$40 Bedroom Makeover

Tawra Kellam
Category Bedroom

By shopping at thrift stores and making do with what I had, I spent under $40 redecorating my daughter's room.

Elly's new room took me two days work, 15-30 minutes at a time, resting about 1-2 hours in between. It took me about one day to put the paint on the walls. (That's with the help of a 3 year old.) I was sick or I would have been able to complete it in one day.


To redecorate, we designed the room around a comforter that Elly had received from her grandmother as a gift. We purchased everything from the thrift store over 2 weeks. We had to go about 3-4 times, but it was well worth the savings.

For color on the wall behind the bed, I found a twin sheet that I had on hand that I had purchased for $1 at the thrift store. I ironed the sheet and then used the staple gun to staple it up on the wall. I hung the canopy with a hook we already had and then tied it by gathering it and stapling the gather. Then we stapled a tassel on the gather. We found the tassels for $.12 each on clearance after Christmas.

Elly wanted a tall princess bed, so we took identical sized boxes of books from the garage and put one under each leg. (We self-publish so we had a ton of books.) We removed the wheels from the bed frame. Then we put a board on top of the boxes for stability. Elly's bed frame is now about 15 inches feet off the ground so use the space under the bed for storing toys.


My mom made some pillows to go with Elly's comforter from material she already had. The long pink bolster was the one thing we bought retail. That was some new "extra fluffy soft" material that she purchased for about $5 for one extra special pillow.

I found a picture at the store to put on the wall behind her bed instead of a headboard. We didn't have any night stands that would work, so we stacked three boxes of books in the corner and one box in front to make a staggered "L" shaped night stand. We covered the boxes by layering a white sheet and then lace on top. She now has a nice place for her drinking cup, clock and stuffed animals.

I couldn't find curtains to match and didn't have any material to make any so I had to come up with something else. I found a white round tablecloth that I had. I ironed it, folded it in half and then draped it over her curtain rod. Then I took some fake flowers that I already had and put them on top. It turned out pretty nice for a free curtain!


We found a free standing mirror for $5 at the thrift store. There were two things wrong with it. It didn't have a base and the person had painted it black, inadvertently getting spray paint on the glass. Polish remover took off the paint in a just a couple of seconds and we simply leaned the mirror against the wall in the corner.

We made a craft table from one that the neighbors had left on the curb. It was pretty ugly, so we covered it with a tablecloth that looked nice but wouldn't be too big of a loss if she spilled something on it. Mom had a chair that was the right size, but it looked bad, too. She took some lace and tied the corners. Then she put a cluster of flowers on the back.

We also thought she needed something to hang all her art projects on. I found a corkboard that was in good shape, but had been marked up with markers, pens and crayons. I tried painting it with latex paint but the marker marks kept bleeding through. I took the blow dryer and dried the paint. I took the glue gun and hot glued some lace over the top of the cork material to cover up the marks. The paint showed through the lace but the lace covered up the marker marks.


She wanted to decorate with hearts and stars, so I took a large car washing sponge ($.75 each at Dollar General) and cut stencils out of them. I found heart and star coloring pages on the Internet and I printed them. I traced the heart and star on two sponges and then took a razor blade and cut out the edges. I only went down about 12 inch with the cut to remove the excess sponge. Then I put paint on the sponge and pressed it onto the wall. The sponge didn't stamp the image as well as I would have liked, so I painted over the top of the mark my stencil had made with a paintbrush.

We were able to keep Elly out of the room while I did it so she didn't really know what was going on in there. On the day of her birthday, I put a large sheet of wrapping paper over her doorframe and wrote Happy Birthday with a marker and bows. That way she could open her "present" from mom and dad. She was very excited about it!


By Tawra

About The Author: Tawra Kellam is the editor of Tawra and her husband paid off $20,000 debt in 5 years on $22,000 a year income.

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August 30, 20070 found this helpful

I would love to see pic's of it

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By (Guest Post)
August 30, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, I would love to see pictures, also. It sounds like you and your mom had fun with it, and saving money in the process is just icing on the cake.



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By Sallie (Guest Post)
August 30, 20070 found this helpful

It sounds so beautiful! I know Elly loves it. Bet she show it off to everybody that comes along. What a great mom you are!

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August 31, 20070 found this helpful

Dear Tawra, Your child's room sounds lovely; have you got a photo that you could send in so we could see the end result?
Great job! Lisa

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By Crystelc (Guest Post)
August 31, 20070 found this helpful

I just love to hear awesome stories like that, and also know that there is others who think like I do. I did a project like that for a friends house that was a mess. It sounds like you had fun like I did. You know that is a talent that is priceless. It seems so easy and right in front of you for people like us, but really it is very difficult for many people. Also the drive of making your daughter happy can really put the creativity into motion. I would like to give you a tip: if you want to cover a wall or large space, go to home depot & buy a large piece of styrofoam it is under $5 for a thin one about 6X12 and glue any kind of fabric to it and attach to wall. It is easy put up & take down. Thanks for sharing.

Crystel, CA

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By (Guest Post)
August 31, 20070 found this helpful

Is it possible for you to post some pictures. I would love to see this room.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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