Mantra Wall Hanging

Mantra Wall Hanging
Years ago I did some work for a scrapbook paper manufacturer who made translucent vellum sticker paper. Vellum is beautiful paper, but can be tricky to work with since any adhesive shows through. The sticker paper made that problem go away. I thought it was a great product, but I’m not sure they’re in business anymore.

I loved designing projects with the paper, particularly overlapping the vellums and using them together to get even more interesting color combinations. I thought that I’d make something to go in my kitchen, cutting out different words and overlapping them in different ways, each word encouraging you to eat up. But then we moved and this kitchen doesn’t really have a space for something like that. Meanwhile, the idea was percolating in my brain, I had a big frame and empty space in my bedroom, so I thought about how else I could use this technique.

I was flipping through one of my scratch notebooks and came across this list of advice to myself. Something I had just scrawled down some day without any thought of how I would use it. Probably just at the end of a meditation, or some time I spent thinking about the lifelong quest of how to get from the person I am, to the person I want to want to be. I thought it would be great to put this on my wall and make sure I saw those goals more often.

Mantra Wall Hanging Step 1
I didn’t want this to look like a list of classroom rules, so I wanted to create a background colorful enough that the text would blend in a little. In my head, I wanted you to have to squint a little to make out the text. I wanted it to look kind of like an abstract watercolor, and only on the second glance would you realize there was stuff to read. So, I went nuts with the watercolors. This took me several tries. I kept being too shy with the color, so I had to force myself to go back over and over again, layering different combinations to get something close to the image in my head.

Mantra Wall Hanging Step 2
Since vellum is translucent it will take on a quality of the color underneath it. I took out all the different colors of vellum I had to work with and stuck it on an edge of my watercolored paper to see what worked best together, and what worked best with these colors behind it.

Mantra Wall Hanging Step 3
I cut out all of these letters by hand, using a printout from my computer as a guide. It wasn’t too bad, just an evening in front of the TV, but man oh man do I ever need a Silhouette. If anybody knows somebody over there, send them my way. I’ve got a million and one things I could do with that baby.

Mantra Wall Hanging Closeup
Since I was using a sticker vellum, I just had to peel and stick my letters in place. But you can also use a xyron sticker maker, or a spray adhesive. You just want to evenly coat the back of the vellum with adhesive so that any changes won’t show through.

Mantra Wall Hanging
This now hangs in our bedroom, in a little corner above my jewelry box, which makes it one of the first things I see in a day. I love that this bit of guidance I gave myself will now be available for me whenever I need it.