The kids playroom was one of the first rooms I tackled when we moved into our current home. It’s been a work in progress for the past 2+ years, although it didn’t look all that terrible to start.
Here’s a peek at what the playroom looked like after we painted it and arranged the furniture and toys. Please excuse the crummy photo — featuring my fabulous Dyson, even! — as I had to reach back into the archives for this bad boy:
But like most rooms in our house, it has come a long way since its early days.
Fast forward to 2016. A lot has changed as the kids have outgrown toys and acquired new ones. (Oh, and we had another kid in that time frame. NBD.) A few months ago we got the ever-so-versatile Kallax shelving unit from IKEA — and paired it with some of my favorite canvas bins from The Land of Nod — and that has been a lifesaver when it comes to corralling everything from Legos to puzzles to Play-Doh sets.
However, creating a gallery wall on either side of that shelving unit had been on my to-do list forever, and I recently decided to bite the bullet and think through what I wanted to hang up in the playroom. My requirements were that it had to incorporate this adorable canvas that I bought for the space when we first moved in, and it also needed to include some of my daughter’s artwork. Here’s where we landed:
I’m thrilled with the way it turned out, and even more excited that this entire project cost me less than $50. My husband is quite excited about that price point, too.
Here are three tips for creating your own gallery wall without breaking the bank:
- Incorporate kids’ artwork or other meaningful items. Haley brings home a ton of artwork from school — I love it, of course, but holy cow there is just SO. MUCH. OF. IT. — so we had plenty of masterpieces to choose from when thinking about what pictures we wanted to display. We ended up choosing one of a rainbow and a picture she drew of our house and family. I snagged the two white frames on sale at Michael’s for $5 each, framed the photos, and that was that. So simple, and Haley is incredibly proud that her art is displayed for all to see. If you’re beyond the “my kids bring home artwork every day” phase, you can frame other items that are meaningful to your family: postcards from a favorite family vacation, family photos, a playbill from a show you saw together, and so on.
- Use DIY letters to spell out a fun phrase or kids’ names. Once upon a time I paid $30 for a metal letter to hang on a wall in our home. In retrospect, I was a total sucker, as this was a ripoff. (You live, you learn, as they say.) The more economic and versatile solution? Purchase some cardboard or wooden letters from your local craft store — the ones I have are from Paper Source ($5 each) — and some spray paint. You can customize the look of the letters with this incredibly easy DIY project. If you want the letters to look like they’re made of metal, no problem: just pick up some metallic spray paint at the hardware store, spray away, and you’re done.
- Go shopping within your own home. We all have décor stashed in the back of our closets that we’re not using, right? Go shopping in your own home and find coordinating pieces that might work in a new space or in a new way. This is often item #1 on my to-do list when I am redecorating a space. In this case, I already owned the canvas that now has a home on the left-hand side of the Kallax unit, so technically that didn’t cost me a dime for this project. I also bought this Land of Nod clock that I just LOVE months ago. Before creating the gallery wall, the clock hung over a bookcase in another part of the playroom, so I simply moved it over and will eventually find something else to replace its old spot above the bookcase. I think the clock works well in its new home — it provides a fun pop of color in contrast with the white frames and gray walls.
There are a few more projects I’d like to tackle soon in the playroom….but one thing at a time, right? Check back soon for more easy ways to spruce up a kids’ space.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for more ideas for kids’ playrooms or kids’ bedrooms, go check out my “Cool Kid Spaces” Pinterest board. It’s chock full of modern and stylish storage solutions, free kid-themed printables, and more!
Want to know where I purchased each of the items seen here in our playroom? Take a look at my room source list below.
Room Source List
- White shelving unit: IKEA Kallax Shelf Unit
- Numbered burlap bins: The Land of Nod Store by Numbers Bins
- Striped gray and white floor bin: The Land of Nod Stripes Around the Floor Bin
- Colorful canvas art: The Land of Nod “I’ve Got the Whole World in My Room” Canvas
- Wall clock: The Land of Nod Chromatic Bamboo Wall Clock
- Cardboard letters (seen here painted): PaperSource Craft Letters
- Multicolored rug: FLOR “Made You Look” 8 Triangle Patchwork Rug
- White book ledges: IKEA Mosslanda Picture Ledge
- White wall frames (shown here featuring H’s art): Michael’s White Belmont Frames
- Paint color: Valspar Rocky Bluffs