How to Update a Bedroom for a Teenager - My Best Ideas; Fun, Fast, and Affordable.

Public domain image
Public domain image | Source

Be Teen Chic on the Cheap.

The most affordable ways to re-do a teen’s bedroom involve more planning than money, if you think durability and design. Here are some tips and tricks to make a teen room up-date go smoother, be more enjoyable for all involved, and save you money.

First, use what you have. Chances are you already have the basics covered such as a bed, night stand, desk and bookcase. If not don’t worry. Assuming you have the bed and mattress, the rest can be improvised on the cheap and still look teen chic.

Made by Vix at Cool Text.
Made by Vix at Cool Text. | Source

First things first:

  • Talk with your child.
  • Find out what your child wants in the room.
  • Chose a theme.
  • Select a color scheme.
  • Develop a list distinguishing needs from wants.
  • Pick a plan for walls, floors, windows, furniture and ceiling.
  • Write it down.

Consider one or more combinations of the following plans to address various room components.

Remember - You may not need to address everything. Some things may be fine exactly as they are. Take into account renting/owning issues, too. If you rent, remember to inquire as to what you are allowed to change under the terms of your lease.

Encourage your future Picasso.


Budding teen artists can photograph their creations and store electronically before moving on to the next great masterpiece.


  • · Dry Erase

Instead of laboring over new paint that the child will most likely be bored with in a week, cover a wall, or a large part of one, with a dry-erase board. Children will love the freedom to graffiti at will and you will love that it can be erased in the blink of an eye. For a more formal look, consider hanging a curtain rod that spans the entire wall. Place curtains on opposite ends with tie backs. When a more formal look is required, one needs only pull the curtains shut over the dry-erase wall.

All aboard.


Stuffed animals stored up off the floor will stay cleaner. Further, the chances of being "appropriated" by the family pet will be diminished.

  • · Velcro

Little girls love stuffed animals but often storage becomes an issue. As the young lady grows, she may have display and/or storage issues, yet be unwilling to part with the friends of her earlier days. Consider putting up a Velcro border at the top of the room. You can go around the entire room or just feature a wall or part thereof. Stuffed animals stick great to Velcro. Your little princess can arrange them any way her heart desires over and over again. She can have them near, yet not drown her bed or create a sea of furry unicorns and bears on the floor.

Cork is an environmentally friendly material.

This stuff is fantastic! It holds up to the wear and tear of industrial strength teenagers. They can poke holes in it with a thousand pins and your walls will never feel a thing. Try covering it with fabric or ribbons for a less urban look or enjoy as is for a more grunge rock theme.

  • · Cork Board

Are posters a problem? Teens love covering rooms with posters, pictures, cutouts, anything you name that can leave a hole or peel up paint. Knowing this in advance, why fight a losing battle? Try a cork-board wall or boarder. If you don’t want to do an entire wall, yet you know your little self expressionist will require more posting room than a border allows, run strips of cork-board at intervals. Cork-boards come in square sections, rounds, and large sheets. It's very easy to cut to any shape you want. The different sizes and/or shapes can be mixed and matched to create an infinite number of design possibilities. Give the teen or tween a budget and let them design the layout. For that matter, let them put it up or do it together. They will achieve a sense of ownership and accomplishment all at the same time.

  • · Mirrors

Mirrors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You don’t have to go big to make a big statement. Consider placing mirror rounds of different sizes at varying heights and concentrations for a funky vibe that will brighten any room.

Garage sales and thrift stores are great places to pick up mirrors for pennies.


You may need to remind children; nets are for toys, not capturing smaller siblings.


  • · Nets

Often ceilings go ignored, but they have great potential for storage. Hang a net from the ceiling in a corner or two in such a way as to create draping folds. It makes great storage for teens. Stuffed animals will do nicely there, as will other light weight items. Be sure to consider weight when affixing to the ceiling. Use a method that will be sturdy such as durable hooks or Molly bolts. Be sure you are connecting with a stud, not just sheet-rock.

