Inexpensive Bedroom Makeover

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Elly's Room Before Room Makeover

Elly's Room After Room Makeover


By shopping at thrift stores and making do with what I had, I spent under $40 redecorating my daughter’s room. I saved almost $200 over purchasing everything at full retail. I had forgotten to take a “before” picture before I started painting. The room had a dirty beige color on the walls that I’ve hated since we moved in three years ago. We kept thinking we would move so I never messed with fixing the room up.

I finally decided that since it was almost Elly’s birthday I would go ahead and decorate her new room. (She and BJ used to share a room and we had just moved David in with BJ, giving Elly her own room.)

It took me about one day to put the paint on the walls. (That’s with the help of a 3 year old.)

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.

We used a hook to hang the canopy and an ironed sheet to get the color for the wall.

I needed to have some color on the wall so the canopy would stand out, but by the time I figured that out, I was too worn out to do any more painting. I found a twin sheet that I had on hand that I had purchased for $1 at the thrift store. I was originally going to use the sheet for something else but never did.

I ironed the sheet and then used the staple gun to staple it up on the wall. I stapled five staples along the top and three down each side.

Then I put a hook, which we had on hand, in the ceiling for the canopy. I hung the canopy 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.

We used boxes of books to raise Elly's bed to give her a "Princess and the Pea" high bed.

We Used Book Boxes To Raise The Bed.

Elly wanted a tall princess bed, so we took identical sized boxes of books from the garage and put one under each leg. 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. The top of the mattress comes up to her chest. She just loved the tall bed!

This also made it convenient to use the space under the bed for storing her 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. After moving so much, I’m sick of making curtains anyway. 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!


I used a tablecloth with some flowers for a curtain like window dressingA Dresser along with a free standing mirror

We thought Elly would enjoy a free standing mirror and I found a nice heavy duty one 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.

I created a craft area with a table for her to do crafts, a fancy chair and a corkbpard to display her art.

Elly likes crafts and we thought she would appreciate a craft area. We used a table 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 was doing this at 9:00 p.m. the night before her birthday and really wanted to get it done and go to bed.) 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.

Elly had been telling me that 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 when I printed them, they were just the right size. 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 ½ 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.

Elly’s new room took me two days work and about 15-30 minutes at a time, resting about 1-2 hours in between. I was really sick those two days or I would have been able to complete it in one day.

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!


child's bedroom makeover after



Here’s what we spent on this room makeover:

Bed skirt-$3
Pictures for walls-$5
Tassels-$0.24 for 2
Paint and supplies-$14



  1. says

    What great job and on my kind of budget! Loving it!!! I am working on a thrift store makeover for our room. Its amazing all of the goodies you can find!!! Thanks for keeping me inspired…I have been shopping for a couple of months and only gotten a couple of things but they were worth it. It is my goal to have the job done before the holidays when my parents come to visit. I love what you did with the artwork and the canopy. What a great idea!

  2. Barb Nauman says

    All little girls dream of being a Princess-I’m sure your daughter feels like one in her new room! Very cool, Mom!

  3. says

    I love working with wood of all types and here is a suggestion I would make on the bed.
    instead of the boxes and a piece of wood I am assuming it is plywood for stability. get 4 large spindles for banisters and use these for legs. Then get a piece of 2×4 for a support in the middle where it won’t be seen.
    If you need storage under the bed you can make a box with casters or buy those under bed storage units.
    This would make the bed easier to move and be more permanent.
    The room does look very nice and I am glad your daughter likes it.

  4. Diana Metz says

    What a lovely, princess like room for a young lady!! It is beautiful and the best part must be knowing that you spent so little for so much!!

  5. says

    Wow, I really love your ideas here. I completely agree with doing things like what you did here. Why spend all that money on a room, that they will change or outgrow in no time. You did a fabulous job, and when I get some more time, I really want to check out your site in more detail. Very impressive with what I read on your about page. Im sure I can learn some wonderful tips form you here. Thanks again!!

    • says

      Thank you Bella, hope you enjoy checking us out. In case you don’t know we have just recently revamped our whole web site and blog and are in the process of working on it even more. We have hundreds of articles we are still transferring over and new ones we are adding every day so hope you can get some good ideas.

  6. barb~ says

    Need a new mattress? Want a pillow top? No Money?? I came upon a solution that makes me FEEL like I have a new mattress! I had an old comforter and laid it on my old mattress. I then put the mattress pad over it and tucked it in really well-added my sheets, blankets and pillows. Omigosh! I’m in Heaven!! It feels like a new bed!! I may add even another comforter at some point so I can feel like The Princess and the Pea!!


  7. eeyore1950 says

    I think this is wonderful. I love to read and/or do creative ideas such as this. And what a great lesson for your daughter to learn.

  8. hsmom2004 says

    I love these ideas. We are moving soon and need to redecorate several rooms on a budget. Additionally, the new home has very little storage and we need to find a way to hide things that we need occasionally, but not all the time. You have given me great, thrifty ideas. Thank you!

  9. MaryKay says

    Love it! That’s my kind of make over! Did you ever see that show….what was it called “Design on a Dime”? Drove me crazy cuz those were not cheap make overs to me!

    • says

      I have seen it MaryKay and it drives me crazy too. I was wondering if I was the only one who thought it strange that they sometimes spend a whole day with a crew of “professionals” making this weird cheesy looking lamp for only $100 and their time and think it is the deal of the century.

      My daughter in law picked me up a lamp for $3 and a shade for $2 from Lowe’s that was large and beautiful plus no work involved. I can’t figure out where they shop if they think an awful looking lamp made from scrap lumber for only $100 is a good buy.

  10. Roberta Derry says

    Love it I want the same look,and i’m 41 years old! I buy allmof my home decor at thrift stores and garage sales,and when i have company over they always say WOW! where did you get that its beautiful,they dont belive me when i tell them where igot something,and how much i paid for it!

  11. rose says

    i like the colors of the quilt and the canopy .. very feminine .. 😀
    deos elly’s room still look like this in the new house? . just curious ..

    • says

      No Rose it doesn’t she has nothing but concrete walls and floor and we have hung blankets to divide up all the rooms in the basement. Although it isn’t as bad as it sounds. We did add a rug and I hung her a valance. She had some fake bendable flowers so she twisted those around the black sewer and plumbing pipes which looked really cute. I took a rope and in one corner hung a rod for her clothes. She has all of her furniture in there too so she has decorated the tops of it.

      Part of the problem in the new house is the kid’s bedrooms are in the unfinished basement for now. They had planned on finishing them off right away but with 2 cars dying and some medical it has taking all the money they were going to use for that.

  12. says

    Jill think back to the late 60’s and early 70’s people paid big bucks for that design look.
    I think they called it bohemian.
    For curtains they used burlap bags tie dyed and those swag lights with what ever for a shade.
    She could paint out the pipes so they are not so noticeable.
    With the blankets it would be almost like a hospital room but cozier.
    I actually like the idea of the bedrooms. But only if there are windows. I can’t use our basement except for laundry and storage because the windows are too small and mostly covered to conserve heat.
    It is -20 celcius today and that is without the wind factored in. So unless the basements are well insulated up here bedrooms are not in basements.
    And yes dieing cars take presedence.

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