by Jennifer Kirkpatrick
If you're reading this, chances are Junior has been begging you to get rid of the Winnie the Pooh characters gracing every square inch of his room. Redecorating can be a daunting -- and expensive -- task but it doesn't have to be! You can enlist your child's help and ideas for creating a personalized space all their own and not break the bank in the process.
Before you get started, get rid of all the remnants of babyhood. I know, I know, you won't want to throw out a thing, but wipe the tears, grab a Rubbermaid tub, and toss it all in! Remember: This is a new phase, not the end of anything, so approach it with joy and fun and a clean slate.
The idea is to have a space to display art -- a blast for any kid to have. You can go about this in a few different ways, so pick whichever way (or combine them) works for your home. You will create an ever-changing wall of fun and art on places such as an entire wall, part of a wall, or on a closet door. If you choose to use a wall line it with small shelves bought from a craft store (usually around $5 each, unfinished). Spray paint the shelves in a rainbow of colors and fill them with art supplies.
Create a "Showcase" with the corkboard or magnetic board to showcase the current art piece(s). Use wooden letters above to spell out "Kayleigh's Art" or "Graham's Gallery."
Go to your local craft store and buy some wooden letters. You can spell your child's name or whatever they would like as the theme. For example, if you want to create a themed room you can buy blocks that spell out "Art" and have an art section, "Sleep" for over the bed, "Clothes" or "Dressing Room" for the closet. Buy some acrylic paints and paint them with your child. (Hint: Acrylic will wash off hands but not out of clothes, but is the best to use for wood.)
Create a personalized quilt or blanket. You can buy fun blocks of fabric and create them together using paint, sewing, markers or finger paints. This will create a keepsake for the child -- or for the parent! Once you have enough blocks decorated they can be sewn together to create a great wall hanging, too. This does require some sewing skills -- glue and a stapler won't work!
Buy some inexpensive white or solid-colored throw pillows. Buy some fun stencils and stencil paint and personalize them with your child's name (make sure it's fabric paint). Use the same stencils and paint and personalize lamp shades or curtain swags.
Have your child create some original art pieces and frame them to be placed around the room. You can also create one of your own to give to your child to hang along side.
Use polymer clay and together create door and drawer pulls for the room. This is a more adventurous option, but you should be able to find a kit or How-To book at the craft store.