We had a blast sifting through all the submissions from our recent DIY contest, and we were so glad to see that you, like us, were impressed by the wealth of creative ideas. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing full tutorials for some of the finalist projects, and we thought it would be appropriate to start with our top winner! This painted 3D cube design is so amazing — I honesty love it more than any geometric wallpaper I’ve seen, and it’s awesome that with a little patience and precision, you can achieve a whole room of this for merely the cost of paint and tape. Congrats again, Donna, and thank you for sharing the process with us! — Kate
Read the full how-to for the first-prize winning project after the jump . . .
- painter’s tape (I recommend using one thick version for the borders and a thin version for the design.)
- graph paper or regular paper
- colored pencils and regular pencil
- acrylic or latex house paint
- paintbrush (I used a 1″ paintbrush to line the edge and then used a small roller brush to fill in the rest)
- X-Acto or craft knife
1. To start, get a sheet of graph paper or just draw a graph of squares with a ruler. The pattern does not have to be an exact duplicate of what will go on the wall; the idea behind this exercise is to get familiar with the pattern. I colored the basic unit in red. It’s good to have something small on hand because one could get lost when working on a larger scale.
2. After drawing out the pattern on a sheet of paper, it is time to duplicate the graph on the wall. The size of the squares will determine how many cubes there are. If you have a specific number of cubes that you want on the wall, then you must be precise and measure the ratio of squares to cubes. My small squares are approximately 3″ by 3″.
3. Now begin adding the diagonals to match the drawing and create the design. Remember that the tape should go on the perimeter of the area you are painting because everything inside will be painted. To make the pattern 3D, it is important that the edges line up properly, but you have a tiny bit of leeway. My lining up is not exactly perfect, but it works because it’s pretty close. You can also use a T-square ruler and/or a level to help ensure your lines are straight. Once you have the diagonal lines of the larger cubes in place, you can use an X-Acto knife to remove the smaller square of tape inside the square you want to be solid.
5. Continue adding the cubes and cutting out the excess tape from the pattern with your X-Acto knife. I recommend stepping back frequently to check your work; with this pattern, it will be very easy to tell if something is off. Luckily the tape is super easy to remove and reposition as needed.
6. When all the taping is finished, you’re ready to paint. I used one color so I could tape just once and paint in one step, but you could change the process to include multiple colors. When it’s done, pull off the tape and admire your work!