About Alaina Frederick

Alaina Frederick is the Assistant Blog Editor here at Mom's Talk Network.

Redecorating Your Child’s Room: More Than Just a Craft Project

Sooner or later your child will want to redecorate his or her bedroom. The adorable little lamb wallpaper they’ve had on the walls for the first 11 years of their life is just not going to cut it. They need something cooler and less babyish. This is a great opportunity to help give your older kids an updated space, and get to spend some more time with them in the process.

Some things just won’t change. Girls will probably still gravitate to bright colors and anything sparkly. It can be harder for boys to pick out a decorating scheme so they might just keep it short, like blue or stripes. Ask your kid to do some research on what kind of styles they like. Have them pay attention to the bedrooms they show on their favorite TV shows or movies. Clip a few pictures from magazines or print some from the internet. Talk about the choices together and decide on a new direction.

Make Decisions Together

Go shopping together. Start with new linens and bedding. It’s so much easier to match paint to fabric than fabric to paint. Let them pick out the color or print. If your daughter wants to paint the walls hot pink, try to meet her halfway with a lighter wall color and hot pink bedding.

The good news is you don’t have to get rid of everything in the room and buy all new stuff. You probably don’t need all new furniture. Breathe new life into their old dressers and side tables with fresh paint. Kids will start having to take home more and more homework as they get older, so a desk is a good investment. Check out thrift stores and garage sales for desks or long tables.

Move Furniture Around – Make Room for Storage

The floor plan of the room will also change. Kids will need less open floor space to build giant Lego towers and Barbie cities. Soon they will want their own space to hang out with their friends. Fun, affordable seating like bean bag chairs or ottomans are perfect for a tween space.

Storage is essential for a tween bedroom. Kids will start to accumulate more clothes and will need more closet space. If closet space is tight, consider installing an extra hanging rod in the closet or hanging fabric shelves. Give your son or daughter a laundry basket and put it in plain view so they know to use it! IKEA is a great place to look for any kind of storage solutions from shelving to under the bed bins.

Just a Few Keepsakes

Although your child might want a more mature bedroom, they aren’t ready to get rid of all of their favorite childhood treasures. Trophies, collectibles, and stuffed animals all have a soft spot in their hearts. Provide high shelves for them to store their favorite items, without having them in the way. You may also choose to leave just a few of their most prized childhood possessions to display and put the rest in storage. Take the time to work on a project for your child’s new room together. Make a photo collage with pictures of friends and family.

Although tween style is always changing, and you want your kids to express themselves, you don’t want to revamp the room every year. Make sure that they can grow with their choices. Add fun, low cost items (beanbags, lava lamps, and posters) that can be replaced without a fuss. Stores like Target offer inexpensive products with a teen slant that your kids are likely enjoy.

So tackle the transition from baby to big-kid by redecorating your child’s room together. Not only will it help them feel more mature, but it’s an opportunity to get to know your child as an individual with his or her own set of ideas, preferences and interests.

This article was written by Amanda G a writer for Erie Construction. You can follow Erie Construction on Twitter.


Decorating Your Child’s Dollhouse With Household Items

For a little girl, a dolls’ house is a magical present, even now, in the age of DSs and iPads and dolls’ houses are still incredibly popular, both as toys and as collectibles. Although they can be quite expensive, it is quite easy to buy a cheaper one or a second hand one and customise it.

This is a fun activity that you can do with your children on a rainy day, and you can be as creative as you like. And the best part is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money!

So, here are some tips and ideas for decorating your dolls house using craft supplies and bits and pieces you can find round the home. You’ll need the following:

  • Fabric offcuts
  • Old magazines
  • Glue
  • Scissors and/or craft knife (keep away from little fingers!)
  • and any other bits and pieces you can find!

The first step is to give the dolls’ house a good clean out using a soft cloth and some warm soapy water, especially if it’s second hand. Dust and grime can stop wallpaper and carpets sticking properly, plus, it’s more hygienic! Once this is done, you’re ready to go!

Wallpaper

For wallpapering your dolls’ house, you can buy offcuts of real wallpaper from a DIY shop, cut patterns or pictures you like out of magazines, draw your own design, even find a pattern you like on the internet and print it out… there are tons of different options.

When you find a pattern you like, cut to fit and stick to the walls using a strong glue (be careful, this can get very messy!!). Leave to dry for a few hours, and you’ll have a beautifully wallpapered dolls’ house!

Carpets/flooring

For carpets, again, you could use offcuts, but these can be quite thick.

A good alternative is to go down to your local fabric shop or craft shop and buy some offcuts of material. For example, you can buy felt in lots of colours, which really gives a nice warm feel to your dolls house.

