How to Draw On Your Walls With Markers – 4 Creative Methods

Remember when you were a kid and your parents wouldn’t let you draw on the walls? Well, now that you’re all grown up, it’s time to fulfill your childhood dreams and draw your heart out.

The only question is: where do you start? Luckily, I’ve got all of the tips, tricks, and product recommendations to make your walls look like Michelangelo painted them himself (sort of).

Without further ado, let’s check out the 4 best ways to draw on your wall with markers.

1. Going Freehand

The easiest and, arguably, most fun way to draw on your wall with markers is to go freehand. Dream up the design you want, and go to town on your walls using a marker or pen.

But no matter what you plan on doing, I recommend putting it to paper first. Sketch out the basic layout of your room(s), and try to improve the design flow. It’s obviously much better to make a mistake in your notebook, and not the wall.

With that said, when it comes to freehand designs, you can be as creative as you want. There are a ton of different directions that you can take, including different shapes, scenes, and objects. Here are some of my faves.

A Touch of Nature

If you know me, you probably know how much I love floral designs or those inspired by nature. So when I decided to undertake my marker wall, I first considered going down that floral route. Luckily for me, there are a ton of wonderful ideas online, so I had no trouble finding my inspiration.

My absolute favorite person that did a freehand design was Hillary Moore from Quietest Noise. Back in 2012, she decided to deck out her nursery, and paint some gorgeous woodland creatures all over the walls. To accompany the adorable animals, she also drew a bunch of flowers and plants in a blue Sharpie.

freehand drawing on wall

But before she brought the nature scene to life on her wall, Hillary traced everything out using a pencil. That way, she could just follow what she’d already drawn, and not worry about making a mistake.

Another person who did a pretty cool nature design was Nancy Purvis from Owen’s Olivia. Originally, Nancy wanted to put wallpaper in her kid’s room, but Ikea stopped selling the one that she liked.

Not wanting to give up, she picked up a Sharpie, found the design she liked, and created a masterpiece.

One of the things that really blew me away with Nancy’s design was how crisp and clear her lines are. To help her accomplish her gorgeous print, Nancy used a projector that helped her sketch out the lines. It’s a pretty awesome technique, and I’ll get into the specifics of it a bit later.

Thinking Outside the Box

If you’ve got kids who are just as creative as you are, using markers on your walls is an incredible way to showcase their talent. And all it takes is drawing a few dozen picture frames on their walls. You also don’t have to make any complicated stencils or use a projector; all you need is your imagination.

First, you’re gonna get your pencil out, and sketch out the places where the frames should go. After that, you can start going over each one with a marker and adding different designs to them.

One cool thing about this freehand project is that you can get your kids involved in it. Unlike your parents, encourage them to draw on the walls, and make something of their own.

If they’re too young to draw frames, you can let them draw any picture that they want using a marker. Then, you can simply create the frame to go around it.

Instead of the plain, old fridge, your kids’ creations will now proudly be displayed on the walls of their rooms. And that’s just a win-win situation for everybody.

Following Your Heart

Of course, it goes without saying, but the perk of drawing freehand is that you can go absolutely wild. You don’t have to draw any sort of shapes, just do what your heart tells you to do. Depending on what you (or your kids) like, you can choose any number of themes and draw with different colors.

For example, you can try to draw your city’s skyline for yourself, but maybe add Godzilla if you’ve got kids. You can also go for a more simplistic look, and just draw some gorgeous golden arrows all over.

The good thing about these is that they go with pretty much any wall color and still look amazing.

2. Using Stencils

Now, if you don’t feel confident freehanding an entire wall using a marker, trust me, I get it. That’s why the next best thing is a stencil or template. No matter if you’re buying or making your own, using stencils is an incredible way to achieve sharp lines, while still being creative. Here’s how you do it.

