Decorating kids bedrooms on a budget

Giving the kids the bedroom of their dreams doesn't have to cost a fortune with our expert tips.

(Image credit: Getty)

Whether you are about to decorate a nursery ready for a new arrival or updating a teenager's bedroom, decorating your kid's bedroom can be an expensive project. According to SWNS Digital, a poll conducted in 2021 showed that parents spend an average of £5300 on decorating their child's nursery and bedroom before they reach the age of 10. 

But there are ways you can cut back the cost and create fun and exciting rooms on smaller budgets. Keeping to a budget is a great idea as kids grow out of bedroom themes quickly. With our inspiring tips, you can make your kid's bedroom the best room in the house!

Upcycle Furniture

Upcycling furniture is an inexpensive way to update any room instantly, but it works particularly well in kids' bedrooms. All you need is some imagination and some basic tools to get started. 

Use furniture that you already own or pick up preloved items from charity shops, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, or Freecycle. With a lick of paint, an old chest of draws can easily get transformed into something bright and beautiful. Don’t be afraid to get experimental, make each draw a different colour or replace old wooden knobs with fun ones! 

Apply these techniques to any item of furniture including bedside tables, bedframes and wardrobes. Wooden chests make great toy boxes, why not paint letters or characters on them? If you aren’t artistic think about using stencils, you can find a design you like online and print it off yourself. 

Get the kids to supply the wall art

Two children are showing family members pictures of the artwork they have made.

(Image credit: Getty)

Kids are artists in their own right! Pop all those drawings you have stashed away into colourful frames of different shapes and sizes. Add a large collection to one wall along with some photos of them with friends and family for a fun contemporary feel.  

Frame it

It’s not just the kid's artwork that looks good in a frame. Why not frame some much-loved Lego figures or toys, they add a quirky look.  Pick up old frames from a charity shop, grab a glue gun and get sticking! Refresh boring frames with leftover paints or spray paint.  

Make use of wallpaper

Wallpapering can be an expensive and time-consuming project. But you don’t have to go the whole hog. Wallpaper one wall and make it a feature. Or you can even pick up the end of a roll or offcut, and pop it in a poster-size frame. This is especially handy when you have younger children who love Power Rangers one month and Spider-Man the next!  

Glow up

Kids love anything that’s glow-in-the-dark and it makes bedtime fun! Grab a pack of stick-on glow-in-the-dark stars, they are as little as £3 a pack on Amazon for hundreds. Stick them on the ceiling so the stars do come out at night.  

Decorate plain walls

A boy is sitting on a ladder next to a white and blue wall, he has blue paint on his hands, face and legs and is holding a paint roller.

(Image credit: Getty)

If there are plain walls that need some love why not add some stencil art? It’s a lot cheaper than painting an entire wall, it adds some interest and won’t take up too much time. Add anything from stars to letters…the only limit is your imagination! 

Wall stickers are also available online, for just a few pounds they jazz up a plain wall in minutes. You can find popular characters too, from Disney Princesses to Pepper Pig. Add your child's name to make the room their own. 

Add a fun wall storage

Kids have a lot of ‘stuff’ and much of your time as a parent is spent finding places to put it all, so have some fun with it! 

Grab wooden crates, paint them and mount them on the wall. They make great spots to pack in soft toys or a few books. 

Use picture rails to display small toy cars or mini figures - get the kids to order them by size or colour - it’s time to add some artistic flare! 

Pegboards are great to display artwork, small trinkets, keyrings and medals. Pack as many things as possible to make it look interesting. Teenagers might like a minimal look by adding gig tickets and photos. 

Shelves and bookshelves can be painted but how about decoupaging them with some comic book papers? Old comics can be recycled and it provides a unique look that’s great for all ages. If you aren’t familiar with the decoupage technique it's cheap and easy to do, check out YouTube for tutorials. 

DIY T-shirt cushions

Remember how devastated you were as a kid to grow out of your favourite T-shirt? Well, this is a great little project that will soften the blow and add some fun to any bedroom. You will need some simple sewing skills for this project, but nothing that a novice can’t achieve. Pop a cushion inside an old t-shirt so that the picture is at the centre of the cushion. Tuck in the arms and neckline and sew! There are lots of tutorials available online

Add a chalkboard and magnetic wall

A boy is drawing on a small chalkboard, there is a large chalkboard wall to the right of the picture.

(Image credit: Getty)

Depending on the area you would like to paint, chalk and magnetic paint are available online from around £8. Younger children will love creating art with colourful chalk and playing games. Letter and number magnets can be added to a magnetic wall, making learning fun. 

Older children and teenagers can write revision notes and reminders on the chalkboard or add quirky magnets to the magnetic wall…along with all the cutlery they like collecting! 

Hammocks aren’t just for sleeping!

Whether you already have one or pick up a second-hand one a kid's hammock makes a fun addition to the bedroom update. Add it as a fun place to hang out but you can add them for storage purposes too. Pop in the kids growing collection of soft toys, they look super cute and it gets them out of the way!  

LED lights are your friend

You can illuminate any room with the addition of lighting. LED lights are inexpensive to buy and run. There are thousands of options available online. From strip lights that you can add under shelving or a feature wall to fairy lights that look pretty draped over furniture or hung from the ceiling. 

Small sets of battery-powered lights can be popped into decorated jars and placed on bedside tables or weaved in and out of books on the bookshelf. The possibilities are endless.

In teenagers' bedrooms, LED candles make a safe alternative to the real thing and make the room feel cosy and inviting. 

Make a den

A young girl using an iPad whilst sitting in a den in her bedroom with cushion and blankets, it's dimly lit with a small lamp.

(Image credit: Getty)

Kids of all ages love to snuggle up in a special hideout. And making a great den is an important parenting skill! Temporary dens with a few chairs and a sheet will always be winners with younger children but don’t rule out ones they can read, play or relax in every day. 

Tepees have become very popular, look out for a second-hand one and some homemade bunting and fairy lights. You can make your own with some broom handles and fabric too, there are a load of tutorials available. 

Have you got a one-man tent you no longer use? They make great dens too! When it comes to den making, the limit is your imagination. 

Sarah-Jane Outten
Editor

Hi, I’m SJ. I’m an editor and content executive here at MyVoucherCodes. I started my journey here as a deals expert which gave me the skills to become a money-saving expert. You can find my tips and recommendations in various publications including The Sun, The Mirror, and The Telegraph.

I gained a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2018, and I’ve put my writing skills into many projects since then. My portfolio at sarahjaneoutten.com includes my work with Cardiff Times, Buzz Magazine and more. 

I write poetry and short stories for pleasure and enjoy getting creative with watercolours and lino printing. I hope that I can merge my love of writing and art into a children's book in the future - watch this space!