Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas gifts on a Budget: Makeover Your Playroom

If you really want that WOW factor Christmas morning, nothing will make those kiddies eyes twinkle like a made over playroom.  I was feeling like our playroom had no pazzaz.  I could see why my kids didn't want to play in it, it was so boring!  There were a bunch of blah plastic containers filled to the brim, and blase colors on the wall.  So since my kids spend most of the cold winters inside, we decided to give our playroom a facelift last year.  Since our kids don't like playing in our basement it was easy to keep it secret, but most of the stuff we assembled on christmas eve after the kids went to bed.

Some spare paint
Acrylic craft paints (they come in little tubes for 40 cents at walmart)
Spare wood trim
Maybe a window two (these are surprisingly easy to come by in New England, people are always giving away old windows after they replace them)

For ours, we only purchased the fabric for the awning, the curtain rod that is hidden beneath the awning, the cash register, and the play food.  It totaled less than $30. 

We just sectioned off a part of the wall, and painted it* some spare tan paint we had in the garage. I wanted it to be something that they could not just see but also feel and touch and be a part of.  So, we added real windows overtop of the painted windows on the general store that we got for free at a local lumber yard that had spare halves of windows, then we turned them sideways so they would be long and screwed them right into the studs (if you are going to add real windows make sure you know where your wall studs are before you paint what will go under them so they will be secure in the wall). 

For the awning, I measured how big i wanted it, and hemmed it under before we needed to assemble it.  Then we stapled the top end to the back of a piece of wood trim that was cut the right length, and turned it forward so the fabric then came down overtop of it, and we screwed the wood piece into the wall, but you could sew across the top and put it on a curtain rod and hang it.  Then, so the awning came out a bit, i positioned a metal curtain rod (those really cheap ones that are meant for valances, and turn in towards the wall) about a foot below, so it would lay over it, and hang out a bit from the wall.  You could nail the sides of the fabric to the wall if you want to make it nice and tight. 

I painted a door with the acrylic craft paint in a chocolate brown.  My husband then placed trim around the door to make it pop--so to speak (actually my kids thought we really had a store behind there, they kept asking how to get in!) and we had ourselves a little general store.  We found a bookshelf in our garage that was about to go to the dump and painted it red to put some play food on (the crates the food are in are from the clementine oranges you get at the store this time of year).  We also found another odd piece of furniture for their cash register to sit on, and i got some clearance bushels from walmart after the fall holidays for shopping baskets (i am sure the dollar store would have some cute baskets too). 

Santa brought my kids a kitchen** and table for christmas last year as well, so now they can go straight from the grocery store, to their little home to make dinner for each other.  It really has made our playroom so much more exciting.  My friend, after seeing our basement, offered to make a cute little General Store sign for it.  I have all sorts of ideas for more playroom fun, a small stage for their dress ups to sit next to, so they can perform for each other and with their friends, or a classroom with a chalkboard, and little desks.  All it takes is a little time and a little creativity to make a space for your kids imaginations to grow in. 

*I actually first saw this idea done on plywood boards that were painted as a little village and then screwed into the wall, so if you are in an apartment you could paint it on plywood and screw it into the studs {just make sure you buy some nail filler for when you move out ;) }!

**The Kitchen is that cute pink target kitchen, but, since i wanted something gender neutral, i got a can of cherry red Krylon (love that brand) spray paint and painted the 3 small pink pieces on it before we assembled it, no priming or anything, and it has held up great.

1 comment:

ford said...

Wow! that a great room make over huh?! Good that you shared this its so informative and I really enjoyed reading this.

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