My Little Man is nicknamed our “Dapper Dude”. Does anyone else have a little boy who loves the finer things in life? My kindergartener will pick a button down shirt over a tee shirt ANY old day of the week. And his “go to” pants are his Polo dress pants. Believe me, you won’t see me complaining. I love the fact that he loves bow ties and Sperrys. But his favorite accessory of all is a hat. As his preschool teachers can attest, it was not odd at all to see him show up to school in a top hat or bowler hat. That is just the way my little man rolls. (But believe me, he is still all B-O-Y! He runs like the wind, and is happiest playing with giant sticks in our woods).
So when it came time to decorate his room, I knew I needed to do a “little gentleman” theme. It is a style that can grow with him. He was four when I created his room, but I could see him using it as a 14 year old as well. But let’s be honest, when his mama is a designer, he is going to get a new room before then, because I will want to try something new!
So this is what we started with. At least it was a blank slate:
I adore designing kid’s rooms. But let’s also remind ourselves: IT IS A KID’S ROOM. And kids are messy and don’t take care of their things.
I love seeing all of the beautiful designer kids rooms in those glossy magazines I read while my kids are occupied. But I have to wonder what those rooms look like in a few years. Won’t those $1,000 cribs still have teeth marks on it? And those $100 stuffed animals-do they have to stay on a shelf to stay pretty? I want my kids to actually USE their room, without stressing about keeping it perfect. With so many possibilities out there, I created a Mood Board, just like I do for all of my Postbox Designs clients. It gives me a chance to put all of my ideas down on one piece of paper.
So the whole room make-over cost just over $350. I will preface it with the fact we were super lucky that my in-laws had old guest furniture that they were no longer using. They gave us the headboard, dresser, and sidetable. So obviously if you are starting from scratch, you have to add in for those costs. But here is the breakdown to a fun (and kid-friendly) little boy’s room:
My first cost savings trick were his navy and white striped “curtains”. Has anyone else noticed that curtains can be expensive? I had my heart set on horizontal stripes, but I didn’t seem to be able to find them anywhere. Then I found these adorable striped twin duvet covers from Target. They were $19.99 each, so I bought three and hung them from clips. Because they are duvets, it is like having a built-in black out liner.
The bedding is from Pottery Barn Kids and it is from their Madras Quited Bedding Collection. And I’ll be honest, that bedding was half of my budget! But I loved the pattern and couldn’t find anything that I loved any more. I waited for a sale and an extra 10% code, and it was still fairly reasonable at just over $120. The sheets were a bargain at Meijer for $12.
If you have read my blog before, you know I LOVE paint! It is the most inexpensive way to make-over a room. I painted the room a bold blue to liven up the space. But then I pulled out my handy dandy Frog Tape painter’s tape and made some pinstripes on the wall with a quart of red paint and a sample size of navy paint. The stripes reminded me of his striped polo shirts he rocks all summer long. All of the paint cost just under $35.
Then I used leftover blue and red paint to create his rug. I found an inexpensive outdoor rug at Lowes for under $20. Then I used my painter’s tape and marked off the pattern for the Union Jack (honestly, who are more dapper people than the British?).
So I mentioned in the title of this post, that I created 5 different types of art for his room ALL for less than $3 total. Yes, total! (This $3 doesn’t include the frames the art is in, but the frames are included in the total $350 budget. I buy all of mine super cheap at places like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby with those beloved 50% coupons!)
DIY IDEA #1
Those nine frames that are above his dresser? That was all done with less than $1 of scrapbook paper. I had mentioned that he is our little Dapper Dude, and he loves to rock a bowtie. So I bought four colors of patterned scrapbook paper and cut out a simple bowtie shape. I made a template out a cardstock and traced it nine times in a combination of colors. And I matted them onto plain white cardstock (less than $1). Then I framed them in these inexpensive frames in a grid pattern ($5/each from Michaels).
DIY IDEA #2
I needed something simple to go above his bed. I didn’t want anything too flashy because the wall already had the bold accent stripes. So I took a piece of white cardstock paper and a black Sharpie and drew this super simple sketch of a hand giving the “peace sign”. I raided my kid’s craft closet so this artwork was totally free and took a full 45 seconds to draw! If you aren’t the best artist in the world, you can go back to a trick from second grade artclass: find a simple design you like and just trace over it! Draw over it with a Sharpie (or heck a Crayola would work too!). Or better yet: frame some of your kiddo’s art!
DIY IDEA #3
My little man has an intense love affair with Mr. Potato Head. He used to sleep with the naked potato (no parts in it) at night. It seemed like an odd choice for a lovie, but he seemed to be just fine with the arrangement! So I wanted to incorporate his favorite toy into his room somehow. I started Googling away and hit pay dirt when I found these industrial-style prototype drawing of Mr. Potato Head! I totally did the happy dance when I found these. I printed off three onto white cardstock from our home computer. Three pieces of art=totally free! If your kiddo has a favorite toy, try hopping online and see if you can find something like this in their favorite toy version! I liked the fact that they were black and white so it gave it a more grown-up look to it. As his tastes change, we can swap out the drawings.
Okay, this isn’t anything super creative, but I framed a simple black and white print of my son and his big sis together. It was the perfect fall day in Michigan and we were getting in our very last beach day of the season. I snapped this photo of a sweet impromptu moment of them hugging along the water’s edge. There is nothing that makes a room more personal than a memory! I printed off this photo for under $1, and stuck it in a frame I already owned.
I was left with a huge blank space on the wall next to his closet, and was at a loss of how to fill it. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I wanted to do something oversized to take up most of the space. Another not-so-secret passion of mine…I will monogram anything that will sit still long enough for me to do it! I swear I was meant to be a southern belle sitting around in gingham, sipping tea while clutching my monogrammed bag. I adore them. As a twist on that, I created a giant “K” for his monogram. I took a scrap piece of plywood (free), and traced a huge “K” on it. Then I had it cut out, and I painted it with left-over red wall paint. Another totally free project!
There you go: 5 Different Ideas for Kid Wall Art and they all cost less than $3 TOTAL!
I’m happy to report that he loves the room. And I love the fact it was done on a budget:
Curtains & clip hardware: $80
Sheets & Bedskirt: $25
Artwork supplies: $3
*Lamp & furniture we already owned
Don’t think just the adults can have the fun! Postbox Designs works with kids on THEIR special rooms too! Just email me at email@example.com or check out my boy and girl bedroom ideas over on Pinterest!
See his room over on Project Junior, a fantastic site for all things kids, as their tagline says “A Well Designed Life with Kids”
Check out this room and tons of great design ideas on these fabulous sites, I’m linked in over at: