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Decorating on a Budget - Kids' Rooms

Updated on July 12, 2011

Everyone is on a budget these days, but it doesn't mean we live in filth and squalor!  In fact, people are doing more and more with decorating these days because they are spending more and more time at home.

There are great ways to decorate your home on the cheap!  Kids' rooms are especially fun to decorate, and can be easily decorated by handmade items, thrift store items, hand-me-downs, or a combination!

Bunting can be strung like this, or hung against a wall
Bunting can be strung like this, or hung against a wall
This quilt was made from old blue jeans and a sheet for the backing!
This quilt was made from old blue jeans and a sheet for the backing! | Source
Cute paint!  I didn't do it - the previous owner did!  Thanks girl!
Cute paint! I didn't do it - the previous owner did! Thanks girl! | Source

Handmade Decorating

Buntings! Buntings are so cute and they are popping up everywhere! Easy to make on a sewing machine or even a no-sew version with fabric glue. Letters can be cut out of fabric and appliquéd to the triangles to give some extra umph!

Quilts! Quilts can be as easy or as complex as you make it!  If you are a novice like me, try something easy like a blue jean quilt or just a simple patchwork quilt.  Coordinate your quilt with the bunting, and you've got the foundation of a pulled-together room!

Pillows Pillows Everywhere! Pillows are one of the easiest things to make to pull a room together.  These can be made from stuff you already have lying about the house.  Be creative!  You're doing a butterfly room for your daughter?  What about that butterfly washcloth you have?  That would make a great pillow facing.  Stitch it to another washcloth, stuff with whatever fluffiness you can find around, and maybe make some yarn fringe.  Do the same with t-shirt fronts - they are easy to make into pillows, especially if they are little bitty t-shirts.  You don't even need to remove the arms - just stitch them closed!

Give her a fresh coat!  Of paint, that is.  Still have those cans of paint from where you redid the dining room years ago?  Slather that stuff on the bedframe and end table.  Want to go a bit further - paint the room.  Get creative with the painters tape and different colors.  What's the worst that can happen?  You have to repaint?  Big deal!

Lighting!  Lighting can change the whole mood of a room.  Recover a lampshade with some cute fabric - it only takes a bit!  Or better yet, get some of that fabric spray paint and paint the sucker!

Window treatments!  The easiest thing to make at home!  You really don't even need to know how to sew a straight line to make curtains or valances.  Can't even sew an unstraight line?  Fake it!  Drape your fabric right over the curtain rod and use a ribbon to gather it in the middle.  Better than that?  Use a sheet!  Just cut small slits in the seam at the top of the sheet and slide it through the curtain rod.

Cheap & easy  - I'm not crazy about "character" decorating, but my kid likes it and no one else sees it!
Cheap & easy - I'm not crazy about "character" decorating, but my kid likes it and no one else sees it! | Source
Thrift store sheet = curtains for my little man's blue room.  No, that RV does not live outside my house - the neighbors are going camping!
Thrift store sheet = curtains for my little man's blue room. No, that RV does not live outside my house - the neighbors are going camping! | Source
Source

Thrift Store Decorating

This is my favorite way of decorating!  I bought a whole matching set of Lightning McQueen stuff for my kid for $7.  It had EVERYTHING!  Throw in a roll of wallpaper boarder his grandmother got him, and call it a room!  The only thing I had to do was take that extra top sheet and make the curtain and valance.  Easy peasy!

It is fun to mix and match colors at the thrift store, too.  To decorate a child's bedroom from a thrift store can be oh so cute, and cost next to nothing.

Bedding - Bedding should cost less than $10 to pick up comforter, shams, and bedskirt.  And a sheet to make curtains with - don't forget that!  It's much cuter to use plain sheets with a bedding set and use the sheets it came with to make the curtains.  No one ever sees the sheets anyway (or at least they shouldn't!  That bed should be kept made it's going to be so cute!)

Rugs - Little area rugs can be picked up on the cheap.  I didn't mention it before, but you can make braided rope rugs or latchhook rugs.  Maybe not cutting edge, but vintage is back baby!

Wall art - My favorite wall art for kids are pencil sketches you can find online.   Pick up thrifted frames, paint them (or not!), and frame those cuties!  Pick up vintage books and frame the pictures from them.  Some of the cutest I've seen are from The Little Engine That Could and from a 100 year old book of bible stories.

Furniture - Scared little Johnny is going to color all over your heirloom bedframe?  Take that joker out of his room and pick something up at a thrift store.  Or on the side of the road.  The side of the road is actually one of the best places to find bedframes - folks just discard them and never look back.  A coat of paint and a little love... that's all it takes.  Can't find a bedframe?  Use an old door, a piece of plywood covered with batting and fabric, or put the mattress right on the floor.  This is great for teen kids' rooms.  No where to shove all their junk!

The funky dresser funky no more! This thing is huge, but I didn't want to show all my kid's junk that she keeps on it!
The funky dresser funky no more! This thing is huge, but I didn't want to show all my kid's junk that she keeps on it! | Source

Hand-me-down Decorating

This is free decorating right here!  Mother-in-law sick of that bed of hers?  Great, we'll take it!  Kid has a new bed!  Dad getting rid of his lava lamp and bead curtain?  It's easy enough to clean it up and hippie-fy that teen's room.  Mom downsizing and getting rid of that beautiful antique furniture?  Sure, I'll put that in MY room and now the kiddos can have all my old crap!  It was hand-me-down anyway, right?

Bedding can be made like new.  Have a comforter you no longer like the looks of?  Put it in the bathtub and tie-dye it.  Goes with the bead curtain now.  Can't do that?  Cover it with two flat sheets and tie it like a quilt.  It will be beautiful, warm, and look like you worked forever on it.

Pillows can be used for all kinds of things.  No longer fit to sleep on?  That's fine.  We cover all those pillows and make throws out of them.  Make some bolster pillow slips and line the walls with them.  That'll give those kids somewhere to sit quietly AND will be very 1930s cute chic!

Furniture can be changed so many ways.  When a girlfriend of mine was moving, she had (what she kept calling) a funky dresser to ditch.  I happily took it off her hands.  Drawer pulls cost next to nothing, and a bit of cute scrapbook paper and Mod Podge brought this dresser to a new level of CUTE.  Of course, now it is buried in teenager STUFF, but I can live with it!

Comments

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    • profile image

      Bethany Culpepper 

      7 years ago

      It's finally spring - time for a change! I always hated getting rid of those blue jeans. Thanks for the useful tips!

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      I love to decorate! Most of my knick knacks (sp?) are straight from the thrift store too. I particularly liked your suggestions for re-purposing old dressers. We also use old children's book pics to decorate our kids rooms. So much in common! Great hub, L.

    • cheapsk8chick profile imageAUTHOR

      cheapsk8chick 

      7 years ago

      That's an awesome memory! It is fun to decorate, but I just don't have a knack for it. I like to buy stuff on the cheap and then have friends come over and arrange the stuff because I am just no good at it!

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 

      7 years ago from NY

      Excellent budget decorating tips. Reminds me of growing up, my mom was always re-arranging decorating our bedrooms. My brother and I would come home from school and our entire room would be re-arranged with a theme and usually a cheap gift like a water gun or bubbles and side walk chalk. ahh memories. Thanks!

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