  • · Mirrors

If your teen/tween wants to go fun and funky, affix a mirror to the ceiling with a hole cut out in the center. Suspend a mirror ball from the hole. Teens into music in a serious way will love it. Mirror balls can be purchased on the cheap or you can make your own.

Laminate cutouts/overlays and your explorer can manipulate the galaxy at will time and again.

  • · Paint or Fabric

For those teens into Science fiction and/or space exploration, consider simply painting the ceiling black, or really go easy and use black fabric. Over the paint or fabric place laminated or decoupaged pictures of space ships, planets, meteorites, asteroids, space monsters, whatever your budding astronaut desires

The same basic ideas work for many themes. Use blue paint or fabric with cloud overlays, birds, with sun and moon for a more mystical vibe. Try the same with dragons and fairies for a more fantasy inspired room...The possibilities are endless.


Smaller, trailing artificial plants work well in ceiling corners. Put them up with tacks, but be careful to place the tack where it doesn't show. It gives a nice three dimensional effect and the cascade can be as long and thick as wanted.

  • · Silk Tree

Why not combine wall and ceiling treatment? There's nothing like getting double duty out of a project. Get an old silk tree. Divide the tree trunk vertically so that you have a semi-flat back. Affix the tree to the wall behind the headboard of the bed where the limbs and leaves create a canopy. This would be great for a fantasy inspired or flowery room.

Be sure to measure the height you place the tree in relation to the bed before affixing it to the wall. No one wants to sit up and get a tree limb in the face first thing in the morning.

This concept can work well in any flowery, fantasy, jungle or nature inspired room. The entire room can be easily adapted for any holiday just by hanging ornaments from the branches at Christmas, hearts on Valentine's Day and so on.

Use what you have. Be bold. Don't be afraid to experiment. Often things we create ourselves mean the most to us. When you do purchase, think about how anything can be re-purposed and go for it. From using fancy barrettes for curtain-tie back bling and drawer pulls, to decoupaging the desktop, headboard, and dresser with old greeting card flower cutouts, there is literally no limit to what you can create.


Chances are you don’t want to re-do your floors, especially if you’re on a budget. Consider the following lower cost alternatives:

  • Mats - Sew together to cover larger floor areas.
  • Bathroom rugs - These are very affordable, come in a variety of styles and patterns, and can be just as easily sewn together. If you don’t sew, consider using liquid stitches, double sided tape, Velcro, or bonding strips.
  • Older, damaged rugs - If you have an old rug that works for the size needed, but not the color or pattern, cover it with a piece of fabric that does work. Use a piece of fabric with a four or five inch overlap on each edge to cover well. Affix to the back using double sided tape or stitching.
  • Plywood - Cover a sheet of plywood in padding then fabric. Stain guard the fabric. For an extra finished look, stud the edges or border with ribbon. It makes a great showcase under a desk, or a gaming station. For a more sophisticated look, try covering with a brick, stone, or wood panel patterned contact paper. Lastly, apply a heavy duty sealant and let dry.

ATTENTION: Be sure to leave enough overlap with whatever material you chose to cover all edges and secure to the back.


Windows and bedding:

Curtains, blinds, and shades all can be pricey. Consider using what you already have. Think about how you can make it work for your teen’s new plan. Can it be dyed? Can it be embellished using some of the same embellishments used throughout the space?

The same basic ideas can easily be applied to bedding. A plain, solid color comforter can burst with new life just from having a few additions. To go fun and funky, use the artwork from old concert jerseys. Feature a few favorite bands, graffiti it up here and there using Fabric Markers or Sharpies. Before you know it you will have a rocking new look for the bed. Do the same to a few pillows for a really coordinated look.

Single sheets are often less expensive than bolts of fabric.

Use sheets.