DIY Stencils

Making your own DIY stencils is the best way to ensure a completely unique and creative look. I know that some of you might be put off the idea because you think that it’s complicated, but it’s actually a piece of cake.

All you need to make a DIY stencil is a piece of cardboard, a marker or pen, and an Exacto knife. First, start by sketching out the design that you want to draw on your wall. It can be pretty much anything you want, and the only limit is your imagination.

For example, Laura from A Beautiful Mess did a sort-of geometric print for her husband’s music room. She made three templates, glued them together, and held them up on the wall using safety pins.

lovely geometry print on the wall

Then, with a white marker, Laura managed to create one of the coolest designs I’ve ever seen. 

But if geometric prints aren’t up your alley, don’t worry because there’s a ton of other things that you can do. For example, you can carve out a heart shape into your cardboard, and trace that across the walls. You can also design animals, plants, shapes, and even whole landscapes if you want to.

Pre-Made Stencils

If you don’t have time to fiddle around with DIY stencils, you can always just buy one. And what better place to find the template of your dreams than on Amazon?

As you can imagine, there are countless different designs that you can buy, so it might take a bit of time to find your favorite one.

But after quite a bit of digging, I think that I found a few that would look awesome in any home. First off, there’s this Marrakech Trellis stencil that I just adore.

It is extremely easy to line up, and it’ll look incredible on an accent wall. You can also use multiple different markers to create a more colorful and brighter look.

On the other hand, if you prefer a Herringbone design, there are these two templates that I’ve used in the past and loved. They both come from Pinkipo, but the first one is hand-drawn and comes in three different sizes.

The other stencil has a more unified look because it’s been laser-cut. At the end of the day, both look extremely cool, so it’s just up to you to figure out what you like better.

I also wanted to mention some more creative templates, like the Birch forest one from Cutting Edge Stencils. It’s so fun and quirky, and again, you don’t have to take the traditional route with it.

You can also color it pretty much any way you want, and create a galaxy or rainbow forest, for example.

3. Experimenting With Geometric Prints

When I was looking up all the different design ideas that I could do with markers, I was so drawn to geometric shapes. I think that they add so much class and elegance to any room, and the markers just make it more whimsical. But if I wanted it to look right, I knew that I had to do quite a lot of planning.

So I took some inspiration from Sarah from All Things With Purpose because I was blown away by her precision. For the project, Sarah just took a sturdy piece of cardboard and traced a cake plate to get her perfect shape.

What I like about her entire process is that she didn’t have to trace the wall, but just drew some rough guidelines using a ruler. Then, with a white marker, she created such a stunning piece of art on her wall.

As I mentioned earlier, I really like the Marrakech Trellis stencil, but if you can’t buy it, there’s an easy way to make something similar. Over at While They Snooze, Sarah used Acrobat Pro to design and print her ideal geometric shape.

ideal geometric shape diy

Since she wasn’t working with cardboard like the other Sarah, it was a bit easier for her to do the edges of her walls. It’s definitely a trick worth trying, and I recommend checking out her blog to see exactly how she did it.

4. Projecting Success

So earlier I mentioned how Nancy from Owen’s Olivia used a projector to design her perfect patterns, right? Now I want to take a second to explain exactly how that works and why the possibilities are endless with this technique.

Basically, it consists of you using an art projector to transfer an image to your wall, where you can easily trace it. You can adjust the image any way you like it, and then simply go over it using a marker to create a masterpiece.

But if you’re feeling unsure about mastering the technique, I recommend checking out this article for step-by-step instructions.

Using a projector to draw on your walls is an incredible method, especially if you want to do a more intricate design. Just take a look at this beautiful constellation design that 4 Men 1 Lady did on a dark, blue wall.

chalkboard wall graffiti

Another great example of what you can do with a projector comes from Mike and Kasey’s Blog and their nursery.

Best Markers For Drawing On Walls

Now I want to talk to you guys about some of the best pens and markers for this project. Depending on what look, shape, or image you’re going for, you can use a whole bunch of different colors, which is why the Paper Mat gel pens work like a charm.

