Put a Lumberjack on Your Wall: A Tutorial

I’m almost done (5 months later) decorating my apartment. My last task is to tackle this huge empty wall in my living room. In an effort to just get something up there, I pulled out my contact paper and vector art. Ridiculousness ensued.

My original intent was to put up a 6 foot tree, but I didn’t like any of the tree vectors I was finding and had no patience to make my own. So on a whim, I started digging through my character silhouettes. Instead of a tree on my wall, I decided to decorate with a lumberjack.

You can too; I’ll show you how:

Step one: Lay out your contact paper to be sure of how much you have to work with. In this case, I had just enough to make a 3-foot(ish) lumberjack.

Step two: In Photoshop, create a document the desired size of your lumberjack and a second document the size of a piece of paper (if you can print 11×17, that’s great, but in my case I needed to print on 8.5×11). Find your vector image and size it appropriately in document #1. Drag it into document #2. From here, you’ll only be able to see sections of your image at a time; this is the point. You’ll have to print those sections one at a time (ex. his head, then his shoulders, then the axe, etc.), but the most important thing here is to move the next viewable section on your document so there is some overlap between sections. It is also very important to come up with a system for how you move the lumberjack to print the separate sections, so you don’t forget later and accidentally paste his axe to his foot. I came up with a numbering system and wrote the key on a post-it.

Steps 3-500: Trim the white edges off your individual sheets of paper to make your puzzle easier. Tape your paper silhouette together. Trim the white edges around your lumberjack and with and exacto knife and cutting board, cut small rectangles out of the black space; it will look like swiss cheese when you’re done. From here, set the silhouette on your contact paper and tape down the edges. With small pieces of tape, tape over the swiss cheese; this acts as a second anchor to the contact paper and makes the cutting process easier). From here, use your exacto knife and cutting board again to trim around the edge of your lumberjack. Remove the left over paper and tape.

Installation: I used masking tape to set him on the wall where I wanted him, then from there, I removed the back of the contact paper from his feet up. When I got to his waist, I stuck his legs and feet on the wall. Next, I removed the tape hanging him to the wall and pulled off the rest of the backing and stuck his torso, shoulders and head to the wall.

The end.

If anyone has suggestions on what to do with the rest of the wall, please post a comment. I’m obviously open to anything.

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