  • Single, flat sheets can be purchased for very little if you shop around. You can typically get as many as you will need of the same pattern. They work great for quick curtains because the top and bottom seems allow for easy installation of curtain rods with minimal effort. If you don’t want to take out a seam, just fold the top over and use Liquid Stitches or Velcro and your good to go.

If you or your teen/tween is artistically inclined, try using a solid color sheet and embellishing with Puffy Paints.

Keep existing curtains.

  • If you would like to go with your old curtains, but they don’t match, consider purchasing fabric, or sheets, with a large print. Cut out and use the desired parts for embellishment on existing curtains to create a more cohesive look. For example; you have green curtains, but your growing princess now wants a pink flower theme. Embellish the existing green curtains with cutouts from pink flower patterned sheets. Use the same sheets on the bed and perhaps even embellish a bulletin board or other item in the room with the same pink flower cut outs. Remember, if you use cut outs to seal around the cut so as to prevent fraying later.

Consider purchasing a Bed in a Bag set with curtains. You can get coordinated sets on at a reasonable price if you shop around and are patient.

Try revamping old blinds.

  • Give an existing plain blind some "bling". Many blinds are plain and boring, but relatively cheap. You can use the cut out method mentioned above. You could paint on them, iron on appliques, splatter paint, sponge paint, and so on. For a funky, graffiti look, have your child invite over all of their friends. Load the children up with Sharpies and let them autograph blinds, curtains, pillow cases, any fabric really. When they are done set the ink further by soaking the cloth items in one gallon of water with three cups of Vinegar. Soak overnight and wash.

Be sure when planning storage space to leave room for new trophies and/or collectables.
Be sure when planning storage space to leave room for new trophies and/or collectables.

Can one ever have enough storage?

Is storage an issue for your child?

See results without voting

Storage – Display Issues:

Does your child have storage and/or display issues? It may be that Suzy has a ton of trophies, or Johny Jr. got into action figures in a major way. Don’t despair when seeing the price of shelving. Do it yourself. You can go as simple as concrete blocks and boards. Paint concrete blocks any color your teen desires. Better yet, send them outside to do it themselves. Boards can be painted, cloth covered, decoupaged, sanded and stained, covered in contact paper and then given a protective coating of Shellac, whatever one’s imagination can dream up. Just keep it consistent throughout to achieve a more finished look.

WARNING: Before you begin "blinging" up your blocks and boards, stack and measure twice, build once.

For a super easy, affordable way to affix the boards atop the blocks, use LiquidNails.

Be sure to consider:

  • The width you want and the height.
  • The amount of weight it will need to hold.
  • The distance between blocks – regular or irregular spacing.
  • The stability of the unit. Be sure to use enough blocks to support then ends and the middle well. For younger children’s rooms, you will need to affix to the wall for safety.

Other affordable embellishment ideas:

  • Baseball cards.
  • Trading cards.
  • Fashion pictures.
  • Flowers.
  • Barbie Doll clothes.
  • Paper Dolls.
  • Anything they want!

Ideas to decorate concrete blocks:

  • Affix Jeans pockets to the sides.
  • Sprinkle or blow glitter onto wet painted block.
  • Bedazzle with a glue gun.
  • Decoupage pictures onto the sides.
  • Use foam stickers.
  • Velcro dolls on the sides.
  • Affix Match Box cars on the sides.
  • Velcro or glue sun-glasses and/or flip flops onto the sides.

Girl's Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper.

Yes. OK, it technically says girls. Really, don't you think it applies to all kids? Have some fun with them!

Have fun. Fun is free. Your teen/tween will love it.

In conclusion, you set the budget. Let your teen/tween take the lead as much as possible. The planning and execution skills they will learn can only help them. The child will take much more pride in a room he/she helped design and create. Sometimes, as a child grows, a change of scenery is required. Think of it this way; Can you really expect them to act more maturely if still surrounded by Barney or Dora the Explorer? Let a room re-do be their catalyst towards being more grown up and responsible. You never know. They might just clean the room more!

(c) PoetVix a.k.a. Rhonda Enrayne. 2-25-13.

