9 Inexpensive Ways to Add Color to Kids' Bedrooms

With plenty of paint, some simple crafts, and a few budget-friendly finds, a first-time homeowner transforms a blank-slate room into a happy nest for her two girls.

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A Dreamy New Bedroom

Photograph by Mark Lund

A Dreamy New Bedroom

After purchasing a cozy 1950s Colonial on Shelter Island, the author set out to transform a blank-canvas room into a brand-new bedroom for her two daughters. She was inspired by the bright color palette on a set of Marimekko pillows, so she decided to go for bold colors, simple style, and clever décor to make the most of the limited space. Click through for her ideas!

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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Wall Flowers

Photograph by Mark Lund

Wall Flowers

The girls and I had a blast picking out the pretty papers for these blossoms. To make each flower, fold two pieces of matching paper accordion-style. Trim one end to make a zigzag or scalloped edge. Open the folds into a fan shape. Tape or staple the two fans together. Glue shapes, such as circles and hearts, in the flower's center.

Scrapbook papers, starting at $2.50, paper-source.com

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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Circle Style

Photograph by Mark Lund

Circle Style

These DIY projects add a lot of look to the room. With circle punches from the craft store, they're easy to do, too. To make a garland (we also hung one above the beds), cut or punch plenty of circles from card stock, then use a large-eyed darning needle to thread them onto twine. To make the lamp, cut a piece of double-sided indoor carpet tape equal to the shade's circumference plus a few inches extra. Expose one side of the tape and stick card stock circles onto it, overlapping them (our circles were made with 1-inch, 1 1/2-inch, and 2 1/2-inch craft punches). Expose the other side of the tape, adhere it to the shade, and trim any extra as needed.

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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Chair Lift

Photograph by Mark Lund

Chair Lift

Since we splurged on really good beds, we decided to sub an old chair for a nightstand. To get it ready for its new life, we painted the seat and legs a single bold yellow and the back a plain white. A reading lamp and an owl that plays soft lullabies add to its bedside manner.

LumiSource Genie lamp, $59.99, kohls.com; Esthex Henny Owl music box, $34.95, madebyoots.com

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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Art Opening

Photograph by Mark Lund

Art Opening

After we covered the back of the door with some of the leftover berry-pink paint, we realized it would be a lovely place to show off the girls' masterpieces. So we used washi tape to hang some lengths of pom-pom and rickrack trim, then added a few mini clothespins for clipping their work.

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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No-Sew Curtains

Photograph by Mark Lund

No-Sew Curtains

We discovered that kitchen towels are a fabulous shortcut for window dressing. They're already hemmed and come in such sweet colors and patterns. For each curtain panel, join two towels along a short edge with fabric glue (use painter's tape to secure it until the glue dries). Next, create a rod pocket by making a 1- to 2-inch fold (roomy enough to fit your curtain rod) at the panel's top. Iron the fold, then glue the fold's edge in place and let it dry.

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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Shelf Life

Photograph by Mark Lund

Shelf Life

Gemma and Lottie both love to escape to a quiet corner to read or browse picture books. This shelf was out of stock in the red we originally wanted, but we ended up adoring this heavenly shade of blue (the sort of happy accident that makes a room special). Gemma enjoys rearranging her books and toys on the shelves -- a stylist in the making!

Jenny Lind Bookcase, $299, landofnod.com

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Brown-Bag Bins

Photograph by Mark Lund

Brown-Bag Bins

A house with kids can never have enough catchall containers; these bins, which we crafted out of plain paper bags, are a sweet solution. The stripey collages of colored tape not only look fab, they also strengthen the bags so that they can be used for a good long time.

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Smart Gallery

Photograph by Mark Lund

Smart Gallery

Another way to store toys: turn them into wall art! Velcro coins allow the items to be taken down at playtime and then returned to their frames. To set up the display, place removable decal frames as desired. Glue a Velcro coin onto each item to be hung (use fabric glue for stuffed animals), and place the corresponding dot inside the frame (to protect your paint finish, set it atop a square of removable poster adhesive). Keep extra dots on hand so that the display can be changed often.

Stickr frames, $19.95 for 8, butchandharold.com

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Letter Perfect

Photograph by Mark Lund

Letter Perfect

We also put colored tape to lively use making monograms. To fashion one, cut or tear small strips of tape, then wrap them around the back and sides of a wooden letter.

Baltic Birch letter from Etsy shop CNCTejas ("G" shown here; can be ordered in almost any font), $4, etsy.com. Other letters (shown here and on page 61) are available from craft stores.

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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