Sunday, April 3, 2011

Letter-Bag Wall - Decorating on no budget at all.

Life has been in a fairly constant state of flux for us over the past year and a half. Part of that has meant moving to our new place, a teeny tiny cozy three bedroom, 2.5 bath mobile home. (TRAILER PARK CHIC!!!) The crafty/arty part of me has been aching to slap some paint on these off-white walls, rip up flooring, and go crazy with textiles and thrifting and hand-painted murals in the kids' rooms... but... alas... I have not the budget for these lovely things, nor the budget for re-painting everything when we move out (sometime this next year). Siiiiiiiiiigh. 

Aside from the budget thing (... and honestly, the word budget is misleading. I envy the people who have to decorate on a budget. Those fortunate ones who have $500 to spend on a kitchen remodel... or $100... or $50...), we also have a LOT of people crammed into a small space. So I have to call on all the muses and the graces of creativity to pull off something that is both organized, neat, and also fun and homey. Some projects are more successful than others. 

BUT... I've been feeling especially bad about the girls' room. Annika has been having friends over more often (garrulous preschooler that she is) and, though most of the big toys are in our playroom or living room, she really needs a cute, girly place to play and read and ... own. Some small (emphasis on small) corner to call hers alone. So I've been thinking and working toward that for a while. And here's what we've got so far. I'm pleased enough, and she is LOVING it. 

First - since we can't paint - we hung an unfinished quilt top that I found at a flea market on the wall behind her bed, and re-purposed part of Naomi's old crib as a headboard. A little fold-up side table next to the bed finishes out the furnishings. (apologies for the photo quality. bad lighting mixed with a bum camera... bleh) 

Next I turned my attention to the big blank wall above her bed. I kept my eyes out for anything I might be able to use, and was Super Excited when I came across a set of gift bags at our local dollar store. They had really cute, vintage-style illustrations, that were Mother-Gooshish and sweet. So I snagged the set of 8 for 8 dollars, and went home percolating with what I was going to do with my fabulous find. I initially wanted to do a sort of collage with them, mod-podging them onto some plywood or something, (which still might happen someday), but quickly realized that they looked pretty stellar just hanging on the wall as they were. So I cut apart the fronts and backs (now I have two sets!), carefully, covered them with some clear contact paper (for durability and easy cleaning) and hung them up by their very own built-in hangers! We added a couple of little mirrors that hadn't found a home yet, for some balance, and Viola! Could. Not. Have. Been. Easier. 

And I know it's not some dream princess room, or awesome indoor castle complete with slide and surround-sound theatre, but it's a corner that is completely Annika's, and that's something every girl can love regardless of its simplicity. 

Here are a few more special touches we've added. 

a super-simple mobile made from wire hangers, yarn and a package of heart-shaped rubber bracelets she got for valentine's day. 

A hand-wrapped letter A that she made herself. 

This sweet little vintage bag we found a thrift store a while back. She keeps all her 'special treasures' in here. 

And with all this lovely fun happening, little sister was not long in joining in. 

Climbing up.


Livin' it up. 

and one last shot of the princess in her palace:

She's been spending a lot of time in here, arranging her things, reading and drawing on her bed, playing with her stuffed animals (the next project will be some kind of shelf for all those guys), and (gasp) painting her fingernails. She also thinks it's particularly cool and grown-up to carefully carry a tray of snacks with her into her room when she has her quiet time. So far so good with being able to avoid spills (either of the food or nail polish veriety). 

Also... as a side note, I'm a little worried that I might be reading a little TOO much with her. She's begun narrating her life to herself. Not just with her toys either. It's hilarious to listen to her go around the house saying things like, "... and then she looked behind her and saw a flying carpet made of pizza! She didn't know what to do, so she climbed on (here she climbs up onto the couch) and took a bite..." 

I wonder if the being a born writer is genetic.

Thanks for playing, folks, 
Pinwheels and Polkas,

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Last Minute Mel said...

I also saw those fun bags and thought there must be something to use them for! Very creative to use in your daughter's bedroom. Glad you liked the lego ski resort...would love to see a post of your one :)

Jenn Erickson said...

Your love and creativity really come through in your daughter's room! I love the quilt on the wall, the sweet little vintage purse, and of course, your fabulous letter bags! Those vintage images are wonderful! Annika's mobile is so sweet -- it made me smile!

Thank you so much for sharing your creativity at Rook No. 17. Definitely crossing my fingers for the publication of your book!