Affordable Kids' Room Decorating Ideas

With a little money and a lot of creativity, you can transform your child's room into something magical. Try these affordable kids' room decorating ideas.

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June 06, 2019
By: Allie Holcomb King, Melisa Fluhr, and Pam Ginocchio

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Mix Patterns

When it comes to matching, we’re firm believers that too much of a good thing can most definitely become a bad thing. In fact, mixing colors and patterns within a space is a great way to give a room pizzazz and personality. This works to your budget’s benefit. Instead of buying all new textiles and art to coordinate your kid’s room perfectly, mix and match items you own for a spunky, eclectic look.

Display What You Already Have

Rather than purchasing pricey artwork to fill a large, blank wall, install inexpensive shelving and decorate it with items you have on hand. In this kid’s sitting area, a wall of wood hexagon shelves is filled with children’s books, stuffed animals, toys and small houseplants. Select your favorite accessories to display and style them so they look balanced.

Paint Old Furniture

Give tired, old furniture new life with a fresh coat of paint. It’s cheaper than painting an entire room, yet it can energize a space in a similar way. Consider choosing a lively color like the coral hue of this dresser for a kid-friendly approach.

Break Out the Sewing Machine

The easiest way to bring new color and pattern to a space is by switching out textiles, especially throw pillows. Instead of dishing out a pretty penny for a new collection of pillows, use your sewing skills to cover old ones with new fabric. If you’re feeling extra handy, take it to the next level by sewing new curtains, seat cushions, blankets or bedding.

Enlarge and Frame Your Own Photo

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to pull this one off. All you need is a high-quality photo that’s special to you, be it a scenic landscape shot from your last vacation or a candid family photo from the backyard. Order an enlarged print of the photo online and frame it yourself in an inexpensive frame. Call it custom artwork and give yourself a pat on the back.

Incorporate Houseplants

Houseplants are a great way to bring a dull space to life, and with a little discretion, you can find a sizable plant at a low cost. Consider where the plant’s presence will be most effective, and choose one to appropriately fill the spot. For instance, in this room, a tree would be obtrusive to the view out the window, but a leafy, lower profile plant is just right. Remember your selection will live in your kid’s room, so be sure it isn’t toxic.

Wallpaper Just One Wall

I have an impressive mathematic calculation to share with you: For a fourth of the cost of wallpapering your kid’s entire room, you can wallpaper one of the walls. Groundbreaking, right? In all seriousness, this is a designer-approved trick for kid and adult rooms alike. Choose a fun, graphic print to make a statement and keep the rest of the walls neutral.

Wallpaper Just the Ceiling

Take another approach to cost-effective wallpapering by only covering the ceiling. Though this could work for any bedroom, it’s especially fitting for a room with a slanted ceiling. The pattern helps to draw the eye up, accenting the interesting architecture and making the space appear larger.

Get Creative With Paint

Rather than painting the entire room one color, why not go for three? This room features a dark, inky blue on the lower walls and a fresh, bright white on the upper walls. A baby blue stripe divides the two colors for a visually striking effect, eliminating the need for excessive decorations. Grab the painter’s tape and get to work, you crafty parent, you.

Display Prized Possessions

Is your kiddo a rising star? Put that passion on display by hanging tools of their trade on the wall as (free!) art. If they’ll need to access the items frequently, be sure they’re hung in a reachable spot. In this boy’s room, three guitars create a beautiful, personalized vignette above the bed.

Make the Most of Your Book Collection

Instead of stowing books away, display them for all to see. This is a super-easy way to fill a blank wall without breaking the bank. While you’re at it, make use of that tattered, old favorite that’s been rendered unreadable by cutting out the pages and decoupaging them onto cardboard letters from the craft store. Spell out a word with your pretty letters and display it beside your book collection.

Craft Your Own Decorative Garlands

Make a large-scale impact on a small-scale budget with handmade garlands. The options are endless with this fun idea. Make bunting with scrapbook paper or create tassels and pom-poms with yarn. Interested in a simpler, Scandinavian feel? String wooden beads on a piece of twine. You can hang these handmade masterpieces throughout the room to create visual interest and eliminate the need for wall art.

Collect Pieces Over Time

Use individual pieces accumulated over time instead of buying a matching furniture set. Not only is this an excellent way to save, but it’s also more aesthetically appealing than a room filled with furniture clones. In this girl’s bedroom, the collection of furniture coordinates beautifully without matching exactly, creating visual interest while still feeling cohesive.

Frame a Map

Looking for a budget-friendly yet personalized way to decorate a bedroom wall? Try scouring the internet or local thrift stores for an interesting map of a beloved place. Think of a spot that’s especially significant to your child or family. Frame the map with a basic frame, like designer Joanna Gaines did in this boy’s room, and watch that empty wall take on a personality all its own.

Display Kid Art

If a map doesn’t feel juvenile enough, try using your kid’s own artwork to fill a blank wall, instead. Hang a large corkboard if you’d like to switch out the display every so often, or frame and hang your very favorite pieces for a more permanent solution. Your little one will love seeing his or her own handiwork displayed.

Or Let Your Kid Create a Wall Mural

This one’s for you, right-brained parents (and maybe not-so-much for you, left-brained parents). Am I suggesting you let your kid color on the wall? Well, yes I am. Have your little artist sketch a design on paper first, and be sure to clearly mark the portion of the wall you’d like to fill. Then, step back and watch the creativity flow. Did I mention this option is free?

Add a Canopy

Create a dreamy nook for your kid with a basic mesh canopy. A canopy makes a major visual impact but can be purchased for less than $50. Layer pillows, blankets or a beanbag you already own at the bottom to make the spot feel extra cozy and comfy.

Create a Gallery Wall

Walls adorned with gallery-style wall decor are ever popular, and the best part of this fun trend is that it celebrates all styles of art and doesn't have to cost a fortune. Monochromatic or filled with color, an accent wall featuring framed photos, prints and posters is a great way to kick it up a notch in any kid’s room.

Make Your Own Mobile

Add a little whimsy to your child's space and create a handmade mobile. Modern mobiles featuring fun shapes, clean lines and bold colors are ultra-popular right now. All you need to make our adorable, kite-themed version is an embroidery hoop, yarn, thread and construction paper.

MAKE THIS: How to Make a Kite Mobile for a Nursery or Child's Bedroom

Embrace a Simple, Modern Design

When decorating your kid’s bedroom, choose a design style that works for your budget. Interested in an option that involves a less-is-more approach? Aim for a modern or Scandinavian aesthetic. These styles embrace simple furniture, minimalist decor and overall practicality.

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