Homeschool Room Ideas- Free Label Printables!

Virtual learning in the Spring was haphazardly thrown together. As I’m sure many of you can relate. Our organization consisted of a bench in our living room, and a couple of storage boxes. That small space was supposed to hold us over, but did not suffice as a longterm solution. Going into this school year, we are going in person for half the day and virtual learning in the afternoon. But I am also prepared to be fully virtual at some point throughout the year. In preparation, we converted a play/craft room into a more learning friendly space.  This is our homeschool room tour, hope it gives you some homeschool room ideas to transform your space! homeschool room large view

Related Posts: Homeschool Schedule and Resources and Preschool Learning Activities

Printable Labels are in the Resource Library! Subscribe to our newsletter to get access if you haven’t already. 

Before

First off, this was a project done on a budget.  We did not want to buy brand new furniture or spend tons of money on anything.  Thankfully, we felt like we had a good base of furniture and items.  Ideally a couch and tv are not great for a learning environment, but the tv can be closed off with the closet doors and the couch was transformed into a cozy reading area.  Individual desks may also be a good investment. Decide what works best for your family and your space!

Before Pictures. EEK!

These pictures were taken after I already started transforming the space.  It’s not always this messy! But it gets close. 🙂 The couch was moved from the wall across the tv, to the back wall with the window.  The wall opposite the couch had the kids’ artwork hung along the entire wall.  It was fun for a while but it often got overwhelming and crowded.  

We also had other toys in here that got moved down to the basement playroom. Toys that were left I categorize as more educational play like LEGOS, Magnatiles, and K’nex building sticks.  Also calm activities that work best on a table like coloring books, sticker play, paper to draw and puzzles.  

Related Post: Actually Conquer Clutter with Living Room Toy Organization

Reading Corner and Bookcase

homeschool room entrance view

The view as you walk into the room. First up is the reading corner and bookcase.

homeschool reading corner couch

Direct Item Links: (Couch was from Macy’s two years ago, no link but it’s a great color and fabric for a kids space!)

This post contains affiliate links, please refer to the disclosure policy for more information. 

My first find were these amazing vintage educational posters on Retro Planet.  They are also on Amazon, sold already with the hanging system.   

Lighting adds so many dimensions to a space, so some kind of lamp or accent lighting is always a nice touch to a homeschool room. We’ve done a small canopy reading corner in the boys’ room and we already had some string lights that made a perfect addition to the reading corner of this space.  If I were to buy lights, I’d get LED ones that conserve more energy. 

homeschool room bookcase

Bookcase has educational and current reference books. My two oldest boys are in a Montessori school, so I have a lot of Montessori elements. You can easily replace those with whatever materials you are using!

My youngest boy Rhys is 18 months old so everything low to the ground has to be for him. Rhys loves this Grimm’s rainbow and it’s a perfect spot on the bottom shelf. The abacus can be used by the older boys but Rhys can’t mess it up, lol, so it goes on the bottom also. 

The toolbox on the second shelf from the bottom was part of a woodworking kit (from Lakeshore Learning) that the boys worked on this summer. It holds random extra supplies. Next to it is a craft bead box that holds a Montessori movable alphabet.

Lastly there are the books and Montessori bead cases on the top shelf with a plant in a rope basket. 

Main Wall and Table

elearning center homeschool supplies

Final, final look. I took some pictures before it was totally completed because I got impatient with shipping times. 🙂 So you’ll notice some extra space in a few of the pics below.

Direct Item Links:

homeschool center view from couch

Underneath the pottery barn table and chairs are two bouncy ball chairs. If you have fidgety children at all, these are a great sitting alternative! 

homeschool room main wall

The main wall of the room has supplies, a calendar morning station and a few posters. The two posters on the side of this wall are also Retro Planet.  Here they are on Amazon also. In the middle we added a Smithsonian Dinosaur poster because my kids love all things dinosaur.  Perfect decor inspiration is any subject or topic that interests or inspires your children.

Calendar Morning Station

homeschool morning station

I’m obsessed with this weather perpetual calendar! It was a splurge, I’ll put that disclaimer in. But it’s been a fun and beautiful learning tool. To offset that, I got the calendar and weekly calendar dry erase board at Home Goods for cheap. (Linked to similar options). Etsy also has a wooden calendar that I thought was soo beautiful!

Supplies Corner

homeschool room supplies organized

Direct Item Links: Free printable labels in the resource library! Subscribe to gain access if you haven’t already.

Homeschool room organization is essential. There are tons of supplies needed on a daily basis. Most supplies that my boys need live in this corner.  I gave each of my school aged sons their own drawers to put whatever they are currently working on. Each have a couple workbooks, and Miles’ drawer has his writing journal. 

The other drawers have blank paper (including watercolor paper), coloring books, sticker play and other supplies like tracing sheets and map work. The white hanging containers have markers, colored pencils, post-it notes, clothespins, scissors, pencil sharpeners and popsicle sticks (we use them a lot for math work).

homeschool supplies details

The two shelves above have regular paint, watercolor paint, pencils, paintbrushes and dot markers. The black basket on the floor to the right has work rugs (Montessori inspired) and large rolls of paper. We did tons of work on this paper last Spring and the boys love it. 

In the corner, there are two tubs- one with duplo legos and the other with wooden train tracks. The wire used to hang along this entire wall, but I shortened it to the corner so we can still display their work- just in a smaller space. 

Closet Storage

homeschool closet storage

The art above the closet was made from the canvas the boys and their friends made at Ellis 3rd birthday. I just cut out 3 pieces and used them as a frame mat for the photos.

