By Susan Yoo-Lee
My two young daughters are imaginative, bold and ambitious, so we’re always brainstorming new ways to make their room feel magical. Sharing a bedroom isn’t always easy for the pair, but by working together to create a colorful and creative space, they’ve learned to love their close quarters. Over the years, I’ve discovered a few simple and affordable ways to repurpose old items into something brand new. Not only does it change the look of the room, but the kids have so much fun helping in the process!
- Dazzling Diamond Canopy – When my daughter noticed that the canopy over her bed was looking a little dingy, she came up with this “dazzling” idea to brighten it up. We bought a bag of colorful, sparkly faux crystals at the craft store, then hot glued them onto the fabric. The result: a jewel-encrusted canopy worthy of a princess. Be sure to test a section of fabric to see if it’s strong enough to handle the weight of the crystals.
- Crib Spring Art Display – If you have a school-aged child, you’re well aware of the piles of artwork that’s constantly being sent home. While I love my child’s creations, it gets to the point where my fridge looks like an art project in itself. And don’t get me started about how frustrating it is when opening the fridge door results in an avalanche of artwork. There’s actually a better way to display your child’s artwork using a crib spring. You can leave the crib spring as is for that raw industrial look or you can spray paint it the color of your choice.
- Book Sling – Since we’re already on the subject of upcycling your child’s old crib, you can also use it for a variety of other things, including creating a bookshelf. Take the front and back panels of the crib and cut off two slats, leaving every third slat intact. Use two of those slats as spacers by cutting them into 3-inch pieces. Nail the front and back, sand it, and paint it. After you’re done painting, use two pillowcases to create a book sling. You can find the detailed step-by-step guide on DIY Home Sweet Home.
- Ragtime Chair – This idea came about when I was cutting off the bottom half of my children’s leggings because they either had holes in them or the knees were unspeakably dirty. After I cut those pieces off, my kids would use the scraps to make headbands, wristbands, belts and more. One day, my daughter took her fabric and tied it around the slats of a wooden chair, and it inspired this project. We lined up all of the cut fabric, tied the ends together and wove it through the chair slats, creating a fun, eclectic look.
- Chalkboard Wall or Door – Ask any kid, and they’ll tell you that drawing on the wall is so much more exciting than drawing on paper. Encourage their inner Picassos by picking an accent wall or door and painting it with chalkboard paint. Not only do the kids get a chance to express themselves on a large scale, but you can also use the space to write house rules, chore lists, messages and more. It’s super fun for the kids, but even more fun for the adults!
- Artsy Mason Jar Pencil Holder – From weddings to birthday parties, everyone loves using these old-fashioned glass jars to accent a space. In our house, we use them to store pencils, colored pencils, markers and more. Take a clean mason jar and hot glue colorful pom poms all over the outside. After you’re done, you’ll have a pencil holder that looks like it belongs in Whoville!
- Stuffed Animal Canopy – Let’s say that your child doesn’t want to use her canopy anymore and you’re not sure if you should throw it away or store it. Just think about the endless amount of stuffed animals your child has and how messy their room is after they’re done playing with them. Now you have a cute and contained way of storing the stuffed animals without shoving them into bins and closed containers. Take your child’s old canopy and tie a knot towardsthe bottom of it. You’ll notice there are two openings to the canopy for you to stuff the animals into. If you prefer to have one opening, you can use a glue gun to close the other end or use Velcro to keep it intact.
What are your favorite ways to turn trash to treasure in your children’s rooms, and add a bit of whimsy in the process? Please share your ideas in the comments!
Susan Yoo-Lee is the editor at Savings.com. She founded Mommas in the House in 2009 when she was pregnant with her 2nd child. Currently, you can see some of her published work on LHJ.com, More.com, WomansDay.com, AJC.com, ClarkHoward.com, US News & World Report, Military.com, LearnVest.com and more.