DIY Wall Art

Calvin and Hobbes are part of me.Calvin and Hobbes wall art

I’ve been reading Calvin and Hobbes since I was 8 years old when my best friend’s twin brother (obviously, he was basically my brother too growing up) introduced me to them. My best friend and I (incidentally, I loathe the term best friend because it’s so exclusive — I have several — but modifying it, like by saying “one of my best friends,” dilutes the term unacceptably) would huddle by the heater vent, wrapped in blankets, in the corner of the room between her two dressers. One of those dressers upheld the ceramic studio art projects that never ceased to awe me, the skeleton in a purple dress, the “piggy” bank chimera, and the stippled watermelon, and the other of which contained a drawer from which I never failed to pull the softest pajamas you ever slipped your freezing San Francisco bones into.

calvin and hobbes there's treasure everywhere

Over the years, I came to know Calvin and Hobbes to the point that I believed they existed in a parallel universe. (They do, of course.) I’d bring them into the tub with me to unwind and laugh hysterically at lines so familiar I’d quote them. (“Actually, I just like to say smock. Smock. Smock. Smock. Smock. Smock. What on earth is wrong with you???!!!”) I even taught a DECAL (that, my friends, stands for “Democratic Education at Cal” — which makes me laugh hysterically right now) class entitled “Calvin and Hobbes and Narrative Theory.” I was so loyal to Bill Watterson’s commendable stance not to license his creations that I’d been known to also quote his line that “only thieves and vandals” ever made money from Calvin and Hobbes. Some co-worker friends thought it was hilarious to undermine my own snobbery on the matter by affixing an impossible-to-remove decal of Calvin on my car. Hahah. They made me a driving contradiction.

I hauled my entire collection of Calvin and Hobbeses across the country, and, naturally, when I had children I wanted to share my unchanging friends with them. I decided some time after I started having my babies that I wanted to do a Calvin and Hobbes mural in my kids’ room one day. Maybe someday I will. In the meantime, I’m thrilled with these poster prints of my favorite comic boy and his best friend. (Also pictured below is Danny boy’s Monkey from our pacifier weaning adventure.)

calvin and hobbes wall art

I made them in a DIY frenzy. And guess how much the entire thing cost? For both. $35!!

I don’t know if or how the project infringes on copyrights (I sincerely hope it doesn’t!) but here is how to do it:

supplies for DIY wall art with Calvin and Hobbes

  • Take a photograph of the pictures you want to use. (For Calvin and Hobbes, using an image on the cover works best. 
  • Take the best quality picture you can, using as many megapixels as your camera allows.
  • Try to take the picture so that you only have to crop minimally. This will keep the photo’s quality high when you print it.
  • Crop and edit the picture as you wish and save it at whatever size you want your final piece to be so that you get what you see.
  • I printed 20″ x 30″ images at Costco. I printed them at 300 dpi and and was very happy with how they turned out. Best parts: They were done in less than an hour and they were $8.99 each!!
  • Purchase a pack of foam board that matches the size of your prints or cut to size.
  • Buy spray adhesive if you don’t have any.
  • The Command Hook velcro picture hanging thingies are GREAT, especially for sticking foam board on the wall.
  • Follow instructions to use spray adhesive to put the prints on the foam board and the velcro hooks on the foam board and hang your masterpiece on the wall!

Calvin and Hobbes wall art

This could be done with any piece you wish you could hang on your wall. The possibilities are endless. You may remember my post on how to turn a book into wall art. This project kicks that idea up a notch and frees you from size constraints. And imagine how great a more formal large print would look custom matted and framed… Are your wheels turning? Tell me about what you’re dying to do!





  1. Ann Chan says:

    Brilliant Shifrah!