whenever I see a blank wall, I am tempted to fill it with something as quickly as possible.
Sometimes I simply pick a few photos from my hard drive, print them large, hang them up, pat myself on the back for not procrastinating, and move on.
And sometimes I plan the entire room around the photos, as was the case when I did a little makeover in my boys’ bedroom.
Our boys are seven and five and have always shared a room; they wouldn’t have it any other way. Now that they’re growing up a bit, we thought it was a good time for them to have a more sophisticated room.
When they chose a Star Wars theme, I thought to myself “oh this could get really tacky, really quick.” So I had to brainstorm. I searched online for ideas on decor, and actually found some pretty nice Star Wars ideas and products.
None of which really fit our budget for the room. This was a kids room after all, and I didn’t think it was necessary to break the bank. So I decided to get creative and make my own wall art to pull the room together.
The cast of characters…
While my boys love Star Wars, they don’t have a ton of Star Wars toys. However, they did get this little set of characters on our last trip to Disney World. So I decided to use them as my subjects.
We have this built-in bookshelf that serves as sort of a catch-all for our things in the living room. Whenever I’m photographing something small for personal projects, and I need an all white background, it’s usually done at this built-in. For things like personal photos and quick Instagram shots, for example, this does the trick when I don’t feel like pulling out a roll of seamless paper.
While I love my Alien Bee strobe, this little shop light really comes in handy for personal work around my house. It’s literally a lightbulb in a plastic cage attached to a cord. I stole it from my husband’s garage a long time ago because it’s so portable and simple to use. It’s either on or off, and I love the shadows I can create with it. Shadows were important to me for this project. Since I was shooting the toys on a white background, I wanted them to stand out and have some depth, instead of looking flat and one-dimensional.
I edited the photos as I normally do, by starting in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) and adjusting the white balance, contrast and exposure. Then I pulled them into Photoshop and zoomed in to clean up any spots or imperfections that might show when printed. Then I cropped them to 16×20.
The photos would be hung directly across from two windows, so glare would have been an issue if I framed them. I thought about canvas, but again I didn’t want to spend too much money here. So, I decided to print them on poster board, similar to matboard or foam board. That way, they were sturdy enough to hang unframed, and I liked the clean, modern look.
The final room…
After painting the walls blue and grey, putting new bedding on their now-stacked beds, adding a new area rug, and hanging the photos, I’m so excited with the “after!” I think the photos really helped tie everything together, and my boys think it’s super cool that I was able to create wall art using their toys.