In the closet is the tv and extra games, books and storage. The boxes on the very top shelf are labeled so we know exactly what’s in them, but they don’t crowd the lower shelves. I don’t want the boys to have access to too much stuff. With the shelves up high, we can rotate down different puzzles and games. 
storage containers labels

Closer look at shelves. Have the same labels as the drawers. A little hard to see in the photo because they are clear boxes and the labels are black. Definitely pop more on the drawers but I’m still loving them!

homeschool room large viewLet me know in the comments if you have questions on anything I didn’t mention in the homeschool room tour. Sending you lots of good thoughts for an amazing school year!

Subscribe below to get access to the free printable labels! You will need to buy sticker paper to print them on. I used Avery 4397- full sheet sticker paper. After you print them out, you cut them individually. Full instructions are in the printable packet! 

homeschool room free printable labels

Modern Superhero Themed Room for Toddlers

One of the best things of moving into a new house is all the opportunities for makeovers and room designs! I decided that my sons’ room was a priority because they were enduring lots of changes at the same time. Our 2 and 4 year old boys were about to share a room, when they were separate before. I wanted them to be excited about their new space. Hoping it would cloud all of the changes happening at once. My oldest had been obsessed with superheroes, and still is actually. A superhero themed room was the clear winner for the new shared room.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, meaning I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

The first mission was finding a skyline for behind the beds that superheroes could be flying along. Since we lived in Chicago, I found a Chicago skyline wall decal on Etsy that I fell in love with! There were lots of other great options like other city skylines, gotham city decals, or a general city skyline. The superheroes came in a Marvel and a DC pack on Amazon.  The leftovers came in handy for my son’s 4th birthday, which was a nice added bonus.

Superhero bedroom decor for a shared boys' room.

Superhero Toddler Beds

When looking for bedding and how to set up their beds, I didn’t want to be over the top with the superhero room theme.  Personally, I didn’t want to be slapped in the face with superheroes every time I was in the room. So, the modern, clean aspect of the theme was for me. 🙂

Superhero bed sheets with superhero wall decals and spiderman bed pillow.

Superhero toddler bed with city skyline wall decal.Pottery barn and other places did have very cute superhero bed sheets that fit twin beds and bigger. In the end, I bought a set from Amazon that had a blue stars set with a reversible comforter, and a back up red stars sheet set.  It added touches of color and superhero-esque vibe without adding actual specific superheroes.  The pillow dolls were a random find from Target and fit perfectly on their toddler beds!

Black and White with pops of color superhero bedroom decor.The shared nightstand is a KALLAX shelf unit from IKEA that fit our window space perfectly.  You can choose drawers or different cabinets in a few different colors. The boys also have their pajamas and other clothing items that are easily accessible for them. The more they can reach, the earlier they start to independently dress themselves which is Ah-mazing!

Reading Corner

Superhero decoration ideas for a toddler reading corner.

Toddler reading corner with superhero pillows in a superhero themed room.

The reading corner is a huge part of our bedroom. Toys are kept in the playrooms so reading is the main activity that is done in their room besides sleeping and getting ready. This canopy was originally in my son’s previous toddler room and made by my mom. But there are lots of cute options out there like this one. Having a cozy corner to read in makes our nighttime stories a favorite part of the day. The only change I made to update the reading corner for the theme was to buy superhero pillow covers and cover the ones that were already present.

I fell in love with the red telephone bookcase! I stumbled onto it while on Wayfair one day looking for other items for the house. It is small and mostly fits our board books and other small books. But it was a perfect place for Superman to live and a superhero touch to the bedroom that wasn’t completely literal.

Artwork

Boys superhero room with superhero logo canvas art squares.

Superhero wall, superhero decoration ideas with logo art squares.The last corner of the room has a white dresser turned changing table that we had in my second son Ellis’ nursery.  There are some supercute Superhero artwork out there. In the end, I fell in love with these Superhero logo canvas squares and thought they were an amazing fit above the dresser.

The yellow lamp was another Wayfair find and if you are confused about the random poster board on the side, check out this post. It is a daily routine chart that our oldest, and soon youngest, uses to go through his morning and nighttime routines without being constantly reminded. (FYI: Life changer)

 

And here are my little superheroes checking out their room for the first time! They were SOOO excited- pointing out everything they were seeing throughout. Definitely a success.

superhero bedroom wall art shared toddler boys superhero bedroom makeover

supehero boys room superhero bedroom makeover

 

Actually Conquer Clutter with Living Room Toy Organization

We’ve come to terms that our living room is also our playroom.  That when we have adults over, it is very likely they can trip over a toy truck.  Our friends understand the dangers also. This is the condo city life we are currently living, but there are ways to utilize the space in a better way!When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.

We had developed a little system that worked for a while- until it didn’t.  It worked for one baby, then one toddler and a baby and now that there are two toddlers and Christmas happened- oh man! The clutter and madness was taking over- so I made a plan to turn the living room toy organization into a better system.

They have a little craft corner and play table in my three year old’s room. Other than that, the majority of toys are right smack in the middle of the living room. No nook to the side or corner hidden away.  So I’ve always tried to create something that at least flowed well with the room.  But it was time for an update. This is what happened with my first system…When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.

When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.

Hmm, we had a little overflow problem.  This was soo not working anymore.

Even my labels needed an upgrade. More about those later…When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.

Get Rid of Toys!

First things first, going through toys and giving away what is not played with is a must for managing clutter.  As I reorganized and put things in piles- I also had a trash bag ready. Broken toys, used up coloring books, and toys with missing pieces.  All that goes!

Pick Out Furniture

Next step is deciding your furniture and storage system.  In our staircase were two bookcases filled with my husband and I’s books. We decided we could go through and reduce our book amount, then switch them out with the bookcase in the living room (I had transformed it into a super cute bar before kids- I’m still hopeful it’ll go back to that one day. This should explain the wine cork top and wine glass rack. 🙂 )

It was a win win since it made us purge books that we probably are never going to open again- like those 10 year old textbooks from college that we kept “just in case”. Does anyone open those again?? Maybe- I guess it depends on the field.  Anywho…When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.