You can also use leftover fabric to make curtains, rugs, even bedcovers for dolls.

If you don’t want to carpet in your dolls’ house, there is still so much choice. You can even buy very thin “floorboards”! Otherwise, you can buy mini-tiles and lay them (although this is fiddly and time consuming and might not be as interesting for the littl’uns), or you could buy textured paper or card from a craft shop. Once again, cut to fit and stick down.

Accessories and furniture

Have a look round the house for bits and bobs. When I had my Sylvanian Families manor house, years ago, which I used as a home for all of my dolls, I mixed together all sorts of bits and pieces that I found lying around at home.

I made armchair covers and curtains out of old hankies. I filled the tiny jars with seed beads, sequins and bits of Fimo, to look like food. I used clear nail polish to “varnish” furniture. And I even cut little photographs of bands and actors (mainly from Neighbours!) out of magazines so that my Sylvanian Families and their assorted friends could be cool and have “posters” on their walls!

Here are some other tips for making furniture:

  • A toothpaste tube lid makes a great wastepaper bin or lampshade. And a golf tee is a good lamp base!
  • Ribbons or bits of embroidery thread can be used as furniture trimmings or curtain tiebacks.
  • Use empty matchboxes to make chests of drawers. Just paint them or cover with fabric and stick beads on for handles.
  • The stick from a cotton bud (Q-tip) can be used as a mop handle (with some white wool for the mop head) or as a hanging rail in a wardrobe.

Finishing touches

For a really nice finishing touch, your local craft shop is a good place to visit for pretty things to decorate your rooms and furniture.  Buttons and beads, flowers, ribbons, mini stickers, even tiny plants and fences can be found here. And they’ll really make your dolls’ house look amazing!

There’s really so much you can do, so if it’s the school holidays and it’s raining outside, why not spend the day decorating? Roll up your sleeves, get the kids to go on a “treasure hunt” to find objects they can use, and get decorating!

Helen Laird writes for Sylvanian Heaven, a family run, Nottingham based company who sell new and second hand Sylvanian Families online.


Get Your Spook On!

I came across the Craft Passion site while looking for patterns for crochet blankets and I just have to highlight some of the amazing and super fun projects she has for kids! Fair warning that once you start exploring the site it’s hard to pull yourself away. She must use the same time lapse trick that Facebook uses.

Mummy Pencil Holder
This pencil holder just requires a little bit of cardboard in the shape of a tube, some white fabric, of course googly eyes and a few other essentials. Kids can have fun in wrapping their tubes and glueing the eyes on and once it’s done you always know right where the pencils are!
Floating Ghost Lights by Craft Passion
Ghost Lights
Okay I’ll admit I am more than impressed with this creative use of ping pong balls and lights. Not only do kids get to see something used in a unique fashion but hello you get to mod podge. That right there is warrant enough to make a few dozen sets of these super cute floating ghost lights.

Candy Corn Memo Holder
Been hanging around the water cooler at work a lot lately – take those cups with you! This super cute memo holder that looks like yummy candy corn is a great project to do with the kids. You’ll have to help with the wire but the gluing and twisting of the yarn is totally kid-friendly. It’ll be a small fight on who gets to do the googly eyes and the funny mouth but it’s totally worth it!


DIY Artwork Display, Halloween Inspiration, and Bookmark Love

The temperatures are quickly changing and many will spend more time inside – now is the perfect time to get your crafting tote out and dig in.

Photo by Vicki of 'From One Mom to Another'

  • Not sure what your little one should be for Halloween? These delightfully adorable costumes are sure to get your creative juices flowing. BamBam…need I say more!
  • It’s only the third full week of school for my little ones and the piles of drawings and art projects from school have filled every spot on the refrigerator that is available. This creative idea to display your kids artwork is perfect and will look great on our bookshelves.
  • If turning the pages of a book to discover the adventures on the next page isn’t excitement enough for your little one this bookmark that kids can make themselves is sure to excite. Nothing makes a child prouder then to open a book and see their own handy work (coloring on the pages doesn’t count LOL).
  • I absolutely love all these great ideas from making scarecrows together to having fun with decorations – even some fun with food to help the family have a harvest party filled with fun!


Autumn Activities, Printables, & Craft Ideas

You don’t need to be a teacher or a homeschooling parent to enjoy the great resources featured at Apples 4 the Teacher.  There is ample ideas for you to put to use on rainy days or those lazy Sunday afternoons and I just had to share it with you today.

The Autumn activities for kids features reading list suggestions, fall craft ideas, fall coloring pages, even short stories and poems to help bring the season indoors. Have you done some fall-themed projects with your kids? We’d love to have you share them in the comments below!


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