Bob’s Big Boy

My dear friend Rose was contemplating a new look for her kitchen. Leaving the rooster theme behind, she wanted to decorate with fun vintage advertising. I asked her if she could have anything up on her wall what would it be and she replied “Bob’s Big Boy”.
She’d grown up in Southern California and remembered BBB fondly. With her birthday around the corner, I went to work!

I googled and ebayed for images and found a pretty crisp one on a matchbook that I was able to drag over onto my desktop, blow up the image and print it out. Using tracing paper, I traced the outlines with a black pen, scanned the image and brought it into Adobe Illustrator where I blew it up to its final size, just under 40 inches high. I printed out the image in sections (tiled) and using my sliding glass door as a lightbox, I puzzle-pieced the pages together to create the final image. After all pieces were in place with tape, I spliced through the overlaps with an x-acto. It is helpful not to have double thickness of paper when you plan to trace an image.

Again at the glass door, and the image flipped over and taped up, I began coloring along the backside of the traceable areas with my pencil. A carpenter’s pencil is good for this as it gives nice thick scribbles. This is a technique for tracing if you don’t have graphite paper or want to move your graphite paper around as you trace.

Once the back was colored with pencil (you really only have to color the areas that are going to be traced, outlines, etc.) I laid the image onto the large board my husband picked up and traced the overall shape. (If you do this, use a blue or red ball-point pen so that it’s easy to see where you’ve already drawn if tracing over a black image. The pencil graphite is then transferred to the board from the pressure of tracing.) Then Jeff cut out the image with a jigsaw and sanded the edges.

I painted the entire piece white with an acrylic primer, and once dry, replaced the paper for the rest of the tracing. (be sure to tape in place in several places. Lift and check to see that all areas have been traced before removing the paper.) I wish I had photos of this process for you, but I never knew 2 years ago I’d be blogging about it.

Once all was traced, I used basic craft acrylic paint, coloring it to match the original image I’d found online. A little sanding of the edges to give it a vintage/worn look and a nice coat of spray varnish. My husband added the wood strips (to give a relief effect once hung) and hardware on the back (spaced to stud width!).

It was a big birthday hit and he’s been hanging in Rose’s kitchen for over 2 years as she continues adding fun vintage ad art to keep him company.

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14 Responses to Bob’s Big Boy

  1. #1 - Erin says:

    Having just bought a new house and brainstorming ideas for our kitchen’s decorating, I have to say that I am very impressed with your work! I couldn’t help but smile when you described the process of tracing with the glass door… I too use doors as might box 🙂

  2. #2 - Beyond the Rockz says:

    Impressive and inspiring! Thank you for sharing the how to, which can be applied in so many ways.

    Great blog too!

  3. #3 - Blue & White Wear says:

    Wow! That looks great!

  4. #4 - Blue & White Wear says:

    Wow! That looks great!

  5. #5 - Karen Beth says:


    Tell me… is there anything you can’t do??

  6. #6 - woolies says:

    omigosh I love it!

  7. #7 - XUE says:

    Rose is sure lucky to have a wonderful friend like you, who went through such lengths, to make her happy! The kitchen resembles a diner corner!

  8. #8 - Tania Wood says:

    I agree with Karen Beth…..Cathe this is amazing… sounds like abig headache to me…but you make it sound like it was second nature for you…..I am in awe of you……why aren’t you selling this kind of stuff online????? You might be in FORBES magazine one day with all of your creative talent!!!! You Rock!

  9. #9 - LazyTcrochet says:

    Great job! Perfect setting for it too.

  10. #10 - SavageBabble says:

    That is totally awesome!!

  11. #11 - Bellastar1117 says:

    WOW! That is fantastic. You are very creative!

  12. #12 - Mindless Pursuits says:

    That looks terrific! You do excellent work! 🙂

  13. #13 - Lisa Julia says:

    Looks fantastic!

  14. #14 - AuntDsHandcrafts says:

    You did an awesome job 🙂