Through the Trees

Things to know about me:

1. I like to DIY.
2. I like making our small-ish Chicago apartment feel home-y.
3. I love to save money.

As you’ll see, our apartment was a doozy when we moved in. Some highlights: a sea foam-y green dining room, a spare room that has been a nursery and that retained its golden yellow stripes on a beige wall, and kitchen tiles that had images of fish and bottles of champagne on them. Oh yes, our work was cut out for us.

Obviously, since we’re renters, not a lot could be done about those kitchen tiles. But luckily, we have cool landlords that let us paint until our hearts content (and we made some pretty bold choices).

However, I’ll start off with an easy project we just recently did.

This wall above the couch is the first thing you see when you walk through the door, so it needed some pizzaz. And some DIY.


We bought 3 plain canvases on sale. The plan was to find a stencil and a paint color and then go to town. After much searching, we finally found what we were looking for – a birch forest stencil, from an etsy seller. The next decision was the paint color. We tossed around light blue and melon, both colors matching the rug and the couch pillows, but I thought that would be too much. Instead, we went with a deep brown color, Roasted Nuts, by Behr. I liked the way the color plays off both the coffee table and the other piece of art we already have on the wall. Best of all, for a small job like this, we were able to get the small sample size of paint, for less than $3!

OK, now for the how to do it. First, we used painter’s tape to tape off the sides of each canvas. Next, we set up our canvases on top of a bunch of newspaper. Then, we placed the stencil directly on top of all 3 canvases. Now, we were lucky in that our stencil was so large, but if yours is smaller, just do one canvas at a time. We secured the stencil to the canvases with painter’s tape on the side of the canvas. We also had a board game that was the exact hieght of the canvas, so we put that on the table too, so the stencil didn’t slump. Later on, we found out we could have also used spray adhesive to stick the stencil directly onto the canvases. Oh well.


It’s painting time! We got out our little dabber burshes and dab away we did. The key is to use a small amount of paint, so it doesn’t bleed underneath the stencil. Once we did all 3 stencils, we left the canvases there to dry overnight.


The next day, we hung our new art above our couch. I love it.


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