I ran across this splendid, betentacled dining-room set the other day, and originally assumed that it was from some offbeat furniture gallery. After a bit of digging around, I discovered that it’s actually the work of artist Christen Shaw; there are a couple of other views in her Flickr stream.
Shaw’s designs are all hand-painted, but for those of us whose painting skills fall somewhere between “primitive” and “kindergarten,” something similar might be achieved using stencils. In particular, the monochromatic ouija board and the clean lines of the tentacles should lend themselves well to this process.
You can create the design you want in a computer graphics program, then print it out (a copy shop such as Kinko’s can print large designs that a home printer can’t handle) and turn it into a stencil. If you’ve never stenciled furniture before, there are loads of tutorials to get you started: This one from TLC provides a good overview of the whole process, and Royal Design Studio has some addtional useful tips.
Stenciling or painting is a great way to add character to bland, inexpensive furniture, and it can also breathe life into old pieces that you’re tired of looking at. Delicate spiderwebs, folk-art skulls, and other spooky accents are easy to do and are a lovely way to bring your own personal style to a room.
p.s. – Shaw also designs tattoos, so if you’re looking for something really unique you might check what she charges for commissions.