Disney's "Finding Nemo" debuted in 2003, demonstrating that a father-son bond is stronger than an ocean full of uncertainties. Children and adults alike watch little Nemo get snatched up by a diver, then cheer his escape efforts with his new aquarium friends. The continued popularity of the movie makes it an often-requested choice for decorating children's rooms. You can always buy the licensed bedroom merchandise, but you can have a lot more fun and save money by creating your own "Finding Nemo" kid's room.
Catch a Wave, Dude
Create a "Finding Nemo" room with some paint and printable accessories. Set the mood with wall color: Paint the walls a light, ocean blue to recreate a backdrop for "Finding Nemo's" ocean scenery. Alternatively, paint a wavy border with a free template about midway on the wall, and paint the area below it blue. Above it, paint your choice of coordinating color. If you are not comfortable creating waves on the wall, try painting a lower portion blue straight across, reminiscent of Nemo's time in the aquarium. Measure and mark how high up you want the ocean blue, and make marks at regular intervals on the walls. Butt the bottom edge of some painter's tape against the marks all around the room to create a straight edge; painting up to the tape without going over gives you a straight edge. Be sure to decorate the blue ocean area of the wall with "Finding Nemo" images you can make yourself.
If you want your whole room to resemble the ocean backdrop for the movie, consider hanging blue and light blue streamers from the ceiling. Press them in place with thumbtacks, but be sure to avoid ceiling fans.
Images of "Finding Nemo" characters complete the look of your room. Print free small stickers on adhesive fabric to stick on your "ocean" wall. Download and enlarge images from a free coloring page to use as template for painting a "Finding Nemo" character directly onto the wall.
Enlarging the Image
Step 1: Enlarge
Enlarge the image to the desired size on a copier.
You will probably have to piece together the enlarged design. Keep the design intact with a few pieces of invisible tape. Also tile together pieces of carbon paper to be the same size as the design you are transferring. Hold the carbon paper together with a few small pieces of invisible tape, too.
Step 2: Tape
Tape the four corners of the carbon paper to the wall.
If you have access to a projector, you can enlarge the free coloring page directly onto the wall and eliminate the need for a copier and carbon paper. Just trace the design onto the wall from the enlarged projected image.
Step 3: Tape
Tape the image onto the wall over the carbon paper; then trace it.
Step 4: Fill in
Fill in the image with craft paints.
Using craft paint for your wall images is less expensive than using a variety of colors of interior wall paint.
Craft Some Accessories
Pillows: Make pillows for your "Finding Nemo" room. Use Nemo-themed fleece fabric to tie some quick no-sew pillows. Squirt, one of the tiny turtles in the movie, is a free cute pillow idea, too.
Frames: Nemo was a clown fish, so look for clown fish buttons that you can hot glue around a picture frame. You can also decorate frames with ocean-themed foam craft cutouts. If they do not have adhesive backs, use a little craft glue or hot glue to paste them around the frame.
Bulletin Board: Use orange and white rolls of duct tape to stripe a piece of foam-core board. Add part of a roll of self-adhesive cork to the center of the board for a DIY bulletin board. Hang the board by hot gluing a sawtooth picture hanger to the center of the back.
Curtains: Draw or trace Nemo-themed images onto plain white cotton curtains using permanent markers or fabric markers. Fill as much or as little as you'd like. Once you have finished coloring in the images, follow the marker manufacturer's instructions for heat-setting the ink. Some require a quick press with the iron, but others simply need to be tossed in the dryer for an allotted time.
Switch Plates: Draw or print out the movie image of your choice from a free download; then place it inside a clear switch plate. Reattach the switch plate according to the manufacturer's directions.
Characters: Paper crafts are a fun way to decorate a room. Hang Nemo, Squirt and Marlin from closet doors or dangle them from lampshades. Paper crafts are flat images of characters that fold and tuck to create a three-dimensional characters. You can hang them from hooks, sit them on dressers or shelves.
- Print free "Finding Nemo" paper crafts on card stock for added durability.
- Laser printer ink will not smear or smudge. Inkjet ink will if it becomes damp.
Inspire or Tickle
Inspire your kid with motivational and humorous quotes from the movie. Choose one or several of these quotes from the movie to paint on a wall, wall hanging or stitch onto a pillow or throw.
- "Just keep swimming."
- "Sharkbait. Hoo Ha Ha."
- "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney"
- "I speak whale."
- "Fish are friends, not food."
- "Find a happy place."
- "Grab shell, dude!"
- "Gimme some fin!"
Paint on Wall: To paint a phrase on the wall, use stencils, make your own lettering template, or freehand write the quote. Start by making the initial writing in pencil; then add paint. Use an artist's paintbrush for this kind of detail work.
Wall Hanging: You can hand-embroider, machine-embroider, applique, use fabric markers, or paint a quote on fabric. For a simple wall hanging, use a piece of denim or cotton fabric. Cut it to the desired size and add your quote. Unravel threads around the edges of the fabric to fray it. Attach to the wall with thumbtacks or removable hook-and-loop dots.
Pillows and Throws: Hand- or machine-embroider a phrase onto a plain pillowcase or a fleece throw. If the pillowcase is cotton, you can paint or use fabric markers.
Don't forget to heat-set the ink from fabric markers or permanent markers. Refer to the manufacturer's directions.