Boy’s bedroom on a budget

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a boys bedroom. a NellieBellie exclusiveKid’s room’s can be a challenge for most mom’s. It can be expensive to redecorate a bedroom, for anyone. Nevermind a child that will probably outgrow the room in a year. Or the decor, for sure. So, when it became apparent Levi would need his room redone I set out to keep costs down and create something that could grow with him. A boy’s bedroom on a budget of…$150 or so. That’s all I was willing to spend. For new bedding, curtains, furniture…whatever. Obviously, I had to get creative!

The first trick was to agree on a paint color. He desperately wanted a bright blue. I desperately wanted neutral knowing full well that his tastes would change again. Compromise…neutral on 3 walls with a very cool focal wall in bright colors. It helped greatly that Dutch Boy paints have cool titles like Stone Arrowhead. Oh yeah baby…I could kiss Dutch Boy! On top of which…that stuff (Dutch Boy paint) covered those dark green/orange walls in 2 coats. 2 coats!

  • Use neutral colors on the walls to get the most longevity out of the room. Color can be placed in with fabric, stencils, and more.
  • A stenciled focal wall is a fun way to add personality in a temporary way!
  • Use a high-gloss paint in kids rooms to make it easy to clean!

I knew I needed to get rid of the giant bunk bed that was eating up the space in the bedroom but hesitated on what to replace it with. When I asked him what he wanted, he said a pallet bed. ?!? Well, okay! I can spend $8.00 on a couple of pallets. Worse case scenario is I need to buy a proper bed later on. And, the pallet bed looks fabulous with the wood on the wall! And it’s friendly on the budget!

  • Think out of the box when buying furniture! Paint an old dresser, stack pallet’s for a bed, take apart a garage sale bunk bed.
  • Painting furniture is the quickest way to get a “new” look.
  • Add new hardware, or wheels to old furniture to updated it even more!

boys bedroom on a budget: from NellieBellie

Second trick was the budget. I had a bit of money in the blog budget, but not much. I needed to keep the costs under $150. So, we shopped the house and used as much as we could that was already in the room. We even used parts from the bunk bed. Creative lighting, inexpensive curtains, and creative storage ideas helped keep the budget at $120.00. I know…isn’t that great!

  • Before you buy…shop your house!
  • Hardware stores have great shop lights that look great in boy’s bedrooms!
  • Trunks, tool chests, metal lockers, etc…are great storage options for boy’s!

custom "fabric" curtains for a boys bedroom. from

Custom made curtains that cost…$25.00.  We used curtain rods and hardware we already had.

  • dropcloths are a great, inexpensive fabric that kids can customize with Sharpies!
  • if you need curtain hardware…try piping from your hardware store!

doodle on drop cloth's for custom curtains: from NellieBellie

Shopping the house found cubbies and various containers that fit in nicely into the squares . And that whale…oh golly, he’s cute!

  • cubbies, bins, and buckets can be found at garage sales…spray paint them a uniform color.
  • scour your dollar store for small baskets and bins for boys to stash their “special” stuff!

boy's bedroom: from

The dresser needs new knobs…it will happen. But, if I don’t take pictures when I can,  the pictures might not happen! Do you see that ladder on the wall? It is a piece from the old bunk bed. Another repurpose! Eventually it will be filled with knick knacks. Did you ever notice that boy’s knicky knacky things are more rock and frog oriented then girl’s? When cleaning his room I would find a rock, or twig, or piece of leg. He repeatedly could tell me what it was from and why he needed it. Oh boy.

  • reuse old things in new ways.
  • old bunk beds have plenty of wood and parts that can be repurposed!

a boy's bedroom focal wall. from

The focal wall has the fabulous Fish Scale stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. It looks fabulous and gives Levi some color that he desperately wanted! Thanks to them for letting me try out their stencils! This girl is scared of stenciling! Like, pee my pants scared! I am the one that globs, or doesn’t keep it straight, or…something. With the level and sponge roller it was easy and looks great!!! I might have to change my mind about stenciling!

