Tag Archives: budget decor

The Accessorized Elephant

The last few months have been a busy time of growing and creating. My body has been busy growing this little piece of heaven:

Anna Kathleen LaRoy. Born May 1.

Anna Kathleen LaRoy, born May 1, 2015.

and my hands have been busy decorating.  I spent my last few months of freedom (that is, having only two children), picking out fabrics, sewing pillows, hemming curtains, and DIYing art for friends and family.

I was delighted when my sister-in-law invited me to help create a “big boy room” for my four-year-old nephew. In the distant blogging past I was brainstorming how to artfully (and cheaply) address a large blank wall above his bed, what I called “the elephant in the room“.  We decided to go with one of the most simple ideas, using pictures from children’s books as artwork. Picture frames can get expensive so we decided to mount the pictures on white card stock and hang them from gross grain ribbon with clothespins.   Super heroes are among my nephew’s favorite things so I headed to Value Village to pick up a couple second-hand books which cost a whopping $1.50. The ribbon cost about $5.00 and I imagine my sister-in-law picked up the paper clips for a couple dollars. Accessorizing a whole “elephant” for under $10. Not bad.

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The card stock acts as a nice frame for the pictures and adds substance to the thin book pages. If you decide to DIY a project like this I highly recommend using a paper craft trimmer for cutting out the pictures and card stock so you have a perfectly straight line lest the art take on a ghetto appearance.  Cutting the pictures to different sizes adds visual interest and allows you to crop out the words.

The big boy room conversion also included painting walls, buying new bedding and accessories, as well as adding some better lighting.  My sister-in-law picked out a stellar grey and white comforter and we worked from there, adding large doses of navy and some orange accents. Convincing my sister-in-law to paint a wall some colour other than a shade of grey was a hard sell, but as you can see, the wall behind the artwork is a gorgeous navy and guess what? She loves it! Here are some before and after pics.

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Before

 

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After. I happened to have an orange pouffe sitting in my son’s closet from when I changed his accent colour from orange to green. Score. More closet room for diapers, free pouffe for my nephew…an excellent launching pad for jumpy children.

(In  a perfect world where little children don’t have grabby little fingers we would have done a third row of pictures lower down since odd numbers always look best; but…)

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Before

I bought his gorgeous lamp base from Value Village for $7 and gave it a boost with a coat of orange paint and a new shade.

After. I bought his gorgeous lamp base from Value Village for $7 and gave it a boost with a coat of orange paint and a new shade. Adding some navy ribbon to the shade was an easy way of adding some additional pizazz.

All in all a successful project that we are all pleased with. It’s amazing what you can accomplish on a limited budget. I always enjoy the challenge of finding creative ways to stretch a dollar. Thanks Di for trusting me and giving me a space to flex my decor muscles!

 

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Filed under Decorating Projects, DIY Projects

Budget Style: Stenciling vs. Wallpaper

Not going to lie, I love wall paper and where there is the money I would always choose it over stencils. However, when it came to the wall in my children’s play area I knew that spending $600 + on wallpaper that may possibly get drawn on was out of the question. Instead I paid a visit to one of my favorite Etsy shops, Cutting Edge Stencils, and picked a fabulous tree stencil to go along with my aforementioned “wood land whimsy” theme. Here’s how it turned out:

You can catch a peak of our new flooring and baseboards here too.

You can catch a peak of our new flooring and baseboards here too.

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As long as I don’t look too closely for the flaws I love the look. And as Steve encouraged me, “It’s a forest, imperfections are organic”. It was terribly time consuming but considering it was my first venture into the world of stenciling I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Everyone who sees it thinks it is wallpaper so why bother spending that extra $400 if you are willing to put in some grunt work!

This project got me excited about stencils as a decor tool which led to a prolonged internet search on stencils vs. wallpaper. I was amazed by the variety of motifs you can paint using stencils. Here are some great pictures of gorgeous wallpaper and their stencil counterparts.

"Fuji" Wallpaper

“Fuji” Wallpaper

Vs.

"Fuji" wall stencil. This is the one I want for the wall behind my bed.

“Fuji” wall stencil. This is the one I want for the wall behind my bed.

 

Faux bois wallpaper

Faux bois wallpaper

Vs.

Faux Bois Stencil

Faux Bois Stencil

 

Floral wallpaper

Floral wallpaper

Vs.

Floral Stencil

Floral Stencil

 

wallpaperdamask

Damask wallpaper

Vs.

wallstencildamask

Damask Stencil

 

Cat wallpaper

Cat wallpaper

Vs.

How cute is his cat stencil. I would love it in a laundry room which housed the cat's litter box.

How cute is this cat stencil. I would love it in a laundry room which housed the cat’s litter box.

 

Cloud Wallpaper

Cloud Wallpaper

Vs.

Cloud Stencil. Precious for a nursery.

Cloud Stencil. Precious for a nursery.

If you are willing to put in the grunt work, the possibilities with stencils are limitless. I had to restrain myself from not going on with more pictures, there is such a variety available for any style of decor. As someone who is super picky about colour I also love that I can customize my stencil colours to be exactly what I want instead of searching for a wallpaper that will work.

Cutting Edge Stencils has a great tutorial on ‘you tube’ that I found super helpful. They also recommend with some patterns that you use an adhesive to help stick the stencil to the wall while painting, a technique which I think would have made my own stenciling experience less frustrating. Stencils on their website range from $40- $100.

Are you inspired to foray into the world of stencils? It will be worth the work.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under At home, DIY Projects