When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, read our disclosure for more information.

Our bookcases came from different places since we both had one before we met- but they are practically identical!  There are a few places to find a unit like this: Ikea, Walmart, Amazon, Costco or Target.

Since we had those, I wanted to buy bins or crates that were “living room nice”- to keep some resemblance of an adult space. Which meant steering clear of the bright ones that screamed playroom.  I got mine at Target (on sale!)  These are similar ones: here and here.

Make Labels & Organize

When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.Finally, you want to assign a “home” to each of your toys. This makes play and clean up go a lot smoother. Something I had started before that really really helps with clutter is making labels, where similar toys were grouped together.  The pictures on the label help them put away toys on their own- probably can start at 18 months, but my oldest got really good with it after his 2nd birthday. A couple of things this avoids:

Your son (or daughter) dumping out every single bin to find one Thomas the train engine.

Your son stuffing one bin with every single toy when cleaning up- which leads to it breaking because it wasn’t meant to hold 1,000 toys.

Added benefits are your kids learn more about categories, which helps them make connections. Who knew cleaning up could also mean learning new things!

When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.What’s even better is when my three year old corrects someone when they put a toy in the wrong place- I guess there’s no question that he’s my son huh?

Side note: If you can, laminate the labels so your 18 month old doesn’t rip them off (this happened to me 🙁 ). I attached mine with zip ties I got at Home Depot.

When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.

!! Make sure you anchor your tall furniture! Our base boards kept the bookcases 2 inches away from the wall, so these straps were the best fit. They also have excellent reviews.

When you don't have a playroom, smart living room toy organization is key! Labels to put toys in categories and create clean up routines for your kids.

Beyond the Storage Unit

The space is still tight, so there are a few large items that had to be organized around the shelf. Riding toys are kept in the hall closet and other toys (if you can believe it, even more trucks)  in the bottom drawer of a large filing cabinet/storage furniture that is on the other side of our tv. We’ll rotate those toys in to keep the choices fresh.

I just ordered this puzzle rack that we’ll be adding soon to organize all the puzzles on the top shelf.

Overall, I’m happy with the transformation.  The toys aren’t completely hidden but we are past that point- everyone knows the kids run our lives, no point in trying to hide it!  But at least it’s not completely overwhelming- where toys are overflowing into the entire living room.

It can seem like a big project, but I promise it’ll feel amazing when you are done!

The Most Amazing Ways to Create Magical Spaces for Kids

One of the most endearing qualities in kids is their imaginations.  Maybe because as an adult we are so detached from using that part of our mind.  From pretending to be firemen, to a princess or superheroes saving the day.  They tend to see things in a more magical way than adults do.  A perfect way to nourish their imaginative minds is to create magical spaces for kids in your home.  This could be a perfect idea for a playroom makeover or kids room design.  

While we’re at it, why not enjoy and share these spaces with them? We can rediscover the excitement and mystery of the world around us through their eyes.  Venture into a world where pillows are boats and sheets draped over a table is a hideaway fort. It won’t be long before our kids grow up and face the less exciting realities of the world, where imaginative play takes a back seat or diminishes completely.  

I’ve been daydreaming a lot about what projects I would do when we get a new house. After we put a reading corner in our toddler Miles’ room, I saw the power of a magical space.  While we can use the nook to hide away and read under fairy lights, it’s also been a ship lost at sea being surrounded by sharks.  On very tired nights I’ve tried to skip the reading corner and read to him in bed so I can just creep out after, but he won’t have it!  There is no skipping the reading corner and it’s most definitely everyone’s favorite spot in the house.  Is your baby growing up? Are you wondering how to design their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert a nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.

Researching Pinterest and other places, I’ve rounded up the most amazing ways to create magical spaces for kids.  Can’t wait until I’m able to recreate one of these ideas!

Click on images to go to source. Some include tutorials!

Tents, Hideaways, Nooks, & Forts

The great thing about forts and nooks is they can be as big or small as you want. You can turn a weirdly positioned corner or space into a magical destination. Our reading corner was an easy and small nook that fits our space perfectly.  But man! There are some inspirational canopies and forts out there.  

A whimsical and exotic fort.  Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

This site has 10 ADORABLE under stair playhouse ideas. A little house of their own. Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Perfect use of a corner- build a tent to fill up the space.Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Whimsical Lights

The power of lighting. If you’ve looked at anything about home decor, you’ve read about the right lighting for different rooms and situations.  The best lighting for magical spaces are fairy lights! (Most commonly known as string lights 🙂 )

Twinkling tent- soo cozy.Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Lights in a reading nook are the perfect combo! Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Wall Art Murals

Murals can really transport you to another world.  Some are very elaborate and can seem overwhelming to those of us that can’t draw or paint.  There are some that are easy to create with the power of painter’s tape, or you can integrate wall decals to your design.

Little Critter Playroom- can be achieved with wall decals!Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Colorful far away land.Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

DIY Painter’s Tape Wall- perfect for us not able to draw a mural scene.Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Spaces to Unleash Creativity & Imagination

Chalkboard walls or stages to dress up and put on plays!  Setting up an area to see all your child can come up with will most definitely encourage you to join in on the fun.  

Indoor Stage with costumes and all.Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Perfect chalk wall in a super colorful and fun space.Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Ways to be Active

This is not just for boys! Every kid needs a little active play filled with climbing and swinging.  We live in Chicago, the land of endless winter.  It would be great to have an active space for when we can’t venture outside as much.  

A real indoor treehouse! Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Car themed awesomeness.Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Create your Child’s Dreamland

Have your child lead the design and create a space they are passionate about.  Maybe a land of fairies or a castle.  My son is currently obsessed with haunted houses and ghosts, so if I take this approach it may have to be after this phase has passed. LOL

COMPLETE guide on creating a castle playroom! Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

Fairy wonderland  bedroom. The epitome of magical.Use these amazing ideas to nourish your kids' imaginations! Inspiration for your playroom makeover or kids room design to create magical spaces for kids.

