Decorating Kid's Rooms
If you go out and buy Power Puff Girls or Blue's Clues bedspreads, curtains, etc. for your kid's room it will cost a lot of money and the child will soon outgrow it. You are better off to use plain colors and put up a few posters on the walls. Or look for the expensive bedspreads and stuff at yard sales or on eBay. My daughter got tons of Power Puff stuff for my granddaughter's room for very little money that way. The lady she bought it from even threw in some "extras" like a game and some toys.
A lot of the furniture marketed for kids' rooms is not very sturdy. Buy used furniture and refinish or paint it so it all matches. Furniture painted with enamel has the added benefit of being easy to clean. Don't buy "youth beds"...a regular twin bed will last your child through high school.
Instead of a toy box consider buying a large hamper or wicker trunk. You can use it for toys now and other kinds of storage later.
This cute & creative suggestion came from one of our website visitors: Faced with a teeny tiny room and a 3-year-old who still mostly sleeps with me and will probably still do so for another few years (we're family bed people), and wanting to do something artistic for her room, I am considering using an old papasan chair (huge, with big cushion, too) we've had around as a sometime-bed for her. The twin bed she has now takes up a huge amount of space in the room, and she doesn't even sleep in it much, so she can't even do anything there. Now, the papasan is one of those huge Pier 1 Import thingies, so I can make a water lily slipcover for it and put a green base around it and make it a water lily bed, and turn her room into a Frog Pond Room, or on the other hand, I could turn it into a giant dotted mushroom and make an Enchanted Forest. I could also make it a giant flower bed in a flower fairy garden room. The whole point is that papasans are cool in their SHAPE, and you could make an interestingly-shaped round bed for a rather small child with a little slipcovering/decorating.
Tom Gillotte from Texas suggests a way to get posters for your kids: I used to be a manager for a movie theater chain, and although they are not supposed to, they will often give away posters and banners and such if you ask them ( have your kids ask with you, it's harder for them to say no to puppy dog eyes ). We use posters of favorite movies and banners of characters from movies in decorating their playroom, bathroom, bedroom, wherever it fits in.
A nursery decorating tip from Rebecca Ibrahim: I love your site and just wanted to add my tip and how we saved decorating our nursery for our little bundle of joy. I went to Walmart and went through their clearance fabric bin and found some great fabric for 1.00/yd. I spent all together about $30 and so far I have made curtains, a changing pad cover, a Boopy pillow (breast feeding pillow), a skirt for my changing table, a head support pillow for the carseat (to keep babies head up right) and my latest project is I used the fabric like wallpaper border and it looks better than I ever imagined (cost about 5.00.. cost if I bought wallpaper 42.00) -- the best thing.. Everything matches and looks so cute! I still have to make a diaper stacker, a bag dispenser and a Wall Organizer.
Another Nursery idea from Aimee Sturtevant: I got a lot of decorative bags from everybody at my baby shower. I didn't know what to do with them so my mom gave me a great idea. I put the baby hats in one bag, her socks in another one, her shoes in another one, her crib sheets in another one, her plastic pants for cloth diapers in another one, her bibs in another one, and all of the cards and bows in another one. Then I took some of the bags and cut the fronts and backs off of them and used them to cover up a cardboard box to put her blankets in.
From Beth: I have three boys ages 1-5 and found the cost of a "themed room" to be ridiculously high until my friend came up with the idea to use old hubcaps(cleaned really well of course) you can often find them on the roadside also have friends and family save expired licence plates for you, both these things make realy neat wall decor and can be used for all ages unlike Blue's Clues which they out grow pretty quickly.
From Yvonne Powles:I could never afford to buy all the trendy hip matching duvet and curtain sets for my son as he was growing up, but I had a great time copying designs from his favourite T.V. shows etc with fabric paints and pens.