How To Create An Orla Kiely Inspired Mural

How To Create An Orla Kiely Inspired Mural

Leah Moss
Feb 23, 2010

As part of my ongoing quest to mask the anti-aesthetic hideousness that is the hallow core door, I once again decided to go the route of "if you can't make it go away, at least make it pretty." This time, as I set out to tackle a particularly ugly hollow core bi-fold door (double yuck!) in our basement, I turned to one of my favorite muses, Orla Kiely, for inspiration.

Originally I had planned to use Orla Kiely's multi-stem print wallpaper to cover the door, but I decided that I wanted a large scale pattern rather than a small one. And because I tend to grow tired of bold colored patterns quickly, I thought it best to go with another tone on tone type of design, just as I had done with the door in our craft room. So I set about devising an easy way to accomplish the feat with supplies that I already had at home.

What You Need
an ugly door (or wall that needs some love)
piece of paper, the thicker the better
painters tape
contact paper
paint roller or paint brush

•1. Decide the scale of your mural.
•2. Trace and cut out one leaf (teardrop) shape from a piece of paper.
•3. Unroll the contact paper on a flat surface, and using your leaf cut-out as a stencil, trace the shape onto the contact paper multiple times.
•4. Cut out the leaf shapes from the contact paper, and set aside.
•5. Place painters tape on the place where you will want the center of your mural to be (picture 4). This will be your stem.
•6. Remove backing from contact paper and place a leaf of each side of the stem.
•7. Repeat step 6 until you have your desired number of leaves.
•8. After the tape and contact paper leaves are in place press them firmly into the wall/door with either your hand or a dry paint roller much in the same wall that you would do when hanging wallpaper. This ensures that the paint will not seep beneath.
•9. Using a paint roller (which I prefer) or a paint brush paint over your pattern, making sure you don't have an excess of paint on your roller/brush which will cause dripping to occur.
•10. Once the paint it dry to the touch carefully remove the painters tape stem.
•11. Starting from the narrow stem side, peel off the contact paper leaves.

That's it! Enjoy yourself a new, not-so-ugly-afterall hallow core door!

Total Time: 45 minutes

Additional Notes:
The same principle can be applied to a wall as well, using any pattern you desire. If you remove the contact paper carefully, you can usually reuse them again. When deciding on the scale of my leaves, I used the width of the painter's tape as my guide, since I wanted my mural to have a similar size leaf to stem ratio as Orla Kiely's beautiful pattern. I used the seam of the bi-fold door to guide the placement of my stem, but you might want to use a measuring tape to make sure your stem is not crooked. If you decide to do this, measure three vertical points from the nearest wall and mark (using a pencil) them where you want your stem to be. Then make sure the three points are equidistant from the nearest wall corner. Adjust accordingly, and once they are aligned, place your painter's tape stem over them. This should give you a straight line in a vertical position.

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