What are your favorite ways to create a magical space?

 

How to Convert a Nursery to a Toddler Room

We spend a lot of time planning our baby’s nursery.  It’s new, exciting and there are so many adorable things we can incorporate into the room. Of course, those first couple of years went by at lightning speed!  Now you have a moving toddler that has outgrown some of the things in their room.  If you want to keep your child in the same room, there are simple steps you can take to convert a nursery to a toddler room.  How much you change is completely up to you.  Maybe you want to keep the exact same theme, or you want to change it entirely. Either way, there are some key things you want to consider changing. Is your baby growing up? Are your wondering how to make their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.

My first son Miles’ nursery was gray and yellow with large geometric patterns.  You can see his room design here. We added black and white and traded out some furniture to make it fit for a big boy’s growing curiosity and independence! If you have a budding toddler, but want to keep them in their same room and keep some or all your design efforts- keep reading for ideas on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room.  

1) Toddler Bed

Is your baby growing up? Are your wondering how to make their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.Moving our son to his big boy bed started his room transformation from a nursery to a toddler room. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure to check out my tips for transitioning to a toddler bed!  There are some essential safety updates outlined in that article, now that they can get out of bed and roam the room. We made the bed change first and after he was adjusted, converted the other areas of his room.  You can totally make all the changes at once and get your toddler excited about the new room! The crib sheets fit toddler beds, so you can keep those and the same mattress.  You may want to get a toddler sheet set– it adds a pillowcase for your new adorable toddler pillow and a loose sheet.  We barely used the sheet at first, because our son loved the comfort of his crib blanket.  

There are many fun themed toddler beds– if that will be the focal point of your theme, start there first.  We kept ours white, like his crib color.  I’m seeing him sharing a room with his baby brother one day, who inherited the crib (converts into a toddler bed).  This way they will both have similar sized white beds.  

2) Reorganize

Is your baby growing up? Are your wondering how to make their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.Your toddler is learning independence at an exciting rate!  More and more, they are wanting to do things on their own.  Use this to your advantage. Replace some furniture or add new items and rearrange things so they are at toddler height and can be reached by little hands.

  • Clothes, towels, pajamas- okay, I don’t always let my toddler pick out his clothes in the morning. Because if I do, he’ll always wear the same orange shirt.  Lol. But I give him a couple of choices.  He can also reach his towel to bring to bath time, access the drawer with his pajamas to pull out, and knows to throw his dirty clothes in the hamper.
  • Books and toys- utilize bins, toy boxes and bookcases that are close to the ground.  Have a system where they know what goes where. Miles and I talk about it every time we clean up- legos go here, music toys here, motor vehicles, etc. It’s pretty amazing when my two year old tells my husband that he put the toy back in the wrong place. Hilarious! You can label them or color coordinate- legos in red, cars in blue etc.  

3) Create a magical space such as a reading corner 

Is your baby growing up? Are your wondering how to make their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.

Is your baby growing up? Are your wondering how to make their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.This is EVERYBODY’s favorite space in the room.  It’s just so cozy and the LED string lights give it a perfect ambience for reading before going to bed.  Their imaginations really come to life at this age and it’s fun nurturing it with their rooms or activities. My mom made ours out of a king sized sheet, there are many good tutorials out there! We bought the cushion at Land of Nod.  You can also buy canopies and tents at a lot of places now!

When we finally move into a house and can have a stand alone playroom, I plan on doing other projects to create magical spaces. Check out my favorite ideas for creating magical spaces for kids!

4) Make a theme update

Is your baby growing up? Are you wondering how to design their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert a nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.

Is your baby growing up? Are your wondering how to make their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.Ours was a simple color addition, but you can go any direction you and your toddler desire!  I added black and white to Miles’ room.  It was complimentary to the gray and yellow that already existed, and gave it a nice modern pop.  Think about what you already have and what you are going to introduce.  It helps to integrate with some of the existing elements- cheaper because you don’t have to replace everything and not as time consuming.

5) More floor space- remove baby stuff!  

The glider/rocking chair and ottoman can go.  I know, there are memories of a lot of late nights on there!  You guys can still cuddle in the reading corner or on their bed! We moved ours to the new baby’s nursery, but you can put yours in storage if you anticipate using it in the future or sell it online.  The same goes for rockers, swings, saucers, jumpers and all other baby items they have grown out of that take up room.  Our diaper days were not over when making the transition (unfortunately), but if you are- replace the diaper pail with a trash can.  You can also repurpose the changing table to have accessible toys or clothes on the bottom drawers.  

Is your baby growing up? Are your wondering how to make their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.

Is your baby growing up? Are your wondering how to make their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert your nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.

We also added a play table and an arts and crafts corner to the room.  Strongly suggest a toddler height table set or comfy chair!  The play table was a thrift store find that I made over. The reason it’s in his room is because we don’t have a playroom and there was room (it replaced the area where the glider was).  Surprisingly, he does not get into any of the crafts during bedtime (knock on wood 😉 ). If you have a playroom, a crafts corner has been a fun addition.  We always do some coloring or a project there after nap.  

And that’s it! Your toddler room is ready! Hopefully the next few years won’t go by as fast as the first two did.  

 

Everything you need to know before Transitioning to a Toddler Bed

It’s a scary thought. Moving your child from a crib to a toddler bed.  I’m sure you are dreading the amount of destruction your toddler will cause when they have free rein in their room! And them being able to leave their room and roam the house on their own! The anticipation of transitioning to a toddler bed can sometimes be harder than actually making the move. This guide is a combination of my experience and other parents that have successfully made this transition.  Everything you need to know before transitioning to a toddler bed. Steps to take before making the move to a big boy bed, and solutions for common hurdles that arise.