  • try a stencil in an easy pattern for your first time.
  • or…if you are brave…let your kid’s “draw” on the focal wall with Sharpies!

The wood behind the pallet bed…look closely!…it’s the slats from the bunk bed! Yep, I just rubbed some black stain on them to age them a bit and attached them to the wall. So cool! It gives the bed importance and keeps the room looking “manly”. Yes, “manliness” is important when you are a 10 year old boy’s bedroom!

  • pallets, lathe, planks are great touches for boy’s rooms and a great way to cover an otherwise boring wall! No need for art.

closet turned reading nook. with a funnel lightshade. from NellieBellie

When I asked my readers what I should do with Levi’s bedroom I heard a few times…”a reading nook”. Other suggestions were a loft bed and storage. Well, we already discussed the reason for the pallet bed…budget. And the storage? What you don’t see is, along with this closet turned reading nook Levi has a full closet (which we use for toys) and a third closet we turned into the Nerf “bunker”. The closet you see above was being used for linens. He was more then happy to have those linens stored out of his room and the closet turned into something “proper” for a boy. I took the advice and turned it into a reading/DS nook.

  • if your boy’s room has a closet that they don’t use…turn it into a fun little reading space. Or, a Nerf bunker. Or, a gaming closet.
  • duct tape works great on the wall for “stripes”!
  • The cushion in it is a dog bed. If you need a cushion for something, before you spend the big bucks …look in the pet section! I spent $20 on this versus the $40 they wanted for the same things in the “people” department. Best part…the cover is washable.

The light is made from a funnel I purchased and a tractor supply store and light kit from IKEA.
The blue stripes are from duct tape. Yes, I’m obsessed with the stuff.
And his tooth pillow rounds out the nook.

Thank you for the suggestion! He freaked out a bit when he saw this space…he loved it!

boy's bedroom: a NellieBellie exclusive

diy light. from NellieBellie.

I know I’m going to get a few questions about the bed lights. With good reason…they are fabulous! You can read all about them HERE. And each one cost about $12.00. Love that!

Levi is uber pleased with his room! He loves the colors, the bed, and mostly…the nook! Thank you for your suggestions and ideas…they helped make this space fun and practical!


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boys budget bedroom



Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. Kristi

    May 30, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    How did you attach the boards to the wall? Are they permanent? The room is fantastic!!

  2. Kim

    May 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    You, my dear, are brilliant! I love creative+repurpose+cheap…ahem…scratch that, I meant “cost effective”+functional+kid-approved.

  3. Maxwell

    April 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my weblog thus i got here
    to return the want?.I’m attempting to in finding issues to improve my web site!I assume its good enough to make use of a few of your ideas!!

  4. Sarah

    April 23, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Where is the small antlers hook above the bed from?

    • the Bellie

      April 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Actually…that’s a set of antlers we found in our woods that had been shed by a deer the previous season. Sorry we can’t point you towards a store to buy them at!!!

  5. Pam

    November 5, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Sorry if I sound dense – but what is a pallet bed?

    • miznelliebellie

      November 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      You don’t sound dense. It’s just 2 shipping pallets put together to create a bed frame.

  6. Sami

    October 25, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Where is the light in the reading nook from?

    • miznelliebellie

      October 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      I diy’ed that! It’s a light kit (from Menards) inside a funnel using a cool-touch bulb!

  7. Janice

    October 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Careful – those lights can get super hot! Cute make-over!

    • miznelliebellie

      October 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      absolutely!!! We use only cool-touch light bulbs. I think I mentioned that. I better!

  8. Melissa

    October 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Love the slats on the wall…how clever! My boys loved the idea when I showed them :-) What size spools did you use and did you paint them in anyway?

    • miznelliebellie

      October 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      I really don’t know what size spools those are…I want to guess 3 inch? But I’m horrible at sizing things!!

  9. Brianna

    July 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    My favorite part is that he is apparently a “Psych” fan. Also, I’m definitely trying out those dropcloth curtains!

    • miznelliebellie

      July 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Oh yes…he is a huge Psych fan!! He even won a fan prize on the recent slumber party they held on USA. Try them…they are fantastic!!!!

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