Posts filed under ‘Budget decor ideas’

How to create a simple dinosaur mural

I’d like to show you a  simple idea for you to create a dinosaur mural for your child’s room.

Dinosaur Silhouettes

Paint a series of your favourite dinosaurs in one colour to suit the colour scheme of your child’s room. Go as pale or as dark as you wish. Try a tone just slightly darker than the wall colour for a pleasing subtle effect.

You can either find your own dinosaur shapes and enlarge them on a photocopier. Rub the back of the paper with a coloured chalk and trace over your design to transfer the pattern to the wall. Alternatively,  you could use one of my ready made dinosaur mural template kits which come in two sizes and have carbon paper to fit to trace onto the wall.

Two colour Dinosaur Mural

Take your simple dinosaur shape. Make the legs and some markings on the body a second colour. Trace onto the wall and paint .

Again, with this option you could either find your own dinosaur shapes and enlarge them on a photocopier. Rub the back of the paper with a coloured chalk and trace over your design to transfer the pattern to the wall or alternatively,  you could use one of my ready made dinosaur mural template kits which come in two sizes and have carbon paper to fit making it quick and easy to trace onto the wall.

Wallpaper cutout dinosaur mural

Choose a lovely wallpaper. Trace the design onto the back of the wallpaper, then cut out the shape and paste it onto the wall as per the instructions of your wallpaper brand.
My ready made dinosaur mural template kits come ready with carbon paper to fit making the tracing easy. They are designed to fit on an average width of wallpaper. The large sizes will fit on two widths of wall paper.

We have six dinosaur designs for you to choose from

Choose one or more of your favourite dinosaurs or use our kit with three dinosaurs templates included.
The kits come with a large paper pattern, transfer paper to fit and instructions.

The kits are available from the Magic Mural Factory (USA) and

Wallstory Murals (if you live in Europe or the UK)

April 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm 3 comments

How to make a Bird Mobile

Summer tweets Bird mobile


I just love anything to do with birds when it comes to decor so I thought I’d share this bird mobile project with you that I can across today on The Red Thread.

I’ve featured a bird mobile before here, but this one is so cute too, and worthy of note.
Make it as a gift for a baby shower or create it with your child using up old scraps of fabric. A great rainy day project that can be done in stages if necessary for your own child’s room. Mind you it’ll be just as lovely in an adult room too or hanging in a tree on a warm evening amongst some fairy lights.


You will need

– Newspaper
– Scissors
– Sicky tape
– PVA glue
– Brightly coloured fabric scraps
– Rattan cane hoops (from craft shops). 20 – 24cm [8 – 9.5 inches] in diameter
– 4 -5 cm [2 inches] diameter styrofoam balls – optional
– Embroidery thread
– Long needle

It’s not hard.
Click here
to read the full instructions on The Red Thread blog

August 26, 2009 at 6:24 am 6 comments

Silhouette Murals -Again!

Oh OK! I know I did a post recently on Silhouette murals, but I’m doing another one because by all accounts silhouette murals are a winner!LgSilhouetteSafariP2smBECAUSE..

  1. They are easy to so.
  2. They are cheap as far as paint goes.You only need one colour (Great budget decor idea!)
  3. They can be as subtle or as bold as you like.

So the reason why I thought I’d bring them up again is because of these new Silhouette mural designs with a Safari theme.

Whimsical AND sophisticated!
Paint by number paper patterns
Paint the silhouettes in a dark brown over lavender, pink or any other colour to make a bold statement.

For a more subtle look paint it in a colour slightly lighter or darker than your wall colour. You can even repeat and reverse parts or the entire mural.

How cute are these?



May 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm 1 comment

I’m back! Look what I did with my bathroom

Helloooo ‘I’m Back’

I took a couple of weeks off during the French school holidays to do ‘kids stuff’ and do a bit of DIY on my house.

It took me a bit of time, but it was easy and I thought I’d share this bathroom mosaic  idea with you so you can see what you can do with very little money and a bit of elbow grease.

The light ‘plays’ on the slightly uneven tiles creating an interesting effect.


Plain white tiles need not be boring!

Our bathroom had been in a state of semi completion for 4 years, and it got that we didn’t even see the unfinished condition we got so used to it.
We had built the wooden support for tiling around the bath, but never got round to actually tiling it.