Is it Time?

There are many reasons why you want to start transitioning to a toddler bed.  If your baby is climbing out of their crib, it can become a safety issue.  Maybe your child has expressed interest in moving to a big bed.  Or like us, if you are pregnant with another baby and need to free up the crib. We were pregnant with our second baby, who was due a couple months before our first son’s second birthday. The baby wouldn’t need the crib right away but we wanted the big move to be done a few months before he was faced with the new change of a baby.  

Is there a right age?  

We waited to potty train until 2 and ½ because the whole craziness of the new baby and other changes in our lives.  He has developed more fears than he did when he was younger, and it’s caused challenges with potty training that he didn’t have with moving to a bed.  Transitioning to his toddler bed at 20 months was a great age because he understood things but seemed less apprehensive of new environments.  That has been our experience at least.   Many wait until 3 to move to a toddler bed.  Decide what works best for your family!

Before You Start

Have a consistent bedtime routine and bedtime. There should be some predictability around bedtime that remains after they move to the bed.  Are there any other big changes happening? Or big trips coming up?  You don’t want too much change at one time.  Since we were expecting our second child, we made the change 2 months before the baby was born.  If you are moving, potty training or any other big change, consider waiting for a calmer time.

Read books

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Reading books is one of my favorite things to do for ALL big transitions.  We read books on becoming a big brother, going to a big boy bed and potty training.  It really helps them learn about the change. They understand what it is coming and helps build it up as an exciting thing, not a scary one.  These are a few of my favorites:

Room Transformation

Is your baby growing up? Are you wondering how to design their toddler room? Read on for great tips on how to convert a nursery to a toddler room with a DIY reading corner and play table craft corner.Decide on the kind of bed you want.  We used a toddler bed since it was the right size and a great price on Amazon. A year later, it’s still working out great.  We considered a twin bed, but ultimately decided on a toddler bed because how low they are to the ground. If you are starting off with a twin size bed, consider putting the mattress directly on the floor.  Or buy toddler rails to attach to the sides. Also, many cribs convert to toddler beds.  If it is not low to the ground or already include a rail, you may want toddler rails for that as well.  If you want more ideas for the room, check out this post on converting your nursery to a toddler room. 

Familiarity

There are some things you want to keep familiar, while also making this an exciting transition to a big boy or big girl room.   The toddler bed meant we could use the same sheets he had on his crib. It was also placed in the same spot his crib was, used the same lamb sound machine and bedtime routines.  Some things in the room we did change.  We added a reading corner (since I moved the glider we read on to the baby room) and added a little play table (no play room so it’s a combo room of sorts).

Get your toddler involved and excited

Talk about being a big boy or big girl and how their bed looks like mommy and daddy’s. Stir up the excitement.  If you want, they can pick out their new sheets or other decor for their room. Listen and empathize with any fears.  Ours needed a night light and someone to lay down with him to help him relax.  

Baby Proof Even More

Look around the room and make sure you have done everything you need to baby proof for a walking baby.  There are things we hadn’t worried about because Miles would never be walking around alone in his room.  Some things to look at:

  • Securing dressers to the wall or any cords that may be dangling.
  • Removing certain toys- there are mornings when he wakes up and pulls about 5 books into his bed, which is fine.  There was a little piano in there that he would jam out on instead of going to bed.  That created too much of a party atmosphere so we took it out. So any toys that are battery operated and can light up or make noises, as well as toys they would need your help with. 
  • Observe any other small changes such as a low sitting lamp that may need to be moved to another room.  

Start the Transition with Nap Time

It’s easier to get them used to their bed in a smaller stretch of sleep.  Also, if they end up not sleeping- it’s not as huge of a loss! You can observe how they do and adjust for night time.  Start your nap or bedtime routine earlier by 30-60 minutes, because there is some excitement around this new freedom that could make them get up and walk around. Resist the urge to go in there if they get out of bed and start messing with stuff. Remember you baby proofed and they are safe.  The novelty wears off and they do fall asleep eventually!

Commit

Know that you may have obstacles, but don’t give up! I’m currently going through some public bathroom fears after potty training.  That’s a whole other post, but it makes me want to give up and slap a diaper on him because of the meltdown he had yesterday.  But we are just taking the public bathroom thing slow and trying new things as we go.

Take down the crib and put it away.   This helps to not go back and forth, just commit to the change.  If your toddler is really attached to their crib, then it can be moved to the side of their room at first.  Ours wasn’t, so he didn’t really react to its absence.  

In the case of a new baby, I didn’t set up the crib in the new nursery right away….but a couple months later.  He was already used to and loved his new bed and didn’t associate the baby with “stealing” his crib or forcing his transition. 

Be Firm and Consistent

Keep a positive outlook and tone.  Give lots of praise and encouragement for every time they sleep in bed, or make any progress. Your toddler may start saying he needs water or another story or to talk to you longer.  You can bring them a little water in bed. Or lay with them in bed.  The key is they stay in bed. We also had to have a 3 book rule for bedtime- so he knows for sure that every night it happens the same way and there’s no negotiating out of it.  

How About

If they get out of bed…

This will happen.  They may even sleep on the floor sometimes.  Just make sure you have a video monitor where you can see what they are doing.  We would watch him on the monitor walking around and we’d be freaking out- wondering if he’d ever go to sleep.  But he did!  And he does consistently.

If they leave their room…

Safety locks on the doors. Confession.  I’ve taught my toddler a lot of things that he can do for himself.  We are working on getting dressed, brushing teeth etc.  But I have avoided teaching him how to open doors.  It’s been kind of great that he can’t get out of his room by himself.  So he usually plays in his room if he wakes up early.  Other parents have gotten safety locks for the doors, or baby gates so that you don’t have to worry about them roaming the house on their own.

