Grownup Doodles

Our den isn’t totally finished yet (will it ever be?), but we’ve gotten to the point now where the den definitely feels like home, and like a reflection of us.

Grown Up Doodles

Bringing in bold turquoise and orange through placemat pillows and glass floats added splashes of my favorite thing – color!!  But what finally made the space feel like a real home was hanging our new art series on the far wall – a wall that was formerly sooooo blank and boring.

Grown Up Doodles

I whipped up those babies one night after getting a little inspiration from the chalkboard in this living room by Margot Austin.

Grownup Doodles

Wanna make some for yourself?  Here’s how to do it:

1.  Round up the goods. You may already have most of the necessary supplies on hand, like I did.  Here’s what you need.

~ frames w/ mats, the number and color that you want (I used 3 of this frame from Ikea)

~ paint for your background color (I used my free paint)

~ a foam brush

~ a paint pen (I used a white one with a chisel tip)

~ a ruler

~ painter’s tape

2.  Do the prep work. Remove the mats and backing from the frames, and set the frames aside.  For this project, you’re going to use the smooth side of the particle board backing as your paint surface (you could cut down art paper or cardboard to use instead, but I think it makes more sense to just use what you already have on hand).  Use your foam brush and background paint to paint the smooth side of the particle board.  You will probably need several coats of paint (I needed 2), and let the boards dry between each coat.

3.  Bust out the ruler. I wanted each line of scribbles to look uniform, so I ran a line of painter’s tape around each side of the boards and then marked out the height of each of my scribbles and the space between each line of the scribbles.  To do this, I used the width of my ruler as the height of each scribble, and the width of the painter’s tape as the distance between each line of scribbles.  (Note: don’t put painter’s tape on the mat – it will tear away little pieces of the mat and look terrible.)

Grown Up Doodles

4.  The fun part! Here’s where you get to channel your inner child and start scribbling.  You might want to try out a few practice scribbles before you actually start painting on your “canvas” – you want to try to keep each scribble the same size and height so that everything looks very graphic instead of messy.

Grown Up Doodles

5.  Enjoy! This has to be the easiest art projects ever, but it’s also one of my favorites.  It was a lot of fun to do, and I think the finished product looks so awesome – fun and graphic and a bit whimsical.

Grown Up Doodles

So now that you’ve seen what we’re rockin’ out at our house, what’s hanging on your walls?  Are you photograph-type people, or do you prefer framed art?  Or maybe it’s a collection of your kid’s cutest doodles?  Spill the beans!

FYI – I hung these art panels on the wood paneling the same way I did here.

This post is shared with The DIY Show Off, Thrifty Decor Chick, Between Naps on the Porch, Cottage Instincts, Making the World Cuter, Twice Remembered, The Girl Creative, and A Soft Place to Land.

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  1. Averill says:

    Looks great Liz! I love the orange and turquoise combo — it’s fun and young and, best of all, bright! And great job on the wall art; could’ve sworn you’d paid the big bucks for ’em.

  2. Sara says:

    Oh very cute!! I need some artwork in my breakfast area and I might just have to try this idea. I think it looks great!

  3. Tessa says:

    I would like to commission you to do some black and white ones for our guest room — how much do you charge?? I am thinking three and hung exactly like that. I know it goes against the idea of adding color, but they would match the canvas I already have to go in there. We can chat about it…..I usually defer to your expertise. Email me to discuss.

  4. Oh, I just love this artwork ! Fab tutorial. You’ve completely inspired me to break out my paints and create something for our dining space ! Well done my dear, love the pop of turquoise and the modern vibe of the art.

  5. Meredith says:

    Terrific artwork! I definitely need to set aside some time soon and explore my creative side! Great inspiration

  6. Ali says:

    Love these! You are so fabulous.

  7. Katrina says:

    I love the artwork it really stands out! Great idea

  8. christy says:

    Wow I’m so impressed! When I first clicked here I thought to myself – wow that’s some cool art Liz picked up! But you made it yourself, and better yet showed us how – super cool. I also LOVE your pops of color – particularly the orange throw. Just gorgeous!

  9. So clever! I love the orange & blue colors in this space.


  10. Kathysue says:

    I love this idea!! It looks really amazing in your room. Love the way you have your throws folded and laying under the pillow, that is one of my favorite looks for throws, Totally changes the look of the room and sofa, I did a post on throws and I am in the neatly folded category, just like you. I am not a toss your throw kind of gal. Thank you for sharing this great idea, Kathysue

  11. Andrea says:

    I love the turquoise and orange together, and your artwork looks great!

