Thursday, September 13, 2012

Decorating a toddler's room on a budget




I never thought too much about decorating bedrooms to a theme. Or even decorating bedrooms. I sort of just fill them with things I like and that look pretty.

I didn't really do much with Abby's nursery when she was a baby. I bought some owl-related owl things and put them up... they were all white. We didn't know the gender, and to be honest that would hardly have swayed me. Things she received went on shelves and pictures went on walls with no rhyme or reason.

As you can see, I've carried that over into her new room! There are some things I'm mostly drawn to - pictures of world maps, LOTS of books, and handmade or retro toys, teddies and dolls. If you want a theme, then there they are! But it's haphazard and certainly not colour-coordinated. Nor is any of it expensive.


The one thing I knew I desperately wanted was this shelf idea for books. Just about the only thing I've ever actually done after seeing it on Pinterest! The shelves were $7 each from Ikea. The books are almost all thrifted, given to us, or were mine as a kid. I love the vintage ones the best and will always stock up when I find some. The ones with the records to read along to are my favourite! I remember them from when I was little.

The map is actually a pull-out from issue 42 (July/August) of Frankie Magazine, making it pretty much free. The frame is a cheapie from KMart... less than $5.

If you want a map of your very own, you can buy it from here.


The polka-dot lanterns were $20 from Typo and probably the closest you'll get to my idea of the colour scheme of this room. If there really was one.


All Abby's clips are stuck to a piece of ribbon I had spare. I was inspired by this post at Cakies blog. This was as far as I got! It looks nothing like the gorgeous creation Rubyellen made, but it's functional...


Aldi had a world map with felt bits you can stick on in all the relevant areas. It was about $20 and will do until I can get this one. Right now it's up high so she can't pull all the bits off and lose them, but when she's older we'll make it more accessible.


Oh and who could forget the wall mural? It cost me about 13c and two hours of my time.


 Random assortment of pictures keep a strange little nook interesting. The top left was a gift from a tattooist friend of ours and has Abby's initials in it. Underneath was made by another talented friend (although his art tends to appear on warehouse walls and the backs of train stations) as a wedding present.

The embroidered picture was made by the gorgeous Cat Beloverly and desperately needs a frame. I must stop being so lazy.


And last but not least, our skateboard shelf. Two brackets from Ikea, about $5 each. Husband's old skateboard. Well, one of. The most awesome Mr Potato Heads courtesy of Styling You's little boy who outgrew them.

One old-school deer jigsaw puzzle I got for $1.50 in a frame from KMart that was about $4.

The canvas with Abby's name on it was a gift from her aunt.


Cheapie bookcase from Sam's Warehouse or something similar that I put together myself and used to house one of my vintage book collections. It now houses vintage knick-knacks I collected over the years, handmade dolls, a Rilakkuma bear from Kiddyland in Harajuku, Japan, Mickey ears from Disneyland, a Rainbow Brite and sprite and a couple of Cabbage Patch Dolls, one of which I've had since 1984. She has seen BETTER DAYS.

The Rilakkuma was probably the most expensive thing in that whole bookshelf.


Oh and grubby old ted. He was $3 from the markets, an authentic '80s Carebear we could never afford so I never had, and in perfect condition. He is now very much loved and filthy.


There you have it. Some budgetty-budget ideas. I don't like the idea of a thousand useless toys (you can blame my mother for the pink plastic fakery of above) and I much prefer one-off things or handmade or recycled stuff. I also don't like spending a ton of cash! Not that I have a ton to spend...

Do you have cool low-cash tips? Did you go ALL OUT with kid bedrooms? Have a post to share? I'd love to see!

36 comments:

  1. I just picked up a Care Bear for my daughter in a charity shop today - Tenderheart apparently. It's so very cute! Great collection of finds - love those vintage books. x

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  2. Cool post.
    My daughters room when I add it up in my head is probably furnished and styled for about $60 that all inclusive of bed, bookcase and drawers. I love being a tight arse vintage thrifter type mumma. Oh and I've done it on a dime and kept a loose theme. I really should blog it, it's been sitting in drafts for ages.

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  3. What a delightful room! Love the quote from Dr Seuss. How did you do that? Bookshelves the winner.

