Gotham City Backdrop

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Nananananana Batman! Or as my toddler likes to sing, “Nananana Bunny!” (he has a hard time saying “Batman”). His obsession with the caped crusader is no accident. I bought my husband the 1966 Adam West tv series as a gift and intentionally premiered it when our son was awake. It didn’t take him long to get hooked. Even still, he prefers the old-school, over-the-top, live action Batman to the animated series. And that theme song! Even before he learned to sing it, he would dance as the credits played. So I thought it would be cool to paint his room like the background from the credits. Finding the picture, however, was no small task. Finally, I found the image below on Pinterest.

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I eventually decided against painting his bedroom wall (we’re renting, and I didn’t want to have to repaint when we leave. I’ll have to anyway, keep reading…) and settled on painting it on some blue fabric. So I went to Walmart to grab a “quick” 2 yards of fabric (everything else was closed and I wanted it that day). Forty-five excruciatingly painful minutes later (how Walmart continues to bring profit when they are so inefficiently run is nothing short of a miracle) I finally left with 2 yards of light blue fabric. If you’d rather get it online, I love Fabric.com.

I decided that I would set up shop in the garage and pinned my fabric to the wall. I started with the bat symbol, since that was in the background. I just used packing tape to keep the lines straight, and a springform pan to trace the circle. If your hand is steadier than mine, maybe you don’t need guides. I used acrylic paint because that is what I had on hand. Mixing it with some water, it spread fairly easily. In retrospect, spray paint would have been a lot quicker.

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Next, using a printout of the picture I was attempting to replicate, I used tape to outline the skyline.

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I was fairly careful to only paint downward, effectively letting the tape keep the lines straight. Upward brushstrokes have a greater chance of working their way underneath the tape – resulting in smears and uneven buildings.

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I painted almost all the way to the bottom of the fabric, but again, I was trying to not get paint on the wall, so I left a little bare.

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Then I removed the tape, did some touch-up work on buildings, free-handed the bat symbol. I could have made a stencil for the bat symbol and it would’ve been cleaner and more proportionate, but I was working against the clock (nap time).

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I actually was fairly pleased with how it turned out. Not perfect, but it was just for fun, so it didn’t have to be. I touched up the bat symbol, let it dry while I watched an episode on Netflix, and then took it down from the wall. Oh no!

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Lesson learned: put something behind your fabric. Dumb, dumb dumb. Looks like we’ll be painting the garage before we move out…

I chose to wait until my husband got home to show my son the finished product. I was so glad I got it done by Halloween – when we had already planned to dress up our toddler as Batman.

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The backdrop certainly made this little crime-fighting caped crusader’s day!

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