Money is tight, so I couldn’t afford all those beautiful bathroom tiles I keep seeing.

The budget stretched only to those cheap white tiles (you can’t get cheaper)! They worked out a at about £3 a square meter ($4.55). I needed 3 boxes.
The adhesive and grout was about £30 ($45)
The silver border tiles along the top were the most expensive thing at £1.80 and I needed 18 of them (I splashed out on those),(excuse the pun) £32.40.

So the whole lot cost me approximately £72 ($110)

With a bit of simple cutting with the aid of a tile cutter and pincers I created a white on white mosaic with a simple spiral pattern that started on the short end of the bath and curled onto the long side of the bath.

At the cente of each spiral is a black square tile, because I thought that was a good idea 🙂



  • I began by measuring where I wanted the whole tiled area to be and drew the straight edges in makig sure it was all straight and level.
  • Next I drew a spiral on the wall in chalk. Rubbing it out and redrawing until I was happy with the shape.
  • I cut a number of tiles in equal halves and glued them down as my border.
  • Next I cut 3 cm wide bands of tile with the tile cutter which I could then easily break into smaller rectangles. These I used to create the spiral, glueing them down along my chalk line.
  • With the design in place, it was just a matter of cutting up the tiles in random shapes to begin with and glueing them down. As I filled up the space with random shapes, I needed to cut the smaller areas to fit. I traced the shapes roughly onto paper and marked the shape on a tile, cutting and snipping it to the right shape until it fitted the space and glued it in. This was the most time consuming part.
  • I found a wall mountable soap dish on ebay and this was glued in with the tiles.
  • Next I glued the silver border along the top of the mosiac for a finishing touch.
  • I left the tile adhesive to dry for a good day, and then grouted the whole lot with a white grout.


The bath surround finished, I didn’t stop there!
I created two panels either side of the sink mirror. (The mirror will be getting some revamping later)


That done, I gave the toilet to the same treatment.

You can see the lumpy bumpy walls here.
Mosaics cover this problem nicely as the small pieces can be uneven and it doesn’t matter once it’s all grouted
(The grout wasn’t quite dry so looks a bit darker than it is when it’s dry)


But guess what!

It’s still not finished.
I still have to skim the walls with some great stuff you can buy here in France called Crepi.

It’s a kind of ready mixed plaster. I can skim it over the walls with a slightly rough finish that looks really nice, and the beauty of it is that it is cheaper than paint, covers lumpy bumpy old french walls really nicely and it comes mixed in a lovely creamy colour that will go nicely with the faux marbled side panels I made 4 years ago.
I think that should tie the whole thing together nicely.

I may give the bathroom mirror a bit of TLC too and bring some silver into it somehow.

Then there is a curtain to be made for the linen cupboard which has no door. I have some fabric, which will be cheaper than getting a door made to fit.

When I’ve done all that I’ll post some more pictures.

So! What do you think?

May 7, 2009 at 12:02 pm 4 comments

Jungle Room theme

How to create a Zebra stripe chair for a Jungle room theme or Savanna Room theme


Wow,  isn’t this a stunning piece of children’s furniture!
Hand carved and hand painted, this numbered, Limited First Edition original is truly a piece of art from Bellacor.

As beautiful as it is, it is well beyond my budget for my child’s bedroom.

So, here’s an idea for you to create a zebra (or tiger striped) chair yourself.

Ok, it’s not going to be a handcarved heirloom, but it’s going to be a fun and inexpensive detail for your child’s jungle themed room.


You will need.
A wooden chair or chairs that has been painted white.
We used and Ikea chair.  They have bigger ones too for an older child.

Some transfer paper
A zebra/tiger stripe design(see below)
Black paint (enamel)
A small pointed paint brush
A larger paint brush (One half inch) for larger areas


  • Trace the stripes onto the chair by copying the design below (right click and copy the design to your computer). Print it out and enlarge it on a photocopy to the size of stripes you like.
  • Tape some carbon paper to the back of the design and tape it onto the seat of the chair. Trace the design onto the chair by drawing over the paper with a ball point pen, tranfering the design to the surface of the chair.
  • Repeat on the legs or if you wish, simply draw the stripes freehand using the design as a reference.
  • Begin by painting in the edges of the stripes with a fine brush. Fill in with the larger brush.
  • Allow to dry and protect with a coat of varnish.

