This month, challenged us to use the new to get inspired for our next DIY project. I’m always game for trying something new, so we decided to give it a shot.
As it happened, I’d been looking for new ways to bring color into my home. Not too long ago, Caroline posted about artist Maya Hayuk and her over-the-top, graffiti-inspired work. I decided to start there.
I entered Maya Hayuk into Bing Smart Search and after scrolling through the results, it seemed like there were way less repetitive images than I was used to seeing, which was nice – I was able to get a good scope of her body of work.
After recovering from the color-shock of the image results, I sat back and got to thinking. Drawing from all the different images, I first decided on a basic pattern: a sort of cross-hatched rainbow. I was really into all of the different color overlays, and after talking about it with Jaime, decided that strips of mylar colored with markers and overlaid in a cross-hatched pattern would be the way to go. Simple, quick, and accessible. For a bigger installation, I found while browsing around Blick – the sheets that come around .015 thick would be great on a larger scale.
Since we were on a tight deadline and I had a pile of work through the week, I had to find the nearest place to get basic art supplies.
Back to Bing Smart Search. After a quick local search for art supplies, Artist and Craftsman was the closest place on the map, so I headed in that direction. Once I got into the store, I got a couple sheets of mylar—both and —and then went to find me some Sharpies.
The color selection was a little overwhelming, so I turned to on my phone. After a few minutes pulling colors and comparing the combinations to the image search, I decided on a group of 10 markers that would be evocative of Hayuk’s work.
Once I got back to the house, I cut a pile of tiny strips from both sheets of mylar, colored each one with a different Sharpie, and began playing with color overlays until I got something that seemed about right.
I cut the sheets of mylar down into large strips—about 24″ long x 1″ wide – and colored them in using long, broad strokes. I’ll warn you: this can look a little streaky if you’re not careful. It worked since I was looking for a similar visual texture to oil paint, but if you’re looking for a flat wash, I’d probably suggest something like or professional markers like .
Then, with the image search open in the background for reference, I began by taping different strips to the wall until I was happy with the arrangement. I pulled off the tape and secured the ends of each strip to the wall using a dab of rubber cement. (You read that right – rubber cement holds tight, dries quickly, and peels off easily in case I want to move or adjust the work.)
It was just the pop of color I needed to brighten up my workday.
As much as I liked the cross-hatching, after living with it for a bit, I decided I wanted to play around a bit more. (I also have a ton of art that I wanted to hang in my workspace.) Going back to Bing Smart Search, I started looking for something more specific.
Spot-on. I peeled the strips off the wall and tacked them into the shelf at one single point with a pushpin.
From there, I flayed the ends out, and taped them in place with a little bit of packing tape on the back of each strip.
Awesome! I was really happy with this result. It adds some oomph to my workspace, but I could still use the wall space to display my friends’ work.
Since I hadn’t played around with mylar like this before, I decided I wanted to try a couple more methods of using the colored strips. Using a similar method to the wall installation (packing tape and cross-hatching!) I tried it out in a frame.
For a more 3D look (hard to tell in the very 2D photo, I know) I arranged and taped the front strips on the outside of the glass, and the back strips on a larger piece of mylar that was inserted into the frame. This was definitely the easiest method of installation, since I could lay everything flat on a table as I was working.
The final installation I tried was in the window of our very dark and dull entryway, using the pin + packing tape method.
And that’s where it lives for now! It’s so welcoming seeing a little pop of color as soon as you walk in the door.
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