Friday, March 14, 2014

Nerd Nursery (Part 2)

Nerd Nursery
In my first post on the Nerd Nursery, I made some embroidery hoop art to hang on the walls. For this post, I'll turn a shoe box lid into some more wall art to match the embroidery hoops.

But first, let me show you the room we started with...  bright green walls with pink trim and flowers.
Nursery Before Pic

Nursery Before Pic

Nursery Before Pic

We wanted a neutral color that would work for both a baby's room and any future use of the room, such as an office or guest room. We decided on Behr's Paint and Primer in One in French Silver, a gray paint with a slightly bluish hue. We used bright white for the trim, closet, and door.
Nursery Walls After in Behr Dark Pewter

Nursery Walls After in Behr Dark Pewter

Nursery Walls After in Behr Dark Pewter
Much better!  My hubby did all of the painting, with a little help from my brother.  Of course, I would have helped if I wasn't pregnant, because I simply love painting.  Ha! Not so much.  I'm not a very good painter. You'd think I would be better at it, considering I've painted my share of rooms over the years, but alas, I'm not. But I digress...

I love the rectangle signs that are so popular these days, but once again, this cheapskate doesn't want to spend money if she doesn't have to. After completing the embroidery hoop art, I had a little bit of fabric leftover. I also had a leftover shoe box, so I decided to cover the lid with fabric.
Shoebox lid covered with fabric for wall sign art

Shoebox lid covered with fabric for wall sign art
I traced around the box, then cut away the excess fabric, leaving enough to hot glue it to the back.
Shoebox lid covered with fabric for wall sign art
After organizing my crafts last week, I found some old letter stickers. I used the outlines of the letters as a template to make the words on my sign.
Shoebox lid covered with fabric for wall sign art
I had some fabric markers leftover from a project my daughter and I did last year.
Crayola Fabric Markers
I had to freehand the inside of the letters, and of course, I managed to mess them up a little bit.  Oh well.  It's not perfect, but it is handmade and heartfelt!
Shoebox lid covered with fabric for wall sign art
I drew a few stars, then removed the sticker templates. I ironed the back of the fabric, per the marker instructions. I then hot glued the fabric to the shoe box lid, pulling it tight.  (And using my new low-temp glue gun--no more burned fingers!)
Shoebox lid covered with fabric for wall sign art

Shoebox lid covered with fabric for wall sign art
The finished product-- again, not perfect, but it's colorful, fun, and it matches the embroidery hoops.
Shoebox lid covered with fabric for wall sign art
The Star Trek theme continues... "To Boldly Go!" (Where no baby has gone before?)
Now, for the rest of the room...

The floor is a painted wood floor, and it's pretty rough in spots. Refinishing it, repainting it, or carpeting it is cost prohibitive for us at this stage, so we decided to go with a nice shaggy area rug with a carpet pad to not only provide soft flooring but also insulate the room.
I thought about dyeing the purple curtains a different color, but considering the room is a little drafty, we decided to go with thermal curtains (Best Home Fashion Silver Star Print Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains - Antique Bronze Grommet Top - Navy - 52"W x 84"L - (Set of 2 Panels) ) that also do a great job of blocking out the light.

We brought in my recliner that my hubby got me for Christmas, an old side table, and an old dresser that I hope to refinish one of these days. The in-laws got us a crib. (We still need a mattress, but we have time, especially since the baby will be in our room at first.) I found a lamp on clearance, as well as some cloth boxes to hold toys, blankets, and diapers in the closet.  After I hung up my artwork, it really came together!
Nerd Nursery After

Nerd Nursery After
You can't see it in this picture, but I hung up one of my daughter's paintings that won a blue ribbon at the County Fair.
Nerd Nursery After
I'm still in love with my barkingbirdart print from Etsy!
The thermal curtains can REALLY darken this room.  Here are the curtains open at about 3 pm in the afternoon, followed by a picture of them closed:
Thermal Curtains Before
Thermal curtains open...
Thermal Curtains After
Thermal curtains closed!
Holy darkness, batman!  I've taken a few naps in here in the afternoon, and it is glorious.

So, what's left to do? I'm going to hang a few yellow paper fan "stars" leftover from our wedding last year, and I'm finishing up one more Star Trek cross stitch.  These will all go on the embroidery hoop wall.
Nerd Nursery In Progress
More stuff for the wall.
Then I will have to come up with something to put over the crib... maybe something with the baby's name (which we are still keeping on the down low!).
Nerd Nursery In Progress
Maybe hang some stars above the crib like a mobile?
So, what did this room transformation cost?  The paint and supplies were about $100, the carpet about $150 (plus about $40 for the carpet pad), and the curtains about $130.  The furniture we had on hand or was given to us. I bought one print to hang for $18 on Etsy, but the rest of the artwork I made... and I probably spent about $10 on that total.  So all told, transforming this room cost under $500.

Now, I know $500 is still a lot of money. The decisions to spend more on carpet and curtains were calculated ones. I figured that we could have made it all work for less than $100 if we needed to, with second-hand throw rugs, dyeing the curtains, and using cheaper paint, and it still would have looked nice. It just would have been slightly colder, draftier, brighter, and noisier. (*Edit*- Actually, we could have made it work for $0 and not changed a thing. The baby wouldn't know the difference! The key to affordable home improvement is knowing what is necessary and what is optional, and this nursery was definitely optional.) On the other end of the spectrum, it would have cost us well over $1000 to refinish or fully carpet the floor! So, the thick area rug seemed like a good choice. Plus, we hope to save money in heating and cooling costs with the insulated curtains (and hopefully gain some much needed sleep by the reduced light and noise at night!). The high quality paint *should* last us for many years, barring any kid artwork with permanent markers.

We decided to invest a little more now in hopes the room would last longer and be more functional. But either way, DIY artwork is cheap!  Some fabric, embroidery hoops, thread, a shoe box lid, markers, hot glue, and some imagination and time is all it takes.  :-)

~Mulligan Mama

PS- Lest there be any question about our family's love of Star Trek, I recently found this picture of a drawing my daughter did a couple years ago.  This baby doesn't stand a chance!
Hand drawn Star Trek logo by 8 year old
Star Trek logo, drawn by my daughter when she was 8.

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