A child’s bedroom is a sacred, special place; a private hideaway and portal to imaginary lands. These six projects provide creative inspiration for kids of all ages. It’s time to upgrade their own corners of the world with decor they can make themselves.
1. LEGO Decor
What’s not to love about those classic plastic blocks? Besides inspiring hours of imaginative play, they can also be used to make uber-cool decor. Create a battery-operated LED lamp by making a vase-shaped rectangle from translucent pieces, layering them color by color. Off-brand blocks can also be used, as long as they’re translucent. Place a battery-operated LED tea light inside the lamp and you’ve got your own funky after-dark display.
You can also make a colorful layered vase or pencil holder by making the same rectangular shape.
2. Cute as a Button
Kiddos from kindergarten age on up can create their own button-based wall art using art canvas, puffy paints and buttons. Allow the kids to paint their own ideas on the canvas. Acrylic craft paints are ideal for this project – they’re inexpensive, they dry fast and the paint is easy to wash off of hands. Once the paint dries, arrange colorful buttons in a design atop the painting. Use the buttons as leaves, flower buds or even funky animal fur.
3. What’s My Name?
A child’s name prominently displayed in her bedroom (or her portion of the room) helps her own the space. Purchase a set of wooden or cardboard letters from your local craft store. The fun part: kids get to customize the letters themselves with old paper maps, scrapbook paper, or even comic book pages. Allow the kids to cut out pieces of their chosen paper, adhering the paper to the letters with a foam brush and decoupage medium. A blend of equal parts school glue and water can be used for an inexpensive alternative. Once the letters are nearly dry, apply another coat of decoupage to seal the deal.
Teens can upgrade their letters even more by adding a tiny strand of battery-operated lights to each. Poke small holes from the back of the letters through to the front, then insert the lightbulbs through the back of the cardboard. The back of each letter hides the actual light strands.
4. Stamped Style
Let the kids have a hand in styling their own pillowcases, accent pillows or even the tops of bed sheets with old-fashioned potato stamping. Potatoes? Yes! Cut a potato in half, then allow teens and older children to carve the cut edge into a simple shape such as a crescent, triangle or chevron using a potato peeler or a skewer. An adult can help younger children, or you can use a hard sheet of shipping foam or carving foam instead, providing a wooden skewer as the carving tool. Pour a thin pool of fabric paint onto a paper plate, dip the DIY stamp into the paint, then dab it in a pattern over the chosen fabric surface. Once the paint dries, heat-set it with an iron following the directions on the fabric paint bottle.
5. Switch Things Up
Outlet and light switch cover plates: boring, boring, boring. Patterned duct tape changes that in a hurry! Let the kids pick out their favorite duct tape patterns, then remove the cover plates from the walls. To dress up the cover plates, cover their fronts with strips of duct tape. Two strips will cover the average light switch cover (vertically). Adults can help younger children line the tape up so the patterns on the tape match up. Smooth the tape down over each cover to remove air bubbles, then use a craft knife to slice through the area where the switch or outlet belongs. Carefully wrap the tape toward the back of the cover, then trim any excess tape and replace the cover plates.
Washi tape – thinner and less sticky than duct tape – is a more temporary covering for the cover plates. It’s just as colorful but can be removed later, much like masking tape.
6. Airplane and Origami Art Panels
Shoebox lids and folded paper are cute, creative wall art panels that can be customized to the ages and interests of each child. Paint three or four shoebox lids blue with acrylic craft paint, or let the kids come up with a sky scene or an ombre fade effect. Ask each kid to make their favorite paper airplane, origami bird or butterfly. Paint a wide dotted white line that loops and meanders across all three shoebox-lid panels, indicating a flight path. Fold a small piece of white card stock in half and tape or glue it to the back of each paper creation, then to the final shoebox lid. For added effect, make a few more airplanes, origami birds or butterflies to hang from the ceiling or a homemade mobile.
Tip: the paper planes and origami items don’t have to be made from white paper. Use scrapbooking paper or wrapping paper for more colorful creations.