Of course you don’t have to stick to Black paint.


Any colour would look good, and if you want tiger stripes, then orange would be a great choice

You could even paint each one a different colour for a really bright fun look.


March 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm 2 comments

Children’s lampshades


I was delighted to discover Fog And Thistles paper cutout night lights.
Their simplicity and charm are quite delightful.

They’re not too expensive either Priced at $27.



You can see more of Rachel Webers Cut Paper Art and lighting in her Etsy store or check out her blog Fog and Thistle

Making a paper cutout lampshade

Cut out paper shapes are a great way to dress up and rejuvenate old boring lampshades.
During the day they may look quite plain like Rachel’s design below, but at night they come to life.


How to make a lampshade yourself

Cut out simple shapes in black paper and glue them to the inside of a plain lampshade with spray glue.

Chica and Joe have done a similar thing with a cityscape.



During the day all you see is the ribbon that was sewn down the middle with a thick white stitch and added to the bottom of the lampshade to look like a street.


If you find that a bit plain, there’s no reason why you couldn’t paint or stick the same design in colour to the outside of the lampshade making sure you positioned the design directly over the black paper inside the shade.


Add decorative elements to the bottom of the shade like beads, ribbons, feathers, tassled fringes (whatever you can find) hanging down from the shade to add interest.


Like this from Roberts Media Team, but fewer bits and pieces if you want the cutout design to show through!! 🙂
(Great site by the way)

Where can you find cutout shape ideas?

Search on the internet for Free Clip art Silhouettes and you’ll find loads to choose from THIS SITE

Have fun and tell me about it!

March 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm 5 comments

DIY Shelf ideas for kids rooms

How cute is this cloud shelf from Modern Dose?


Adorable as it is functional, this new Cloud Shelf provides storage for books, furry friends and even a small back pack! Each shelf is laser cut from heavy grade metal and features a 6 inch deep shelf + hook for all their modern treasures. A stylish and decorative storage solution. You can buy it  here on May 4th

The idea  has got me thinking about DIY decorative shelves for kids rooms and how to make them cheaply and easily

For example if you’d rather not buy the metal cloud shelf (which incidentally is rather reasonably priced), you could make a similar one yourself in wood.

Jazz up a plain shelf

Take one shelf of your choice.
Draw a cloud shape onto a piece of wood or MDF.
Cut out the shape with a jigsaw, paint it and the shelf white.
Screw it to the wall and mount your shelf below it.

Alternatively you could simply paint the cloud shape on the wall behind a shelf and while you are at it,  add some more cloud shapes around the room.
You could do the same thing with the Metal Cloud shelf like I’ve done below.


Here’s some more easy shelf ideas

The cat shelf

Take a simple shelf, stick a wall sticker or wall decal of your choice above it.
The cat is a wall decal from MisiAvailable in matt black or grey. This decal is approximately 300 mm long. They have other cats in the range doing cute catty things. You can find the cat and spider decal here. (Leave the spider off if you don’t like spiders)



Sport Themed Shelf

Sports stickers from fotostick


Monkey Shelf for a jungle theme

Monkey wall sticker from GIGGLE

Screw in a couple of coat hooks in the monkeys hands and feet  for a useful place to hang a bag or item of clothing.


Do you get the idea?

Take your child’s favourite theme, find wall stickers in that theme and stick them above a shelf that you could paint in a co-ordinating colour.

Now, I’ve got to tell you about one of my designs for a shelf that is coming soon.

It’s part of our robot room theme and is an easy paint by number design. You can see the rest of the robot paint by number collection here at Wallstory Murals or here at the Magic Mural Factory.


I hope to have this ready by the end of March, but contact me or leave me a comment if you need it sooner.


Classic Shelf from Pottery Barn Kids

Beautiful crown molding gives this shelf the look of an architectural built-in. Mounts anywhere you want to display pictures, children’s trophies, a few books or other decorative items.

Create a similar look with bought carboard or wooden letters that you decorate or simply paint white. These letters are normally stocked in most craft stores.

You can read my previous post about how to create your own wall letters here


Rustic Log Shelves

rustic log shelves you can make yourself

Rachels Rustic Log shelves..See how to make your own on The Design Sponge


Have you got any good ideas for a shelf in a child’s room?

Please leave me a comment and tell me all about it.

March 13, 2009 at 8:44 am 5 comments

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