If they wake up too early…

Toddler alarm clocks can help tell your toddler know when it’s time to wake up.  Meaning- we will not be coming in your room to wake up until this clock goes off.  So if they wake up early, they know it’s not time and will try to go back to sleep or play independently.

If there is crying…

Comfort them.  They may be scared and their fear is very real to them. Hold them until they calm down and ease them into sleep.  If you need to lay down with them until they fall asleep, do that.  BUT, make sure this happens during the change, not after so it doesn’t become something they absolutely need to fall asleep.  

If they can’t calm down…

You see that your toddler is consistently not going to sleep right away and having a hard time falling asleep- move their bedtime earlier.  There was a while when Miles would play for sooo long after we put him in his room.  It took him forever to fall asleep.  Life and after work activities had kept moving his bedtime back closer to 9pm.  We moved it up to 8pm again and he fell asleep a lot quicker.  Earlier bedtimes can work wonders!

In Conclusion

Don’t give up! It may be an easy transition or it may be tougher.  Each child is different.  And even individual children handle different transitions differently.  Like I mentioned, my son was excited about his new bed and this went well.  And now with potty training, he was crying hysterically yesterday, which made me start tearing up because I felt so helpless and bad for him.  Some transitions are easier than others, but we can help them work through those hurdles of life.  Because it won’t be the last tough thing we’ll have to help them with!  

 

 

DIY Kid’s Craft Table Makeover

Craft corners are a perfect addition to any toddler or play room! I’ve been wanting to put one together since Miles turned 2 (like 6 months ago :-)).  The thing is I didn’t really want to spend a lot of money, nor do we really have a lot of disposable income since I quit my job.  DIY Kid's Craft Play Table Makeover Painter's Tape Design Teal Blue Playroom Toddler Room

Thankfully, my mother in law is obsessed with thrift stores!  She knew I had been wanting a craft play table for a while, so when she spotted one she called me right away.  It’s a great find.  The quality of construction is perfect.  AND it gave me an opportunity to do a DIY table makeover!DIY Kid's Craft Play Table Makeover Painter's Tape Design Teal Blue Playroom Toddler Room Before Picture

As you can see, the table had been through a lot.  It had tons of scrapes, scratches and marker stains.  The color scheme in Miles’ room is black and white with pops of yellow left over from his nursery design.  I really wanted to make the table one of those colors because I’m a bit obsessive with things matching. Probably too much at times, so it’s a good thing that I needed to be thrifty and stay in my budget! Looking through my paint stash from leftover craft projects,  I found two different teal colors. They would add a nice pop of color in the room.

Painting it a solid color would not be exciting enough though! I like to dabble in DIY, but I’m no expert so I went on a quest for an idea that would be easy but still unique.  I also really only had nap time to get this done. So how do you accomplish unique, easy, fast, and budget friendly? Painter’s tape! (Or masking tape in this case) There are sooo many different designs you can create with painter’s tape- from stripes to chevron, to diamonds, oh my!

(I have pinned a bunch of projects like canvas artwork and wall designs on my Pinterest DIY board if you want some painter’s tape inspiration!)

What You Need:

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Step 1:  Wash and Sand

Especially if you bought your table second hand, you have no clue what kind of debris is on it!  I could also tell that this table was painted before, so I wanted to sand off any loose paint.  

Step 2:  Prime

You may or may not need this step.  If you are painting over a light wood or if you are painting something a darker color- it can be skipped.  I did not prime the chairs- as I had a spray paint that covered them completely.  More on that in a little bit. I also only painted the top of the table first, as you can see in the picture. DIY Kid's Craft Play Table Makeover Painter's Tape Design Teal Blue Playroom Toddler Room Before Picture Step 2

Step 3:  Make Design

Since I was using spray paint, I didn’t have faith that I wouldn’t get any on the table. I used a canvas art print as inspiration and started laying down my tape.  I used masking tape instead of painter’s tape because of the smaller width.  The design was pretty much eyeballed, making sure the spaces between were about the same size. I changed things as I went if they didn’t look right.DIY Kid's Craft Play Table Makeover Painter's Tape Design Teal Blue Playroom Toddler Room Before Picture Design

DIY Kid's Craft Play Table Makeover Painter's Tape Design Teal Blue Playroom Toddler Room Design
Completely spray paint the top of the table.  Take off the tape after it’s SEMI-DRY!  You don’t want it completely dry or the tape will bond on the table with the paint.  Peel it off slowly to make sure the lines are straight and no other paint comes with it.

After the top is completely dry, put painter’s tape around the edge. Finish painting the bottom of the table (if needed). If you are using regular paint, you can paint the entire table in the beginning- it took me 3 coats of white! DIY Kid's Craft Play Table Makeover Painter's Tape Design Teal Blue Playroom Toddler Room Step 4

Step 4: Paint

Paint the table and then the chairs.  This was the first time I spray painted something with so many nooks and crannies!  You have to look up, behind, under, over and all around your chairs to make sure you got every part!

Let it dry and you’re done! You have a brand new table!DIY Kid's Craft Play Table Makeover Painter's Tape Design Teal Blue Playroom Toddler Room After Picture

Step 5: If applicable, don’t let it dry near your toddler

Have you ever told a toddler to not touch something because it’s wet??!! Oh man, Miles did not understand that concept at all!  I don’t advise putting yourself in that situation. Since it was painted in an outside area shared by neighbors, I couldn’t leave it out there.  City life- what can you do.  

Step 6:  Embrace Chaos

This is for kids after all.  Things will happen and it’s going to go through rough times.  I definitely thought that I should do this to a different item that won’t get ruined. Lol.  Just so you know that I’m actually letting my toddler play with this, here’s a picture. 🙂 I’ll show you how I organized his craft supplies in a later post!DIY Kid's Craft Play Table Makeover Painter's Tape Design Teal Blue Playroom Toddler Room Playing

What are your favorite DIY projects?

