Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Circle Circle Dot Dot

Anyone else remember that Cootie Shot? It appears to have been ineffective.

Playground vaccinations aside, I was getting really pissed at my living room. I just could not get it right, like the walls were too cluttered and without any cohesion and it was making me crazy.

I had that gallery wall going on on the right, which was alright, but it always seemed to be one frame away from being complete, no matter how many more frames I kept adding.

See? Its like even after balancing out the left side, its like I needed to add something on top.

Then added more on top, which helped, but was starting to make me feel like the restlessness would never end.

So I decided to just wipe it clean and start from scratch. Take all the frames off and relocate them around the house. I like graphic shapes on walls as evidenced by the chevron entry way:

Going through Pinterest for inspiration, realized I had pinned a ton of polka-dotted walls:

So that settled that, I was going to do polka dots! I started off by heading to Joann's to buy contact paper to create the stencils. (By the way, did you know that Joann has an app? Its amazing, I went and picked up a ton of stuff and you just pull up coupons on your phone, and my total went from $84 to $32!!!!! That many exclamation points are necessary for that.) I couldn't find any contact paper, but I found these sheets of duct tape:

They are exactly what they sound like, just sheets of duct tape. I picked two sheets in contrasting colors that would stick out on my wall (no pun intended) so mapping out the pattern and layout would be easy as pie. They are $1.50 each (fifty cents after coupons!), and I grabbed two.

I found a round object that was about the size I wanted, and traced it over and over on the backside of the sheets.

And started putting the stencils on the wall to map out exactly where I wanted everything...

Chic, no?

After I got all my stencils up and wanted to get ready to paint, I realized it was a little more sparse than I'd like. I was out of stencils, so I started using the circles I had cut out of the stencils to just mark places. And thats when the light bulb went off.

If I was sticking little round circles to the wall to map where I wanted to paint little round circles, why didn't I just skip the painting, which would require several coats and touchups, not to mention repainting when I move,  and why not just use duct tape circles in the first place?? Looking back it sounds so intuitive, but I swear my original plan had intent. I didn't want to worry about the dots peeling, as I read that contact paper sometimes does, and by using paint I could pick the exact shade that I wanted. 

Unfortunately, I was out of sheets, so I woke Andy up bright and early on Saturday morning to go back to Joanns. Love that kid. Luckily, I found a sheet of the Duck Tape that was almost the exact same color as the paint I had bought when I thought I was going to paint. Kismet, I tell ya.

From there, it was just placing them randomly until I liked how it looked. It ended up being anywhere from a foot to a foot and a half between each dot on the 13'x9' wall. I used just over 2 sheets. (I have another project in store for you this week with the leftover sheets!)

I wanted something to anchor the wall, but didn't want to put the white frames back up. I ended up scoring two 16" x 20" frames from Joann's for under $20 (god bless those fucking coupons), so I decided to hang those right in the middle. I haven't found the right art to go in them yet, so ignore the weird little boys in overalls painting a fence that I have framed right now, and lets pretend its something cooler.

 Wow! Look how convincing this picture is!!

Don't worry though, all those white frames have found homes around my apartment.

But lets get back to connecting the dots.

I'm obsessed with how much bigger it makes the room look. Plus, I've moved some of the dots around just to tweak it until I was happy and they peel off easily without removing paint but are still stuck on there really well after being moved around.

Not to mention, it makes the best Instagram background ever-

Andy being totally unfazed by it as he has his morning coffee

Kaitlyn getting a little Beetlejuic-y (Beetlejuicy?) after all crafting and no play makes her a little crazy.

Okay, you get it. I'm obsessed. Let's cut to the chase and do a project breakdown, shall we?

Four sheets of Duck Tape - $6 without coupon, $2 with
Marker and circle to trace- already had
Total - Two freaking dollars

A landlord-friendly room makeover with a huge impact for less than a load of laundry? I'll take it.

Until next time,


  1. So these really peel off without removing all the paint? OH MY GOODNESS I think I just found a solution to my boring white walls (I can't paint in our apartment)....

    I could even do striped duct tape walls....

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! you're my hero!

  2. They do make the best instagram pictures!

  3. This is awesome! We rent, and are allowed to pain, but have to prime before we move out. So, this would be so much better. Does it leave any residue on the surface after you peel it off?

    1. so far, not really! i moved a few around and there was a little gumminess that wiped away with a wet sponge.

  4. please come decorate my house, dang!

  5. Love it! You did an amazing job! You know we put up a sticker mural in my sons room, why it never occurred to me to make my own wall stickers is beyond me.. Thanks for sharing!

  6. brilliant! I would probably have done the same thing, except painted it (with Mark's help), and then Matt would walk into the room and be like, "why didn't you just stick circles to the wall?"

  7. i like the wall but surely the place looks bigger because you have rearranged the furniture, not because of a polka dot wall?!

    1. haha the furniture rearranging definitely helped, but i mean even after the rearranging/before the dots!

  8. Screaming. This is amazing and when I move in a few months I'll have to do something like this.


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