• MJ

Shabby Chic Inspired Bedroom DIY for My Dear Pipsqueak

A pride and joy of a facelift without having to buy anything new!

It took a while for us to come up with an idea. I took up pipsqueak's challenge to make it work using only my box of scraps and leftovers from previous projects. Quite a challenge indeed, as there were quite a few constraints at our rented place featuring built-in bed, desk, wardrobe and cabinets.

Constraint #1

The priority was to somehow cover the wall above the bed where it had a hole that did not quite fit the new air conditioning unit and was patched up with a quick and dirty plywood and plaster job. Worse, they tried to cover it with a rather hideous wallpaper that did not quite stick as the surface was not even.

Constraint #2

We used Miss E's old chair for her desk, which was pink and it looked like one of those chairs featured in country houses.

Constraint #3

It was a rented property so we couldn't drill holes or strip wallpaper off the wall. Re-arranging the furniture was out of question, as they were all built-in.

It was a bit tricky to find ideas to cover this bit of the wall. The wall surface was not even, with parts of the wallpaper were hanging loose. Those 3M removable hooks would not stick and hold anything because of the waxy surface of the wallpaper. The same could be said for trying to use removable wallpaper or decals.

Then I tried using blue tack and washii tapes (decorative masking tape) and what do you know ... it worked! We rummaged our craft boxes and dug out loads of leftover gift wrapping papers we had collected over the years and set aside a selection of pastel colours. And so the patchwork idea came up. I cut the leftover wrapping papers using an A4 format, stuck a tiny bit of blue tack on the four corners of each and arranged them on the wall. The washii tape stuck perfectly on the papers and created tile effects and this is how it looked like:

Pip added a string of fairy light that she decorated with egg cartons recycled from our Easter craft projects. See it here https://www.pinterest.com/pin/833588212268098619/

More of those patchwork papers went above the dressing table:

She added a wall organiser (mummy straightened it up), a place to hang her little mirror, hair accessories and jewellery. We put a plastic kiddy stool that I stuffed with polyester filling on the seat and cover it with a piece of fabric and secured with a big ribbon:

We also recycled her nanny's old mirror and turned it into this:

Next to tackle was the curtains. The window by the desk had a blind so I left it as it was. I thought about covering them with tapes but we didn't have enough tapes and I couldn't be bothered ... there were a lot of to cover! The one by the bed was rather shabby, 1980's looking blockout curtains. I took them off and replaced them with a plain white one. To give it a bit of colour, I dipped the bottom in boiled turmeric water while it was still wet from the wash and ironed it dry. The result was not bad at all! We had a bright yellow ombre curtain that matched her dressing table. Here is how it looked like:

By this time, I had a pretty good idea how I wanted the room to look like (after prior consultations with room's occupant): a shabby chic lookalike with pastel colours.

We found an old lampshade in granny's 'glory hole' last time we went to visit, stripped the whole shade, cleaned the frame, covered the whole thing with strips of leftover fabrics, added pompoms and whatever embellishments we had at the time and wrapped a string light around it. Find the tutorial here.

Pip couldn't be happier with the result:

Miss E also requested a little place for her to read. We found two old pillows, wrapped them with an old mattress protector, stitched the corners and covered it with a blanket, added some cushions and there it was:

I made a big hanging letter decoration out of twigs and origami flowers to fill the wall above it:

Finally, we cut scraps of vinyl decals to cheer up the cabinets and wardrobes, in salmony pink flower shapes and leaves and we painted the knobs with red nail polish:

There you have it, a DIY that took a while to realise but we got there in the end. Pipsqueak was happy and the best part was that we did not spend a penny on this project. I was quite pleased with myself that we managed to give my scraps and leftovers another chance instead of going in the bin.

Most of these projects' tutorials were already in our summer quarterly e-mag edition. Request your free copy here if you haven't already done it.

We've moved to a new place now and thus, another project to share with you in the near future. Move aside fairies, the next room is reserved for demi-gods ... daughter of Athena to be precise.

Happy Friday and see you next month!