10 Nursery Inspirations: Baby Name with Stripes!

Are you looking for some easy and fun nursery inspirations? There are sooo many cute ways to incorporate your child’s name or initials into their nursery.  And there are even more cute ways to add stripes with their name!  Stripes are a perfect way to add some creativity and fun into a space, in a very simple way.  I knew this was the project I wanted to add to Ellis’ nursery when I was pregnant. I did a lot more DIY projects for my first son Miles’ nursery, but time was of the essence this time around!  Stripes would make a bold statement, make his room look larger, and is a simple technique I could do during nap time.10 Nursery Inspirations Baby Names Wall Stripes Decor Design

The first thing I did was look for inspiration of course!  If I didn’t have a crazy toddler running around, I considered doing an entire wall of stripes as an accent wall.  But that wasn’t in the cards for me.  Stripes give the biggest statement when they are on a large surface like a wall, versus in the pattern of a pillow or crib sheets.  Horizontal stripes make a room look wider, which is what we wanted to accomplish in Ellis’ small basement level room.  Vertical stripes can make a room look taller.  In the end, I decided to do two stripes on the wall behind his crib, with his name in the middle.  How I did it is below!

10 Nursery Inspirations for Baby Names with Stripes!

Okay okay, 9 plus my own! You can find the details of each room by following the link below the photo.  

Calvin’s Nursery

So cool! The letters are made by yarn wrapped around nails on the wall. More detail on their site!

http://projectnursery.com/projects/calvins-modern-blue-gray-nursery/#_a5y_p=4787627

Lucas’ Nursery

The first room I saw that used smaller white stripes to anchor a larger color stripe in the middle.  Couldn’t find a link to the original source, but this was the first picture I saw that inspired my decision!

Andrew’s Nursery

I love the extra step of putting the letters over fabric covered canvases. Full tutorial on her blog post.

http://ctmommyblog.com/diy-nursery-wall-letters/

Elliot’s Nursery

Focal wall with striped design. Doing one wall is perfect to have one statement piece.

http://projectnursery.com/projects/elliotts-blue-grey-nursery/#_a5y_p=1737068

Hudson’s Nursery

I’ve always wanted to stripe an entire room! Maybe one day! Great element for this nautical nursery theme.

http://www.thegraciousway.com/2014/05/the-big-reveal.html

Olive’s Nursery

Another striped room!  This is an Anthropologie lover’s dream- vintage shabby chic. So perfect.  Maybe for my future daughter???

http://projectnursery.com/projects/olives-diy-vintage-inspired-nursery/

Wesley’s Nursery

Cute monogram design made into a wall decal.  The post has a link to the etsy shop where she got the design made.

http://projectnursery.com/projects/wesleys-yellow-gray-elephant-nursery/

Vivienne’s Nursery

Love that the stripes are carried through more than one wall to tie the room together.  

http://projectnursery.com/projects/viviennes-coral-and-gray-nursery

Jack’s Nursery

Love love love the use of different vintage letters! If you have the time, look out for letters while you are out shopping at different antique, vintage or thrift shops. 

http://projectnursery.com/projects/baby-jacks-nursery/

Number 10 is my own baby Ellis!White Nursery Decor Blue and Teal Wall Stripes Baby Name on Wall

White Nursery Decor Blue and Teal Wall Stripes Baby Name on Wall

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The crib was from Miles’ nursery and the glider from his room was also incorporated.  The dresser did not fit, so even though I prefer a dresser over a changing table, this one worked out wonderfully.

I scoured the internet for the perfect letters first and I found what I liked on Amazon.  Because I thought online shopping was amazing before, but as a mom it’s even more essential. I used the size of the letters to decide how wide my stripes would be.  I want his name to be between both stripes, with plenty of extra space above and below.

How to Paint Wall Stripes

First, measure how wide you want the stripes to be. Use a lever to draw three lines across the wall in pencil.  After both stripes are drawn, put painter’s tape along the middle and bottom lines to paint the first stripe.  Do the lighter color first!  After it is almost dry, peel off the tape.  (Whenever you are using tape, don’t let it completely dry or the tape can get bound to the wall)

Wait until the paint is dry since you now have to put painter’s tape on the stripe you painted to do the other color.  Line up your tape on the top and the middle lines and paint your second stripe.

Measure out your letters.  Mine came with a paper version of each letter which was amazing! I used those to measure where they would hang on the wall and then replaced with the actual letter after I hung the hardware.

That’s it!  

This was a great project for a second baby. You know, this way they can’t look back and see all the perfect things you did for their older sibling and then nothing for them.  😉

Have fun designing!

Gray and Yellow Nursery with Easy DIY Wall Art

Dear Moms- the nursery is for you! And the baby of course :-), but  you are the one that will be there in the middle of the night breastfeeding, changing diapers, and generally spending most of the time with your baby.  If it’s your first baby, it can also be a very stressful and sleep deprived time.  This is why a peaceful room that you love is important. If you’re really nesting during your 8th month of pregnancy, like I was, doing some DIY projects for the nursery can be very relaxing! Miles’ gray and yellow nursery answered all of our wishes and more. DIY Nursery wall art, gray and yellow nursery, nursery decor design, gender neutral

That is my two cents- you can totally disagree! There are many rooms in my future full of whatever my sons will be interested in. For this part of their life, they can’t talk so I’ll just do what I want.  Lol. So while I wanted the room to still feel like a nursery, I didn’t necessarily want it to be very “boy” but more gender neutral. There wasn’t a specific theme but more of a color scheme (check out the toddler update!).  Most importantly, it needed to be a calming environment.  

I was super into creating Miles’ nursery.  I looked at tons of nurseries for inspiration, made several DIY projects and searched for the “perfect” items.  

