Wednesday, January 25, 2012

diy | fish scale art

My sister actually found this on Pinterest and suggested I make it.  I was up for the challenge!  I wanted it exactly like it was in the picture, with the buffet table and two lamps on either side, but sadly, we just don't have room for one.  I figured it would still add some life to our bare wall.  I used different materials than what was used here but in the end, it worked. 


- foam poster board measured to your liking (I used a 36x48 inch tri-fold foam poster board normally used for presentations.  I taped the back with box tape to keep it from folding)
- sketch book paper or poster paper (I used 10 pieces)
- circle cutter (if you want to invest in one) or you can measure using a bowl and cut with scissors
- tape
- gold and black spray paint
- trim (I used balsa wood)
- hot glue gun
- exacto knife

Measure out your board and decide on the size of your circles.  Since my board was 36x48 inches, I decided to make my circles 4 inches in diameter.  Using the circle cutter, cut out as many circles as you need.

My tricep was hurting the next day.  This is some serious business people!

Draw lines on the board so you know where to place your circles.  Luckily, mine already had lines.  Measure out half of the diameter of your circle.  For example, my circles were 4 inches in diameter, so I would draw a line every 2 inches.

Starting at the bottom of the board, lay out the first layer of circles in a row.  For this first layer, make sure half of the circle is hanging off the ends.  Use tape to secure each piece. 

Place the next layer over the gaps of the first one, like a a fish scale (duh).  Keep doing this until you've filled up the whole board.  It's ok if you have paper hanging off the edges. 

For the edges, I folded and taped them to the back since I didn't have an exacto knife at the time.  But I do suggest cutting the edges off at the top before taping.  Folding it caused the top layer to lift up.

Now you're ready to paint!  Apply thin, even coats, waiting at least 5 minutes in between coats.  To avoid drips, make sure your finger is not blocking the little hole where the paint comes out of.  I learned this the hard way!  I also went ahead and painted two coats of black paint on the balsa wood for the trim.

Because I actually didn't use poster paper, (I bought sketch book paper because I could not find poster paper for the life of me at Michael's, and my lunch break was almost over), the paper started curling up once the paint dried.  This might also be due to the temperature.  Anyway, I would think that by using poster paper, it wouldn't have curled this way, since it's thicker.  Although, the sketch book paper gave it somewhat of a scaly texture, which I liked.

So I grabbed almost every magazine we had in the house and placed them on top, hoping it would help flatten the curls.

This didn't work.  I guess I should have used encyclopedias, which we don't have.  I ended up hot gluing almost every circle down so it would stay flat (don't have a picture of this). 

Next is the trim.  You can use any trim you want.  I was too lazy to make a trip to Lowe's or Home Depot, so I resorted to balsa wood that I found at Michael's.  It was pretty cheap, and easy to cut with just an exacto knife.  And they already came in 36 inches, so I just had to cut some pieces together for the sides which were 48 inches long.  Originally, I was going to put it along the edges of the board, and add another piece right on the actual board itself for a thicker border (and to hide some imperfections), but Paul suggested on just doing the edges, or none at all.  The edges won.  I think it gives it more of a finished look.  The hot glue gun worked well, and the balsa wood stayed in place. 

Don't mind the drip marks!

Now it's ready to hang!  I took several pictures to show how the color varies depending on the lighting, and where you were standing from.

Our table isn't exactly centered with the light fixture.  We still need to add head chairs on either side of it and hopefully it will help balance things out.

The scales look lighter in the daylight.  At night, it shows more gold. 

Notice the dark spot in the middle?  I don't think I put enough layer of gold paint there.  It bothers me just a tad.  If I'm absolutely bored, I might paint that part again.  Although in the picture below, you can't really tell.

So that's my version of the fish scale art.  It gives a little sparkle to the space, and I love it.  I also like to think of it as "classy." =)  I love how it pops against our blue wall, and gives me a good reason to add some gold accents to the room.  I bet using other colors like metallic blues, greens, and yellows would look awesome too.  I'd love to do another one, and I'm sure the next one will go much more smoothly than this one.

I hope this inspires you to make your own, and if you do, let me know how it turns out!


  1. I've seen this on Pinterest, and I was right in my assessment, it's a tedious DIY. But wow, it's so pretty. I may attempt it, one day.

    And I have to thank you again for the Pinterest push. I haven't had a good night's sleep in two weeks, darn pinning and repinning. LOL. But my oh my, there is a lot to look at on there. I've already done one DIY and one recipe from it. Gah!

    1. Thanks! And hahaha, sorry if Macky gets mad at you for being on there late at night. I calmed down for a while, but got back on it again. Now I'm actually trying to stop pinning and actually DO some of the DIYs that I've pinned!

    2. Pinterest is an addiction and i'm trying to recover! I'm seriously loving this and I can't stop staring at all the sparkly goodness. I NEED TO FIND TIME TO DO THIS!

  2. good job teen! you need to help me spice upmy apartment when I move out.

    1. hey, wanna do one before you leave so you can hang it up in your new place? umm i would so help you decorate when you move. actually, DON'T MOVE!

  3. Just curious, where did you get the candlesticks??

    1. I got them at Z Gallerie two years ago.


Leave some love!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...