(Almost!) Free Kids' Room Updates

Refresh a kid's room for pennies (or for free!) by getting creative and using what you already have on hand.
By: Briana Mowrey
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Photo By: Anisa Darnell

Incorporate Items From Other Rooms

Sometimes it's as simple as taking something you already own and putting it in a different context. So, "shop" from your own home before you rush out to buy new accent pieces. Old maps and globes can look stuffy in an adult's office or study, but take on new life in a tween's bedroom, as seen here.

Get Dishy

If you rarely use the good china, or have some chipped or mismatched dishes, consider a stunning display like this one. Mixing the plates with letters and framed photos adds to the eclectic effect.

Sneak in Some Storage

Save your empty baskets, bins and buckets. If you haven't found a use for them elsewhere around the house, they're pefect for open kid's room storage. Finally, no more stepping on plush toys and board games!

Display a Cool Bottle Collection

Bottles are great for both storage and display. This cool collection can hold tiny treasures, transform into multiple flower and bud vases (as shown in this toddler's room) or just serve as a bit of interest on a shelf or window ledge. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Stuffed Animal "Art"

Here's an idea for custom art they're sure to love: Shoot images of treasured mementos or favorite stuffed animals. Even if they've outgrown the plush toys themselves, the photos still hold lovely, personal significance.

Show Off Their Skills

Who needs an art budget for a kid's room when they create so much of it on their own? Frame their latest creations or pin them up with clothespins on a length or wire or twine. Or, take a cue from this tween's room and casually hang 3D papier mache masks from the nearest hook or knob.

Say It With Flowers

Fresh flowers have a way of making any room feel brand-new. Instead of putting those just-picked blooms from your yard on the dining room table or kitchen counter, why not brighten up your child's room instead? If you don't have a garden (or have a pollen-sensitive child), swap in some tissue-paper blooms for a handmade touch.

Say Yes to the Dress

Brighten up the back of a door with a ballgown, dance recital costume, or sports uniform. It's a fun way to add a little personality to the space and put your child's outside interests on display.

Go Green

If your living room looks like a jungle, consider moving some of the flora elsewhere. A large potted plant makes this playroom look more vibrant and sophisticated. Your kids can even make a game of tending to and watering the big-leafed beauty.

Toys Can Be Decor

Instead of piling colorful toys, books and games into a toy chest, stack them artfully on top of nightstands, dressers and bookshelves. Open shelving, as shown here, makes an especially attractive showcase for kid stuff.