We first saw this idea at the Sacramento Children’s Museum. It was a giant plexiglass wall setting on concrete and you could just paint allll over it and then they would come by and wash it off. Baby D loved it! I loved it too. So I set out to make my own.
I looked around for existing ideas, but all of them were made using wood. I didn’t want wood, because I didn’t want it to start rotting after getting wet from washing or because I was planning on storing it outside.
Let’s get to it! I shopped at Home Depot and Dollar Tree and got all my materials
- 1, 10-foot 3/4″ PVC Pipe (~2.50$ at Home Depot)
- 1, 12″ x 24″ acrylic sheet (~20$ at Home Depot).
- 2, Tee PVC joints, 3/4″ (Less than a dollar each)
- 4-6, PVC Caps 3/4″ (less than a dollar each, I used 4, but if you want to close up the PVC on the top of the art wall, you’ll want 2 extra)
- 4 short screws (cost varies depending on quantity, mine were 3/4″ long)
- 1-2, Pool Noodles (1$ each, Dollar Tree–I wanted two colors, so I needed two, you really only need one)
I already own these tools because we have been doing projects for many years. PVC and acryllic is a fairly forgiving material. I have cut PVC with a handsaw I bought at the dollar tree… so it’s a pretty forgiving material.
- Electric Drill (with drill bit, I used 1/8 drill)
- Phillips head screwdriver
- PVC Pipe cutter (hand saw, or a real PVC Pipe Cutter… lots of time saved… but there is also one dangling at Home Depot, so you could just bring your tape measure and cut it there for free)
- A sharp object (to slice the pool noodles, I used my steak knife… don’t tell my husband, ha!)
If your plexi-/acrylic plastic pane came with a vinyl covering, keep it on and remove it at the very end. While it is a forgiving material in terms of poking a hole into it–it does scratch!
- Cut 10-foot PVC into the following segments:
- 2, 28-inch lengths
- 4, 12-inch lengths
- Cut Pool Noodle(s) into the following segments:
- 2, 25-inch lengths
- Slice a straight slit down the length of the Pool Noodle segment
Mark the acrylic sheet at 1/2-inch from the corners, on all four corners, and drill holes into the acrylic sheet. Note: Drilling onto a cardboard box is nice because you can poke through it
Line up the 28-inch PVC and mark it per the holes on the sheet. Note: If you’re using caps on the top leave some space above the top of the plexi glass. Otherwise, line up the the top of the PVC with the acrylic sheet like in the image below
Drill holes into the PVC pipe and screw the sheet onto the PVC pipe.
Connect the 12-inch long PVC pieces to the Tee joint, cap the ends. And then connect the top of the Tee joint to the art wall.
Finish up by sliding the pool noodle along the edge to cover the rough edges of the PVC
We bought our washable, non-toxic paint and paint brushes at the Lakeshore Learning Center…you can really buy anywhere. I didn’t have one near us when we lived in Oregon–but this is pretty basic material. I would recommend getting spill-proof paint containers though! Happy painting, toddlers!