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  4. What a gorgeous room for a gorgeous girl! Love the Dr. Seuss quote and all those old books! Noddy!! :O Brings back those childhood years! Love the shelving, been wanting the same thing for our books! Great job!
    Kim - www.happymummyinspired.blogspot.com

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  5. You did the shelves! Ever since you posted the picture of those shelves originally, they've been filed away in my brain tank under "very important cute things for the future"

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  6. I love seeing people create beautiful practical spaces without wasting money. Nice work, dude.

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  7. LOVE this! I love how magazine freebies can become a good feature, and little things from Ikea can make all the difference. Such inspiration <3

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  8. Aw I haven't seen a Tenderheart! I'm a little envious :)

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  9. Hah yeah I think we should get shirts made! "tightass vintage thrifty mama" ;-)

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  10. Like this! http://www.theveggiemama.com/2012/06/so-you-wanna-paint-quote-mural-on-your.html

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  11. I can't believe I actually did it! I usually think "oh that's a good idea" and then nothing comes of it...

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  12. This is the single greatest achievement of my life.

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  13. I would feel dirty spending money on shit that would really be better spent elsewhere. I also have a real bad case of the "I can make that"s. xx

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  14. I've never been to Ikea, and I came away with a lot of ideas. And how fun is magazine stuff! I feel like a kid again making collages, haha

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  15. Totally stealing the ribbon-clip idea. Love! This room is great and I of course love the bookshelf and doll shelf with everything facing outwards. Must go and rearrange Miss P's room now - Veggie babe's is sooo tidy!!

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  16. I spy Rainbow Bright! How very cool - a fav from my childhood! I've been stockpiling Enid Blyton (another fav) since the Big Sister was a tiny baby, but until she gets a little older I'll have to settle for Scuffy the Tugboat on high repeat! Nice job on Abigal's room - she seems so little on that big girl bed!

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  17. It looks fantastic!! It's true, kids don't need heaps of toys, they do seem to multiply in this house though... I have to go and get a frame for my map of the world from Frankie... I so love it!! x

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  18. So bright and pretty and cheerful! I especially love the bookshelves and the lovely Golden Books, the pretty fairy lights on the windows and the gorgeous deer puzzle. Sarah xxx

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  19. I love the nostalgia of this room and the real-ness. Some cute ideas (like the skateboard!) Abby is so lucky

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  20. I had seen that Ikea bookshelf on Pinterest too and I meant to get some when I was there on Tuesday...but of course I forgot! I guess I will just have to go back!


    They look great in her room. And I love the quote on the wall.

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  21. ha that's because she doesn't know she's allowed to play in it yet!

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  22. I stash all my enid blytons here... http://www.theveggiemama.com/2012/02/new-play-areas-for-big-sister-its.html
    And she loves that bed! I can't believe it. Been there since she was 13 months old.

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  23. I knew exactly what to do with it the second I saw it!

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  24. that deer puzzle was such a score!

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  25. yeah she'd better be grateful too, or I'll kick her out of home ;-)

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  26. it was pretty much the only thing I was going to Ikea for!

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  27. We so should ha ha ha. I'll team it with my $1 high waisted vintage 70's maxi skirt. Now I'm being a smartarse, tightarse, vintage thrifty mama.

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  28. Great post! You've inspired me to write a post about my kid's room. Linked back to you :) http://motherwho.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/my-toddlers-bedroom/

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  29. Oh that's so cute seeing the Mr Potato Head collection having a second life! And guess what? Post my IKEA trip in two weeks time, she can have Flynn's bed too. Love recycling when you know it's going to get loved. x

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  30. Oh I love it! Totally! Eyed off those vintage books :)

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  31. We will definitely put it to good use! You are so generous xx

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  32. Supernice job, lady! It looks very comfy and organic, and I don't see the point in mega-designing a kids room. They're grow out of so quickly, and they'll want to put their own stamp on it eventually. Kudos, you!

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  33. I totally agree! What if she hates skateboards and wants nothing but dolls?!

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  34. I think it'd be awesome if she was into skateboards AND dolls!

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  35. The Aldi world map looks great! I love the care bear too :) Lovely room for a lovely little girl.

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