I found this photo on Pinterest from aimee-weaver and thought, "hey, we could do this for my parents for Christmas."
My sister has been looking for a painting of an open space for them with no luck. We haven't found anything worth blowing $50-100 over. I've calculated that if we do this ourselves, we could save a lot of money AND get what we want.
The trip to Home Depot got us a large 1/4" x 4' x 8' board. We got them to cut it for us into three pieces, one of those were a 4' x 2.5'. We also got simple wall paint: self-priming pure white, a deep blue and an aqua. I also got brushes from the dollar tree: 2 for $1 :D
Here's our board. We like the cracks, but if you don't, invest in better boards. We opted for the cheapest piece because we really like the texture and cracks. Plus, we wanted to save money :)
Take your board and sand it down. It'll help hold the paint and reduce splinters. We like the cracks, but if you don't, invest in better boards.
Once done, flip it around to the back and install a french cleat hanger. We also stuck cabinet cabinet cork pads on the hanger before installing the screws because they were a bit longer than the thickness of the board—we didn't want the screws to go through the board.
If you're weak like me, use a drill to pre-drill a hole before installing the screw. If you're strong like my sister, you can use your bare strength.
Ok flip it over. Start painting the self-priming pure white all over the whole board. This will act as a base.
Wait until your white paint is half way dry. Mix a small amount of white and blue paint to create light blue. Paint the light blue at the top.
Add aqua. Blend between blue and aqua.
Blend aqua down to the white at the bottom. Done! Hang!
Sorry for the bad photos! :(