Keep Calm and…

Simply Done Wright

Well, almost anything, really.  There are posters and other art pieces out there that replace the traditional “Carry On”  with everything from “Princess On” to “Rock On”.  And they’ve been very, very trendy over the last few years.  So much so, that they’re getting a bit stale to a lot of decorators.

That being said, I like the “Keep Calm” sentiment.  My daughter had the original sentiment in her hallway for quite some time and it always made me smile.  It’s a sentiment I believe in.  So, trendy or not, I had to do something with it in our home.

A somewhat newer, but old in its roots, trend is ombre – the shading of color from light to dark.  I enjoy that as well.

I chose to create a piece for our guest room that actually combines both the “old” trend and the new.

I chose the phrase “Keep Calm and Sleep In”.  It is for our guest room, after all – and encouraging sloth in your guests is one of the first rules of a hostess!

I don’t have a Silhouette, so I chose to do this in stencil form using alternative methods.   First, I printed out the phrase and crown on 8 X 11.5″ paper, then enlarged it to the size I wanted.  I’m doing a 20″ X 30″ piece, and letters that were 3.25″ were just about right.

I found the center of each line and marked it.  That way, the entire saying will be centered side to side.  It also gave me an easy to match up line to tape my papers together.

With this accomplished, and the piece checked against the base (foam core covered with velvet and painted red), it was time to start turning my paper into a stencil.  (I’ll post more about creating a reusable painter’s tape stencil at another time.)

I centered the stencil to the base and made sure that all of the edges were firmly in place.

With this done, it was time to work on the colors.

I’m not good eyeballing color – the Ogre has a MUCH better eye than I do.  But I do know math and I’m not afraid to use it!

To mix my colors, I broke it down into a 20% change for each line.  The top (crown) was 100% Stone White from Benjamin Moore.  Each of the following lines used 20% less white until I the bottom line – which was Turquoise Powder from Benjamin Moore, straight out of the can.

Since I didn’t need a lot of paint in each color (even with multiple layers), I used a tablespoon as a base measure.   Line one was solid white.  Line two used 4 parts white to 1 part blue.  Line three used 3 parts white to 2 blue.  Line four used 2 parts white to 3 parts blue.  Line five used 1 part white to 4 parts blue and line six was solid blue.

The percentage of gradient is based on the number of colors wanted MINUS one.  I had 6 lines.  6 minus 1 equals 5.  100% divided by 5 equals 20.  If you needed five colors, the gradient would be 25% or 4 parts in total.  (5-1=4 .. 100/4 = 25).  For 7 colors, you’d get a fraction of 16.6%.

If you are planning this and need the math done, just email me.  I’d be happy to do a breakdown for you!

With my gradients and mixing plan established, I mixed the colors in larger quantities than I needed for this project.  Instead of using jars, I decided to put the paint in Ziploc bags.  This way, the paint will stay fresh for any other projects I do for this room!

I labeled my bags 1-4, with 1 having the largest amount of white and 4 having the least.  If I had to step away from the project, I wouldn’t have to do any guess work – I could just pick out the right bag and paint away!

When I had the ombre treatment complete, I pulled the stencil off and filled in where needed.

I didn’t burnish the tape down enough in a spot or two.  But a few minutes later, I had a completed base!

Before I added the finishing touches, I turned the piece over to make a hanger.  Because this piece is very lightweight, I just used a scrap piece of plastic that I had laying around and Gorilla Glued it to the back.  Then, I layered a strip of fabric over the lower portion of the plastic to further strengthen it.

When the glue dried, I covered the back with two pieces of kraft paper, butting them together where I bent the plastic to jut out slightly.

Time for the final embellishments!  What’s a crown without jewels?  I have a selection of hot fix crystals that I use in my belly dance costuming.  I have no idea where my heat set tool is currently hiding, since I haven’t actually unpacked my studio fully, so I cheated and used my hot glue gun!

Ready to be hung in the guest room and encourage the sloth that guests really are welcome to experience!

And there you have it.  An “old” trend married with a new trend.  If I only could have figured out how to throw chevrons in there, too!

 I’m sharing here


Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

DIY Show Off



I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.


13 thoughts on “Keep Calm and…

  1. I sooooo love this… I left a link to your blog on my FB Fan page today….. tried to get a photo up but FB was giving me fits…Yikes!!! But I’m spreading the word…. I love it!!!! Thanks so much for linking up to the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY…. I mentioned this in another comment but I’m a new follower.. LOVE YOUR BLOG …. YOU’RE AN ALL STAR for sure! =)


  2. Seriously! How do you critique something that you would never have thought of in the first place but turned out amazing?! I am so glad that you joined the “Sunday Stop” party with this! You have given me help in making a stencil AND a fun idea! Thank you for sharing your talent with us!!!

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