Making Old New Again | Hot Air Balloon Nursery Decor Makeover
Something that I’ve learned recently, is that some of the best things come out of mistake or happenstance. My husband and I have been so blessed to receive hand-me-downs from family members that our daughter will be able to wear in the future. Some of these items won’t fit her until she is quite a bit older, so for now we have needed to carve out a little storage space in our small home to keep those items stored safely until she’s ready to wear them. I was sorting through some storage totes in a closet downstairs, desperately trying to consolidate some of the contents in order to make room, and stumbled upon a little treasure chest! This small tote had some nostalgic memorabilia items from my childhood like journals, a small pillow with a funny saying, miscellaneous items and a wooden wall decor piece that took me way back in time.
What I pulled out of the small tote of memories was a wooden hot air balloon wall decor piece from my father’s house. To give you a little back story on my life, I grew up with two homes from a young age, which meant I had two bedrooms! This hot air balloon plaque looked familiar but definitely gave me 70’s vibes, so like many other items I remember from my childhood, I thought perhaps this one was passed down to me from one of my older sisters. I snapped a photo of the hand painted throwback and sent it to my sister Taryn – she recognized it too! I immediately was inspired to find a way to incorporate this piece into my daughter’s nursery, and was given her blessing to give it a little facelift.
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I have seen hot air balloon themed designs all over recently, so I took to Pinterest and Etsy to do a little image searching for some inspiration. There are so many adorable interpretations of this trend that it was tough to decide what direction I wanted to take for my project! The nursery has a pretty neutral white and taupe colored base, so I’ve added little splashes of blush pink here and there to give a feminine feel to our little girl’s first bedroom. I also fell in love with a piece of balloon decor I saw that incorporated some twine and gave a great added texture.
Utilizing search engines like Google Image Search, Pinterest and even Instagram is a great way to help get your creative juices flowing. If you use this method for creating items that you are going to sell, make sure to give the original creator some credit in your shop listing or social media posts! Imitation may be the best form of flattery, but make sure to take inspiration from others, add your own twist on it and make it your own!
GETTING TO WORK
I began by removing the ribbons that attached the basket on to the balloon, and unscrewing the eye-hooks that allowed them to be tied together. Both pieces got a good two coats of white acrylic paint to cover up the original design and give me a good blank canvas to start with. Once the paint was dry, I freehanded the balloon’s panels on with a pencil to give myself a guide for painting. Mixing up the right blush pink color was my next task – I grabbed some small bottles of acrylic paint in baby pink, white, and bright yellow. The touch of yellow helped warm up the baby pink and give it a blush/coral tone that matched the color scheme I have going on in the nursery. Don’t have a collection of acrylic paint on hand? Check out this set to get you started.
Taking my time was key with hand painting the colored panels onto the balloon portion of this project. I worked slowly to try and keep my lines as clean as I could, and ended up doing two thin layers to get good opaque coverage. While the paint dried, I grabbed a ball of twine that I had in my craft stash, heated up my hot glue gun and started tackling the basket portion.
This part of the project was pretty simple but messy! I placed a dab of hot glue on the back top section of the wooden basket shaped design, placed the end of the twine there to anchor it, and began wrapping. The tight angles and pesky twine called for using a thin strip of hot glue all the way around to hold the twine in place – beware of the hot glue strings and burnt fingers! I continued glueing and wrapping the twine all of the way around the basket ending it on the bottom portion by spinning it around in a swirl to finish it off.
Once the paint on the balloon was dry, I used a bit more hot glue and twine plus colored scrapbook paper to create the look of a draped pennant banner around the balloon. The twine left some stringy pieces sticking out, so I used very sharp scissors to trim them off and give a smoother more finished appearance. Once everything was dried and looking good I attached the top balloon portion to the bottom basket piece with two more pieces of twine.
Voila! This makeover was super cathartic for me, especially during this pandemic. Working from home and quarantining from the outside world for the last few weeks while I round out the last month of my pregnancy, has left me itching to get back to my creative roots. I had already created a sweet gallery in the nursery of a few metal flowers and a paper wrapped letter, and adding this hot air balloon wall decor to the grouping made it feel complete!
What projects have you been working on during the pandemic? Follow Create&Capture on social media to keep up with the latest projects and designs that I’ve been creating!