Last weekend, I took a look at some fun and inventive new kids furniture. After shopping for my daughter's new Big Kid bed, I was astonished at the imaginative offerings out there. But the expanded selection at furniture stores doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune to create an awesome kid's room. Some of our commenters noted that there are a lot of easy and inexpensive ways for parents to create their own kids decor, without the designer price tag.
In case you haven't guessed that this picture isn't actually professional, I'm going to admit that I'm completely craft averse. I have absolutely zero artistic talent. I can't decorate a decent cake or paint... anything. I come from a family of journalers, drawers, photographers and talented artists. Unfortunately, my toddler can draw a better puppy dog than me. However, I decided to attempt some DIY home decor anyways. Let's all be honest, this isn't HGTV material. But the fact that I could pull it off is definitely a selling point.
So here's my first-ever hand-made product to decorate our nursery, just in case we ever need one. It's an idea that I've had ever since my first daughter was born and now I've finally gotten around to doing it.
My daughter and I have a collection of storybooks from when I was a kid. There are plenty of classic stories and beautiful pictures that I've enjoyed for years. One of my favorite sets are these Beatrix Potter classics. The amazingly sweet illustrations were always so perfect. Reading through these books with Brenna, it made me dream of using Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny to decorate our nursery.
The first couple pages of these books include their own pictures and a consistent border. It isn't part of the normal book, so removing the pages doesn't make them unusable for us at bedtime. But it does provide beautiful pictures that could easily be framed to create wall art. (I know, my imagination is so impressive right. Take pretty pictures and frame them.)
So I made a quick trip to Michaels for picture frames, ribbon and a couple of horses to keep my helpful assistant busy. What can I say, she's playing pegasus and I get to cut and tape in peace.
I carefully pulled the first two pages out of each of my Beatrix books. Then I started arranging them for my frames. Because I'm too cheap to buy actual matting, I simply used the generic picture already in the frame as my base to work on. It gave me the exact size I needed and a plain backround to hold my drawings.
I spaced my pictures on the cardboard and used a small amount of tape to hold them in place. Then I framed the pictures with ribbon to cover the seams of the pages. By using the ribbon to outline, I also covered up any uneven edges and gave a little color to the plain backround.
I used two neutral ribbon colors and outlined two collage pieces, as well as two single pictures that I liked. Overall, I created four separate framed pieces to space on a nursery wall. While I used black frames, to match the rest of my house, a nursery could easy use white or cream frames to give it a more youthful feeling.
Choosing illustrations such as Beatrix Potter, that are completely neutral in gender and extremely classic, makes this wall art easily fit into numerous nursery themes or into a child's play room.
Cost-wise, I used books that had been given to me as a kid, but you might have to scrounge some antique shops for pictures you like. Old books normally aren't too expensive. The only money I put into this project were the picture frames and two rolls of ribbon, totaling $55. Considering the cost of art, whether it's for a child's bedroom or your living room, I would consider this a rather inexpensive alternative.
Now, all I need is a baby to decorate for. I've accomplished my first, albeit rather simple, DIY kids decor project. It's not a huge castle-shaped set of bunk beds, but it's a small step towards creating a beautiful children's room all on your own. And I have to admit, I feel pretty good about creating a beautiful set of pictures for our possible future nursery.