Michelle Jones, Frugal Mom of 4, Founder and Editor of BetterBudgeting
Michelle Jones, Founder
of BetterBudgeting

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Budget Decorating
(featured column)

Paint an Ocean Theme for Your Kids Bedroom
5 Steps to a Fantasy Undersea Room for Your Kids!
by Kathleen Wilson


All of us would love to give our children a fantasy bedroom… one where imagination takes flight and they can hold onto their dreams. However, many of us lack the know how or the budget to do it. Here is a step by step project for all those undersea lovers out there--and most families have at least one!  More...

Step 1

Paint a background. You don’t have to be an artist to do this! Simply pick a sea blue for the walls and ceiling. This could vary between deep ocean blue to sea green, depending on your tastes. I also added a sandy bottom with leftover paint and a foam brush, and even a current by swirling on watered down green paint with a sponge. Simply make a “tunnel” of sorts through the water. It can be as subtle or bold as you like. Think of the current in “Finding Nemo” that the turtles swam in! Add some kelp up the walls with a foam brush, and imitate waves at the ceiling line.

Step 2

Add creatures. There are several ways to go about adding sea creatures to the wall without the expense of hiring a muralist. I used press on sticker art by PrestoChangoDecor.com to create my undersea fantasy room, and highly recommend you check out their product. (They also have many other themes, all just for kids!) Other options for non-artists include tracing sea creatures from coloring pages, painting simple fish and sea creatures in simple, stylistic form, (think kindergarten!) stenciling them onto the wall, or decopaging pictures with Mod Podge directly onto the wall. Each option will give you a different look, but all are easy and inexpensive.

Step 3

Address the furniture. Painting all the furniture one color would help bring all the room's pieces together. Painting them the same color as the wall will cause them to blend with the wall a bit, and make the room seem larger. Choose a color out of your wall theme for the furniture. I used blue tissue paper and white glue to decoupage over an inexpensive laminate drawer unit. Use your sticker creatures on the furniture to give a custom flair.

Step 4

Bring the fabric in the room into your dream theme! I used a tie dye comforter because it reminded me of the waves, and it works. You can update an existing comforter without buying a new one by sewing or fusing two flat sheets together on three sides, of the same size as the comforter. Add Velcro to the inside of the open side. Insert the old comforter, and then close with the Velcro. Mini blinds can be spray painted to match the ocean walls with a product from Krylon called Fusion. If you choose to add curtains, keep them simple to avoid competing with the fantasy theme in the room. Add pillow covers in blues and greens, and a floor rug to warm up those toes on cold mornings.

Step 5

Accessorize! Add some creativity to your room with accessories. I created a “fish net” to hang from the ceiling as a canopy with an open weave fabric I found on clearance and some cup hooks screwed into the ceiling. I added some craft foam fish, and a stuffed crab from the dollar shop with safety pins. Sew seashell appliqués on pillows or curtains, or glue shells to curtain tiebacks. Use marine rope to tie up your fish net, or wrap the rope around a lamp base and adhere with hot glue.

Undersea fantasy room in a weekend, without having to take out a second mortgage!

*  *  *

Copyright © 2005 by Kathleen Wilson.  All rights reserved.

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