  12. Catherine says:

    Your room is looking so great and I love the artwork idea! I love doing a lot of the artwork for my home myself too. I use all sorts of things – gift wrap, scrapbook paper, painted canvases, printed posters of my own design etc. I think I like to do it myself because when I tire of it I can switch it out without the least feeling of guilt over what I spent!

  13. Jen says:

    I love your house! & I have to say, I am very impressed at how far you’ve gotten your husband since his days of 100% tan decor :)

  14. joan says:

    Totally fabulous! Your tutorials are always EXCELLENT! I love how your work sets off the room!

  15. Liz says:

    This is an awesome room! I love your project!
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..Why Does It Take Me So Long To Clean The House? =-.

  16. Nikki says:

    Liz, this is a great project! It looks fabulous.
    .-= Nikki´s last blog post ..Meal Plan March 1 =-.

  17. love it!! The colors are awesome!

    I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog – come and check it out!!

  18. Roeshel says:

    Another amazing project, Liz. They look amazing! Thanks for linking your creativity. I love seeing what you’re up to! ;)
    .-= Roeshel´s last blog post ..Painted Rug =-.

  19. Dawn says:

    Wow, those are beautiful. I have been in love with this color blue with black and white lately ever since I saw a room done with those colors in BH&G. So eye-catching! And the scribbles are perfect – I love it!

  20. Treasia says:

    Your wall art is really cute and very clever. I must say though that I love the pop of color between the orange and the turquoise. It’s gorgeous together.

    I would love to invite you to visit my blog and enter into a fabulous giveaway I am having. It’s in celebration of my new Etsy store: T’s Treasures.
    .-= Treasia´s last blog post ..Rednesday & A Giveaway =-.

  21. Karrie says:

    What a great idea! I love it and have a lot of blank walls and I’m sure one of them will end up sporting this look.

  22. Struggler says:

    Beautiful! I like yours way better than your inspiration pic, and your den is looking wonderful.

  23. Grace says:

    The art is so simple but so clever. Well done, and I love how it ties in with the turquoise elsewhere in the room.
    .-= Grace´s last blog post ..Friday Photos – The Colours of Yellowstone =-.

  24. Jaimie says:

    Came from YHL. Love this project. So many graphic possibilities!
    .-= Jaimie´s last blog post ..tomorrow’s haircut inspiration board =-.

  25. anna see says:

    Liz, This looks terrific! I love the bold colors!
    .-= anna see´s last blog post ..Well, If You Say So… =-.

  26. noni says:


    The room looks fab, too. I’m really digging your fireplace!
    .-= noni´s last blog post ..{newsworthy} =-.

  27. Anniebo says:

    This is amazing! Also, where is that rug from? It looks like the Marrakesh rug from Pottery Barn, but that’s discontinued and I was hoping this might be from somewhere else. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  28. Amy Hadley says:

    Found this through YHL. Hip, hip, hip! I love how sleek you’ve made scribbles! I’ve been wanting to go more modern with our living room (it’s modern Asian right now, but a little too traditional for my current taste), and I think these would be a great replacement for a trio we have now. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Amy Hadley´s last blog post ..Half Bath Redesign =-.

  29. Lauren says:

    I also found your blog through YHL and I’m obsessed with this! You did such a great job and I’m thinking of doing this in my house. Love your blog!! :)

  30. {Amanda } says:

    Saw this is YHL too- it looks like a high-end graphic print…lovely job! But my free-hand could never look that uniform…you’re a talented doodler! =)
    .-= {Amanda }´s last blog post ..Identity Theft =-.

  31. I found you through YHL, and man is that a cool idea! I hope you don’t mind if I nose around a bit to see what else you’ve created…
    .-= Sunny’s Life in Rehab´s last blog post ..Banner Event! =-.

  32. Liz says:

    Hey all you YHL peeps, glad to have you! Thanks for all the nice words. :)


    Good eye! That is the Moorish Tile rug from Pottery Barn, and it has been discontinued – I got mine from Ebay, and I know they’re still cropping up over there. Hopefully you can snag one for yourself! Hope this helps. :)

    ~ Liz

  33. Allison says:

    LOVING the DIY art — and more the color scheme!
    .-= Allison´s last blog post ..Finally! The "New" Dining Room =-.

  34. Love the DIY art idea!!
    This is my first time here…great blog!!
    .-= rene@bargainhoot´s last blog post ..Don’t forget to sign up for the Emerson $50.00 Gift cert. giveaway =-.

  35. Michelle says:

    I love your rug! Where did you find it?

    • Liz says:


      Thanks!! It’s the Moorish Tile rug from Pottery Barn that they no longer carry – but it still pops up on eBay (at a great discount), which is where we got it. Hope that helps!!

      ~ Liz