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will make a small commission from anything you buy at no additional cost to you!

Easy DIY Wall ArtDIY Nursery wall art, gray and yellow nursery, nursery decor design, gender neutral

What you Need:

I really wanted a quote or statement on the wall, and I’d seen so many cool ones.  But they were expensive! It seemed a little overboard to spend a lot on the decor after the money that was already spent on the crib and glider.  Stuck in one of our closets was an old canvas print from Ikea with calla lilies.  There was a time it was hanging in my kitchen, but it didn’t really fit anymore.  The colors were a perfect match to Miles’ color scheme of gray and yellow, but I didn’t necessarily want to hang flowers in the room.  The majority of the theme was oversized geometric shapes like circles, stripes and chevron.  

*If you don’t have an old canvas print lying around, you can buy one at a thrift store or on sale at Michael’s or even Ikea!  Just look around until something jumps out at you that would fit with your room’s aesthetic.

After looking through all of my random craft stuff, I found some old stencils.  I started playing with the layout and I could write “Life is Beauty Full” perfectly! It was meant to be.  I had actually loved a piece of art that had this quote, but didn’t want to shell out the $200 for it.

Step 1: Stick the stencils down with mounting putty

This way they can easily be lifted without ruining the canvas.  If you want clean lines, make sure all of your edges are sealed down to the canvas. I wanted a kind of rustic look so I was very carefree about this step.

Depending on how many stencils you have of each letter, you may have to do your art in rows.  I did “LIFE IS” first, and put card stock down over the rest of the canvas so it wouldn’t get any paint on it.

Step 2: Spray paint one row at a time

TIP: If you are going to use the same letter stencil again, make sure it’s dry before you use it again! (For example, I only had one “E” stencil so had to use it for “Life” and for “Beauty”)

Let it dry and that’s it! Easy right?!

Other options:  You could also use letter stickers, or print out letters and cut them out. You can trace the letters onto the canvas with pencil and paint them in.  It’s up to you!

Other DIY Projects

DIY Nursery wall art, gray and yellow nursery, nursery decor design, gender neutral“MJB” initials- I bought these craft letters at Michael’s and they are made of a cardboard type material. I spray painted them with two different yellows.  First, I painted them completely in the lighter yellow first. After it dried, I used painter’s tape to make the chevron design. Then I spray painted the darker yellow.  Gray and yellow nursery with DIY paper circle mobile!

The mobile was also a DIY project, but this one took a lot longer!  I just did it while I watched tv some nights, but here is the tutorial I followed to make it. There are others where people tape the circles or sew them along the entire circle, but this design had great movement! You just sew the string through the center of the cut circle so they flutter beautifully while hanging.    

Gray and Yellow Nursery Overview

Originally, I thought about doing a green and gray color scheme but I didn’t really find anything I liked in those colors. That’s when I found the “not a peep” land of nod sheets and I loved them!  I got the circle sheet and changing pad in gray and yellow.  This inspired the gray and yellow nursery color scheme and also inspired the mobile! (I didn’t like their crib skirt that much for this room so I found a solid gray one) A friend of mine loves gray paint and she showed me “Dolphin Fin” by Behr and it was perfect!

Tip: Before you start your nursery theme or colors, look around and see what is out there.  Find a piece of art or piece of furniture or fabric that you want to use as a point of inspiration.Gray and yellow nursery diy mobile whale art diy initials art

The babyletto crib was perfect for it’s modern lines and the size was great for the room since it’s not very big. The whale’s rustic look was a nice fit on the brick wall (bought on Amazon, not available anymore but this one is very similar). The quilt was wonderfully crafted by my mom and she did an equally amazing one for my second son Ellis (you can see his room and other nursery inspiration here).  

** I’m sorry the pictures are not great.  They were taken a couple of years ago before I decided to start this blog!  His room has transitioned to a toddler room that you can check out here!

Dresser Changing Table

Gray and Yellow Nursery Wall Decal Dresser

This dresser was in my room initially. It came from a great furniture store in Chicago called Nadeau.  I liked the juxtaposition it gave to the modern crib, by adding a distressed vintage look to the room. The straps of the changing pad are screwed onto the dresser so it’s secure, and there was plenty of counter space for all of the other stuff! The rest of the wall seemed bare since so much was above the dresser/changing table.  This inspired the wall decal, which added a great whimsical element.

The frame above the changing pad is full of well wishes that people wrote at Miles’ baby shower.  My sister and friend had such a cute idea of a wishing tree where everyone wrote these notes and hung them on the tree. I wanted to capture the notes in a way that could be seen on a regular basis.Wishing Tree Notes Baby Shower Nursery Decor

The wall shelf was a great addition for it’s practicality and added a nice gray vintage element.  (Not available right now on Amazon, but this one is very similar) The diaper holder was made by one of my best friends for my baby shower.  She initially got it for books, but it was the perfect size for diapers!  The mason jars with the animals glued on top was another Pinterest inspiration.  On the original post, they were spray painted gold which looked amazing! I decided to just leave mine without painting.Gray and yellow nursery distressed shabby chic wall shelf

Glider Reading Corner

DIY Wall Art, Gray and yellow nursery, glider reading corner, ikea spice rack books, yellow ottomanThe room is generally small so it was tough finding a glider that was comfortable but not too big.  The babyletto glider was a perfect fit.  Now it is in Ellis’ room which is even smaller so a great purchase for sure- city living! I used the ever popular idea of turning Ikea spice shelves into book shelves- you can also get them on Amazon!  My baby shower was book themed and I loved that I already had a great collection when Miles was born! The ottoman was from CB2 and the curtains were Pottery Barn kids.  

And that’s the nursery!  The most affirming part was how much my husband fell in love with the room as well.  He asked why I didn’t I make our room that relaxing!