More on the Super Mario Room

First, the response and all the compliments have just blown me away. Thank you all so much. Second, my wife was a huge part of this. I couldn’t (wouldn’t) have done this without her help. I wanted to mention that because I’m seeing posts like this one at Curbed.

There have been some questions about how exactly we did this. The background colors were easy enough, 35″ of black along the bottom, an 8″ orange stripe, and blue above. We very nearly stopped there after realizing how much work we were in for, but once I figured out the stencil thing we decided we might actually be able to pull this off before our son was of, say, legal drinking age. To make the stencils, I used two sheets of clear 8.5″ x 11″ labels. 1/4″ per pixel gave me just enough room for 32 x 32 “pixels” on each sheet. I printed the various patterns on these sheets, stuck the sheet with the pattern on top of another and then cut the patterns out with an X-Acto knife. I also printed some guidelines on the sheets to help with alignment. Each sheet could be used maybe 50 times or so before they became too caked with paint and had to be thrown away.

In some cases patterns had to be broken into two templates to avoid ending up with just an outline. For example, for the clouds there was a top part and a separate sheet for the bottom part. For the ground, there were four templates. One for black horizontal-ish lines, another for vertical lines, and two others for the horizontal and vertical highlights. Other templates (like the bricks) left small gaps where I’d have to come back later and paint freehand… you know, perhaps this would make more sense if I made the template available: Mario Photoshop Template.

There were several mistakes. Some intentional. Some not. Someone actually noticed that I’d painted Mario’s shirt sleeves and boots blue instead of brown. I did that intentionally since my son finds that more recognizable. Also, Luigi wouldn’t normally be waiting for Mario on the other side of the castle, but Aaron likes Luigi and I had to put him somewhere.

As for the unintentional mistakes, the flagpole is too far right by 16 pixels. Sadly Mario could never manage 5,000 points on my map. I was going to correct it, but my wife told me I was crazy. The hill to the right of the castle is squished, and the one to the left is 1 pixel too wide. Other than that, I think it turned out pretty good.