Zig-Zag Art

Last year around this time, we were getting ready to paint inside and get rid of all the faux-finishing craziness on the walls. While muted colors, without any wild patterns can be sleek and soothing, they also can get a little boring. I’ve been talking about hanging art here and there, and finally got around to adding a little something to our bathroom.

I had this plan, I’d seen something on Pinterest, it looked easy and doable. All I needed was a little glue and some paint; I had both of them. Then I started thinking… That tends to be my problem. I think things to death and have decided it will never work before I even start. As you may have guessed, the project stalled. Perhaps that’s why it’s taken almost a year to get anything on the walls.

That’s when I went back to Pinterest and once more saw a project requiring little artistic ability, paint, tape, and a canvas. And before I talked myself out of it, I plunged on and wound up with some fun and funky art for our master bathroom.

Close up of Zig Zag Art

Is it a masterpiece of fine art? No. Would it fit with everyone’s decor? Probably not. But does it add some color and life to the walls in our tiny water closet? Why yes, it certainly does.

So here’s the low down on how to make your own. Get your supplies together: Paint, brushes, and a canvas. I’d picked up some craft paint at Value Village the other day for a couple bucks. I was surprised to find a huge selection of random craft items in little baggies for next to nothing.


Paint away. It can be as random or as stylized as you like. I, myself, am partial to curves and smears of intense color. And then you just let it dry.


If you wanted to use an abstract painting from the thrift store, you’d be one step ahead, and it would work perfectly.

Next add tape in a herringbone pattern. I tend to be quite fussy about these things. But just as cobblestone streets are not perfect, this does not have to be perfect either. I thought I came up with a wonderful idea of cutting each piece of tape to the same length using an exact-o knife while it was still part of the roll. That was a huge bust. The tape didn’t come off the roll cleanly, many pieces wound up stuck together, and layers down I wound up with small gouges and tears from my brilliant idea. I found simply pulling off a piece of tape and squaring each end with scissors did the trick.

add tape

While I tried to rub down the edges of tape as much as possible, my penchant for getting each piece perfectly aligned wound up causing the tape not to stick as well as it should. Let’s just say perfection is overrated.

Saturday was a beautiful day, so I headed outside with my taped up painting, a drop cloth, and some white spray paint.

outside 2

I added a light coat of white, checked out my garden, and then came back for another coat. Then it was just a matter of waiting for it to dry. When I pulled off the tape, I tried to clean up some of the imperfections with a little polish remover. That was a big mistake. So I added a touch of paint here and there and called it good.

painting in situ 2

I still have four blank walls in my tiny bathroom, but it’s a start. I may even have to tackle that first project I was enamored with; I think I can make it work.

Are you painting treasures for your home? Is art in the eye of the beholder?


8 thoughts on “Zig-Zag Art

  1. I love the idea, and your results are beautiful! However, (oh,oh, there is that one word again, meaning unsolicited advice, but you did ask and you know how M-I-Ls love to give “answers”) the one I truly fell in love with was the one with the tape over the dark blue!!!!!!! Am also thinking that while putting a painting on each of the four walls would be fine, grouping 3 paintings together on one wall (say the one you see when you are either sitting down, or can be seen from the bedroom when the door is open, would be really awesome, and it would be fun to not have them all the same sizes, or if they are the same size stagger them and have only one, if you want a balanced number of art in the room.. I always have to give things “a reason for being there”, and grouping makes sense to me. As I said when you were here, you have a fabulous collection of your own photos you have taken, what if you had a selection of those greatly enlarged, for that ‘personal touch’ you were thinking about?

    • I agree with all your thoughts except for the taped picture. Perhaps you like a more tone on tone version. The tape really wasn’t that great in real life. And I really like the crisp herringbone pattern set off in white.

      But different sizes, different art, and maybe some of our vacation photography all fit with my plan. Thanks!

  2. I think it looks great. Your MIL has some great thoughts! I love the idea of using your own photos. I have done that in my office at work and at home. I use winkflash.com, they have sales often for up to 60% off. I always get good comments on them.

    My most recent delving (is that a word?) into painting was last month. We have a little shop called Let’s Paint Wichita (I think it is a franchise). Several friends and I went. We started with a blank canvas and a talented young women told us exactly what to do. We did a snowman scene – you may have seen me post it. I received a gift certificate for Christmas to go again. I hope to do something al little more artsy this time. Not that the first one wasn’t, just not as cutesy.

    • I’ll have to check out winkflash. Thanks for the trip.

      I live near a local winery Mecca and they feature multiple wine and painting nights I’ve been meaning to try out. It sounds like it went well for you. I love a girls’ night out. 🙂

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