Saturday, April 17, 2010

Toy Room Mural

Six years ago we moved from apartment life into our first house. One of the things I wanted to do was have a toy room for our two sons that was fun and colorful. Our new home had a small bedroom with a low ceiling that we wouldn't be needing for something else, so we decided that it could be the Toy Room.

After several years of "Trading Spaces" with no creative outlet for painting on walls, I was pretty confident that I could just whip something up that would be worthy of a Toy Room. In my head, it would be a big branching tree on a hillside, with favorite children's characters all coming to visit and play with the boys. That's pretty much how it turned out, so I guess it worked okay.

R2-D2, Tutter, Winnie the Pooh, Marlon, Nemo and Dory, Poky Little Puppy

The collection of characters ended up being a mix of the ones that I loved when I was a pup and the ones that my older son was already getting into. I painted the mural when my older son was about three years old, and my younger son was about six months old. Between the two of them, they did end up loving most of the characters there--and still do. Originally I think my idea was that I would add new characters to it over time, but once the mural was finished, I haven't gone back.

Snoopy, Elmo, Kermit the Frog
If I had gone back and added characters, they would probably include the boys' new favorites, like Thomas the Train and WALL-E and Lightning McQueen and Batman and Robin and Darth Vader...but we'd get into some bloody carnage at some point. So maybe it's best that we stayed in the safely preschool area.

Curious George
One of the things I'm glad I did was that I made the leaves of the tree from stencils I made of the boys' hands. At first I thought I would just dip their hands in paint and use them like stamps all over the tree...I'm glad I had the stencil idea instead. As they've grown, they like comparing their bigger hands to their younger versions, and it's been a warm reminder to us that they won't be that size forever.

Slimy the Worm and Woodstock

Luna from "Bear in the Big Blue House"

Super Grover and Buzz Lightyear

The entire mural
My seven year old turns eight next week, and he was just looking over my shoulder and saying, "the Poky Little Puppy is still my favorite! Sometimes I still play with him in my imagination...but soon you're going to take that down." And he's right. Soon we're going to paint over it and make a new Toy Room for them. The new version will have framed pictures of old fashioned toys, and I'm thinking a painted grouping of Pixar characters on a canvas, so I won't have to paint over it again. It's been a good room. It'll still be a good room. But I think I'll miss the mural.


  1. That is one *awesome* mural! Sad to think of it being painted over, but at least it is preserved on film. What a super-cool toy room!

  2. Wow, kids already thinking of painting it over? That's sad, indeed. I love this mural! It's something I've always wanted to do but never made myself take the opportunity. My boys are probably near the age where they wouldn't appreciate something like that either.

    Great post, Quinn.

  3. Maybe you could take a good close-up picture of the Poky Little Puppy and some other shots of the mural and frame them for the new room.

    Sorry to see it go. Ya done good with that one.

  4. Awww. I love your toy room mural! I'm sure the new toy room will be awesome too though.