I do not own nor did I create video above. It was uploaded to by ReadTheHits.

The Animated Adventures of Mr. Willy's Workshop by Harvey Poling.

I do not own nor did I create the video above. It was uploaded to by Harvey Poling.


All images were obtained at unless otherwise attributed.

All banners and bars were made by Vix at

Comments 16 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm still scrolling through looking for the political statement. LOL You caught me by surprise with this one. Well done with some great suggestions, but it should come with a warning for those of us who were expecting a lambasting of the government. :) Good job my friend. My son is 28 and gone so I'm afraid this will do me no good, but I'll pass it on to some friends.

SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 3 years ago from eastern North Dakota

It's been so long since I've signed into Hubpages that I almost forgot my username and password. Great hub, Poetvix, if I had a kid I certainly would stay tuned to this hub. I liked the idea of an eraseboard too, for myself. Really enjoyed "Girls just wanna have fun" I used to love to rollarskate to that song, and I really dug Cyndi Lauper. As for what I'm working on, just one more edit, I hope.

poetvix profile image

poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Billybuc ~ I'm laughing too. This is so not my norm. I've been in a slump and so decided to make myself do something. I saw an article about updating a room and it would cost a fortune to do what they suggested. So, I decided to do an "anti-big-money" idea page.

You know me well don't you? I can't really say lambasting, as I'm still coming out of the slump here, but something more political is cooking up in the Hub-tool now. Thanks bunches for the read of the girly me. God bless and happy hubbing.

poetvix profile image

poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

SubRon7 ~ Thank you very much for the read of the non-serious here. Oh, I love the idea of erasable. You know they have eraser board paint now? Too cool. I always like Lauper. I hope your edit goes well and that you send me a link! God bless you and happy hubbing!

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Some useful ideas here. I loved reading about them. It's a pity that all my children are past the teenage stage as I would have enjoyed trying out some.

joym7 profile image

joym7 3 years ago from United States

Great hub containing lots of useful information for parents. Voted as Useful

poetvix profile image

poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

BlossomSB ~ Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, especially since you don't have any teenagers living at home. I admit, I don't either. I have used many of these ideas in a smaller version in various high school classrooms over the years, and other projects. I'm going to do the dry erase wall in my office next time I get the energy to redo our office here at home. God bless and happy hubbing!.

poetvix profile image

poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

joym ~ Thanks bunches for the read and comment. I hope people find something useful. As a teacher, I marvel at how parents make it financially. Have an awesome day. God bless and happy hubbing!

DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 3 years ago from USA

What a comprehensive collection of tips and techniques for redoing a bedroom! I especially liked the dry erase board and Velcro suggestions; they are tailor-made for our little Picasso. Thanks for sharing.

poetvix profile image

poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Donna ~ Thank you. I want to do the velcro border for myself. I saw a kitchen redo not too long ago where they painted some of the cabinet doors with the chalkboard paint. It was really cute. Have an awesome day and God bless.

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Wow! I like that dry erase board and Velcro ideas. It must be fun for the children and maybe some adults. I enjoyed reading this hub. Thanks for these suggestions. Voted up and useful.

poetvix profile image

poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Thelma Alberts ~ Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love the Velcro myself and I have used it many times. Have a most hubtastic weekend and God bless.

cesily profile image

cesily 2 years ago from Nairobi

A very post with great ideas. My daughter is still a toddler but some of the suggestions still apply.

poetvix profile image

poetvix 2 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

A toddler? Try the marker board, it's the easiest to clean :). Happiest of decorating and God bless.

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 2 years ago from London, UK

I love the way you noted that parents should talk to their child. Many times, parents do a beautiful makeover (sometimes a surprise one) but it's to the horror of their Teen, when they see it. lol.

The Hub layout is awesome too.

poetvix profile image

poetvix 2 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

~ Lady_E - Thank you. You are so right about the teens. I don't think it's possible to please them without consulting them first. :) God bless and most happy decorating!

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