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How to Use an Art Projector to Create Beautiful Interiors

Updated on April 1, 2012

Use an Art Projector to Create Stunning Home Décor

Whether you're an amateur artist or home decorator, using an art projector will give you amazingly crisp and professional results. You'll be able to deftly copy just about any image onto a wall, canvas, sheet... really, your options are only limited by your imagination.

When I was a little girl our mother crept into our room after we were sleeping and painted a life sized Raggedy Ann doll on our bedroom wall. You can imagine our surprise and wonder when we woke up and saw it. It was fantastic.

You can get these same results, even if you aren't artistically gifted by using an art projector to enlarge just about any image. It's as simple as tracing. Typically, an inexpensive projector will allow you to enlarge an 3x3 inch image up to 5 times its size. More elaborate projectors can enlarge images up to 350%. Here's how it works.

Choosing a Good Reference Image

I love this dramatic windswept look.
I love this dramatic windswept look.
This simple design is painted in negative.
This simple design is painted in negative.

How to Use a Projector

  • Choose your reference image. To start with you might want to stay away from really elaborate drawings. Simple line drawings are best. You may also have to have the image reduced so that it fits on the projector in its entirety.
  • Choose the medium that you'd like to paint. It could be a wall, drapes, sheets, furniture, a canvas, a headboard...  Just make sure that what every you choose is flat.  That means if your going to paint your drapes you want to pin the fabric up on a wall, etc.
  • Make sure you have plenty of room to move the projector back. Moving the projector back will allow you to adjust the size of the projected image.
  • Make sure that what ever surface you've decided to paint is at a 90 degree angle to the floor. If you're painting a wall, this won't be a problem.
  • Turn the projector on and adjust your image by moving it around until you have the whole image (or just the part you'd like to draw) projected onto your drawing surface. If the image isn't big enough, move the projector away until the image reaches the desired size. If the image is too big, move the projector closer.
  • If you plan on painting your projected drawing then you can use a soft leaded pencil to trace its outlines, however I find that chalk works just as well. Just be careful not to smear it as you work.
  • Consider Painting your image in "negative" for a modern, edgy result.

1000 Fonts: An Illustrated Guide to Finding the Right Typeface
1000 Fonts: An Illustrated Guide to Finding the Right Typeface
This book is filled with luscious fonts, swirls and wingdings sure to inspire you.

Where to Find Great Reference Drawings

You will basically be tracing but you should still choose an image that appeals to you and that matches your drawing skills. If you don't feel like you could tackle a really elaborate drawing then keep it simple. Some of my favorite places to find great drawings are from...

  • Fonts, letters designed by graphic artists, can be beautiful all by themselves. Blow the letters up to gargantuan heights and overlap them or spell out a meaningful word. Fonts also include wingdings which are pictures and graphics. Your computer should already have lots installed, though you can always buy extra or specific fonts. The added bonus is you can also use your new font for any project you would do on your computer.
  • Pattern source books are an excellent reference for workable designs because they have been specifically made for fabrics. TIP: this is an excellent choice for designing your drapes.
  • Wallpaper is another great resource. This works best when you choose large patterned wallpaper. TIP: You can generally get free, standard paper sized samples of any design that appeals to you directly from the store that sells it.
  • Design Source Books - some of these even come with a CD so you can print images right from your home computer.
  • Graphic Design & Vector Design offer a wealth of usable images. Search online for images or create your own custom image. It's not as expensive as you might think. Elance is an excellent place to post your project. Most of the contractors there and talented and professional and will be able to put together designs for your consideration based on your descriptions.
  • Photos consider turning these into pop art using photoshop (or similar) for amazing results.

How to Arrange Your Reference Drawings

If you are using an image out of a book, you'll need to copy it onto a piece of paper first so that it can be laid flat on the projector. If you plan on using more than image you might want to first cut them out and arrange them in a pleasing way on another piece of paper. Once you're happy with your arrangement glue it down and use it as a reference when you are arranging the layout of your mural or painting.

TIP:  Headboards and flat faced furniture are excellent places to paint your design.

If You Enjoyed This Article You Might Also Like...

Beautiful Headboard Inspirations Tips for how to design sumptuous upholstered headboard, including step by step advice on how to achieve amazing results.

DIY Headboard Ideas Tons of ideas for designing a headboard with maximum design appeal and minimum impact on your wallet.

Decorating With Wallpaper Lots of projects using one roll or less of wallpaper. Tips on how to get free materials.

Article by Anne Alexander Sieder all rights reserved. For hardcore interior design fans, check out my blog


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