How to paint a wall mural if you’re not artistic, Part 1

Find or borrow some sort of projector or overhead projector. I bought the Tracer Jr. from Artograph.

Image from Artograph

It’s available at Michael’s and sells for $50. I used a coupon and got mine for $30. Tangent: It was obvious that someone else had used and returned the one that I bought and then taped the plastic shut again on the bottom. Don’t do that! Come borrow mine if you’re desperate, but let’s keep it honest.

First of all, let’s talk about the limitations of this projector. The size image you can project maxes out at about 3.5” X 3.5”. It’s really best if you can reduce your image to that size and then move the projector further away from the wall. Trying to project the image in sections (even after drawing an elaborate grid system) will make you curse. Because of the mirrors and stuff inside, you can’t just slide the projector over and have the image cooperate.

It also took me a bit to figure out that you didn’t turn the black part to focus…you slide it in or out. I’m sure none of you would have that issue, though. Winking smile

Are there nicer projectors out there? You bet. Was it worth $30? Absolutely.

So, I printed out a Utah Jazz logo and projected it onto the wall and traced the whole thing directly onto the wall in pencil.

And then I started painting and realized that I am way too uncoordinated to just PAINT something like that.

See those edges on the right side of the ball part? That was the problem. I’d taped off the straight line over on the right and liked how it looked, but I didn’t know what to do about the curves.

So, I had to come up with a plan. A plan which you will hear more about tomorrow.

Open-mouthed smile

Part 2

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  1. I bet Keller loves it!

  2. oh my gosh. i started reading your blog maybe a month ago, and i love it. you ALWAYS make me laugh (we have the same kind of humor), and you have BEST title, and you make the coolest crap! thanks for sharing this, can't wait to hear more.

  3. My daughter showed me a post of yours from last October. It mentioned that your son has Aspergers. How old is he? We have a 17-year-old that is mild to moderately Autistic. I have only recently started blogging, but this week I have been revisiting his diagnosis and how it changed our lives. Come and visit my blog at I'd love to know if your journey was similar to ours.

  4. Pedey @ Do You Smell That!!? says:

    I have one of their projectors, too – and I did the same thing trying to focus it by turning the black part! LOL Definitely not an awesome product but 'good enough' for sure! you did a great job!

  5. Julie @ Pickles and I Scream says:

    We used a Trace Projector to do our daughters "Seussery". My father in law already had one (no idea why) but it totally would have been worth the $30-$50 to buy one new. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who spent some time twisting the black part instead of pushing/pulling!

  6. Good Time Charlie says:

    Very cool idea. Looking forward to what you do with it next.

  7. KristenB says:

    I'm pretty sure I need that projector! Awesome!

  8. This looks cool for the random project. Just wondering though… Do you mean 3.5' instead of inches? Thanks.

  9. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    No…it's inches. I'm talking about the size your original image can be. The projection can be way bigger, depending on how far from the wall you move your projector. The Jazz logo is approximately 5 feet wide.

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