They have fine tips, which will help you when you’re doing precision work. The gel pens are also smudge-proof and will stay on your walls for a long time.

But if you don’t want to use pens, the next best thing is a Sharpie. If you want to draw over dark paint and ensure that it really sticks, I recommend the White Oil-Based Sharpie, which resists fading and water damage.

On the other hand, if you’re prone to changing your mind and want something that you can easily paint over, you should go with the water-based Sharpies.

What’s cool about Sharpies vs. regular pens is that the former can write on pretty much any surface, including metal and glass. So you can keep using them for different projects once you’re done with the walls.

Final Thoughts

Even though those were my 4 favorite ways to draw on your wall with markers, I could not tell you which method is best. It all depends on your skill and creativity level, the design, as well as how much time you have. But if you’ve got the time and the resources, I recommend trying a couple and seeing what works best for you.

My DIY Project

You guys, I’m SUPER excited about today’s tutorial. It has been a loooong time coming. I’ve been working at my living room for quite some time, trying to figure out what was missing, and then when I did figure it out it was magical.

First, let me remind you what my living room looked like the very first time I saw it:

from stairs before

When I first moved in I painted the room immediately, and because that crimson accent wall was so THERE I had somehow convinced myself that wall was supposed to be accented. I painted it yellow. Then I realized that is the wrong wall to accent. 

That wall all the way on the right side of the picture, that you can’t even see because there’s so much stuff against it? THAT is supposed to be the accent wall. So the yellow went away and I’ve been staring at the soon-to-be accent wall for almost a year trying to figure out what to do…

A few months ago Mandi @ Vintage Revivals posted a DIY Wallpaper technique she basically invented out of thin air using nothing but her mind grapes and a gold sharpie. 

However, her tutorial had a whole lot of measurements. I’m not the measuring type. I hate math (sorry, mom). So I combined it with this awesomeness from Sarah @ While They Snooze.

I took the Sharpie paint pen idea from Mandi and the hand drawn stencil idea from Sarah and mashed them together like a pb & j.

Moroccan wall pattern

Here’s What You Will Need:

  • Sharpie Paint Oens
  • Level
  • Cardboard
  • Template

The Sharpie paint pen I bought was just over $5, and it was the only material I paid for. I bought three of them and ended up using 2, and technically I think I could have just used one if I was easier on the tip (heh heh heh). I used the cardboard from the box the pens came in to make my stencil.

Here’s the how to:

  • I printed the stencil on computer paper from Sarah’s site (it took up four pieces of computer paper).  I folded it long ways and cut it to be symmetrical, and I folded it horizontally and cut it to be symmetrical. This is very important, do not assume it will be. Fold it both ways! Snip, snip, snip!
  • Then I traced it onto the cardboard and cut it out with a box cutter (heavy duty scissors would do too)
  • Finally, I got my paint pen, estimated what might be the middle of the wall, and started tracing. I traced it approximately 9 million times and every single time I traced it I first checked to make sure it was level. Always check to make sure it’s level! Don’t get lazy! (Tip: download a level app on your phone, tape your phone to the cutout, and check that way)

That’s it- super easy. No need to buy a $50 stencil, no need to buy a pint of paint. Just put on a good playlist and trace, trace, trace. I spread it out over 3-4 days but if I just focused for 3-4 hours it could have been done all at once.

So here’s what the room looks like now:

Sharpie wall after Moroccan stencil applied
heck YES. This angle is from where the tv was in the “before” picture.

Here’s another glorious look:

Cheap stencil to paint wall
Yes, much better.

So what do you think, are you going to run out and get some Sharpies? Or are you an old fashion stencillin’ kinda lady?

PS- To learn how to make that wood shim mirror, check here! And to find out how to glaze it, check here!

How to draw on your walls with markers
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