Bluebird Sticky Note “Installation”

At work we have a pair of beige filing cabinets directly in the path I take from the kitchen to my desk. A growing case of beige fatigue plus being inspired by a talk on designing multi-sensory experiences this morning put me in the mood to DO SOMETHING about those filing cabinets.

So, voilà, a bird made out of post-it notes.

I thought I’d share my process, as this is a fun and totally do-able project.



Do an image search (be sure to respect copyright).

Download your image & open it in your favorite imaging software. I used GIMP, so the process from here reflects my use of this program.

Scale the image so it is itty bitty (i.e. 25 x 20 pixels).

Zoom at 1600% or so to view the pixelated version of the image to preview your work. If you’re happy, scale the image with “linear” selected in the interpolation drop down.

Export the image to a .gif file.

Re-open and edit the image so that the colors map to whatever you’re working with, post-it note wise. I alternated between fuzzy select / bucket fill and the color map tool (windows > dockable dialogues > colormap).

Save and drop your final version image into PowerPoint. I got as relatively close to what I imagined the final product should be, knowing that I could adjust the colors on the fly (pun not intended).

Find yourself a projector and aim it at a blank spot on the wall. Hitting that sweet spot where the pixel size matches the post-it can be painstaking, but well worth the effort.

Overlay your post-its onto the projected image.

I found it easiest to work in rows from top to bottom, but that’s just personal preference I think. Either way, keep sticking those post-its up until your image is complete.

Stand back and admire your work.

The end.


Credits: this project was totally a collaboration. It was Diego’s idea to use a projector, and he taught me how to make the image pixelated-like in GIMP. Laura helped me adjust the projector just so. And Molly put together this morning’s presentation on Designing for Multi-sensory Exhibits in the Museum Setting.