Monday, February 4, 2013

Designing a Foster Kid's Bedroom

 This post could alternately be titled, "How to Create a Bedroom That Works Equally Well for a Boy or a Girl, a Teenager, or a Five Year Old," because that's the look we were going for.

Whew. That's exhausting.

We are approved to foster any child from ages 5-12, boy or girl, any race. That made creating a bedroom for this unknown child a daunting task. In order to keep it simple, we followed a few guidelines that I found here.

Here are the first few pictures: This is the view as you are standing in the hallway looking into the room. (Disclaimer: These pictures are grainy and some of them have a yellowish tint to them. That's what I get for trying to take pictures in the dead of night in a room with poor lighting. )

 Here is the view looking toward the closet:

 And looking back out toward the hallway:
 Basically, we didn't pick a specific theme, other than maybe "use what we've got". Instead of picking a theme, we picked a plain wall color, just a sage green that we had previously used in another bedroom.
I love choosing wall colors, but I wanted this room to be something that could be changed depending on the type of placement that we get; so if we were to get a nine year old girl and she wants a pink bedroom, we can change it with little cost to us. So, don't mind the wall color, that can be changed down the road.

The first thing I did was to make the curtains. They were actually full-sized flat sheets that went on sale at Big Lots around Christmas time. I purchased two sheet sets for $10 each and then just cut them in half and used some no sew tape to hem up the edges. Super easy and way cheaper than buying 4 curtain panels at $15 a panel.

Then we moved in the furniture that we already had in our house. The bed and dresser are antiques that I used when I was a kid. They are awesome pieces of furniture but several decades of use had left them a little chipped and sad looking. So, I got some spray paint and brightened them up a little bit.

I found a cheap mirror from Walmart ($10) that I hung above the dresser, and I gathered up a ton of small picture frames that I had and moved them in. They have small printables and magazine cutouts in them for now, but when we get foster placements they can put in their own pictures of their family and their friends.

Then, we found a small bookcase at Target for $20 and filled it with children's books I've been collecting for the past year, and we put in some fabric bins to hold toys.

The art on the wall above the bookcase is a mix of things I've painted/crafted, and found. This awesome picture of a covered bridge is something that was left in our house by the previous owners, and it was one of the few things that we actually kept because I love it.

 Then there is an abstract type painting that I did in college with a quote that I love on it. It says, "Life is a journey that's homeward bound...".

Above the abstract art, there is a painting that I crafted after seeing something similar on Pinterest. I covered a canvas with Mod Podge (actually it was just plain Elmer's glue which, true to our theme, was something I already had). Then I put pieces of sheet music down and covered it with glue again. After that dried, I cut out a stencil of a bird on a tree and taped it over a portion of the sheet music. Then, I painted the rest of the canvas black. When I pulled off the stencil the bird portion was left unpainted so you can see the music through it.
Then, I just got some puffy paint and I free-handed a quote that I had seen on a welcome mat somewhere but I was too cheap to buy. It says, "Hope is like a bird that senses the morning and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark".

And, since we are on the topic of quotes, and I do love some good quotes, I put some more up to fill the blank space to the right of the bed.

I found them all here because Sarah was gracious enough to share them as free printables. There are so many more to choose from, and I love reading her blog because she always writes so deeply. Here are some close-ups of the quotes.

Last, but not least, was the addition of this little guy, who I snagged for $15 at Goodwill's 50% off sale. Score.

So, that's how we made this bedroom. We didn't want anything to feel too permanent, in case we want to switch up the wall color or something down the road, but we did want it to feel like a space that is cozy and bedroom-like. We are pretty happy with the end result. Not too shabby for a room that cost less than $70 including spray paint and the books and toys.


  1. I was so excited to see this blog post because I'm in the process of putting together our new room for foster kids. And then I was totally flattered that you reference our foster kids bedroom in our last house! (And I'm also slightly saddened that there are more beautiful bedrooms for foster kids out there in the interwebs…someday!) I'll post about our new kids room soon. It's a lot less "pulled together" this time than last time but we do have a bed, curtains, a rug and a chair. I'm hoping to add a dresser, nightstand and/or bookcase, art and a mirror over time.

    This room is really lovely. I'm sure your future foster kid will love it and it's nice that you left it feeling unfinished/temporary (in your mind anyway) so that they're OK with adding kid-specific personal touches. All love all the thoughtful art and quotes.

    1. Thank you!! I can't wait to see how your latest bedroom turns out! I'm so excited for you guys. I know it will look awesome.

    2. It's neat that we're starting out around the same time. I just called our case worker today to come out and do a walk-thru so we can reopen our home. I'm looking forward to following along with your adventure.

  2. Correction: saddened that there AREN'T more beautiful bedrooms for foster kids out there.

    1. I completely agree. I was so thankful for the post that you did originally because we were trying to put the room together, and I scoured Google for ideas, but I couldn't find anything for the longest time. Finally, I found your post and that was so helpful for us. Hopefully we can start a trend and more people will be encouraged to know that it doesn't have to cost a lot if you get creative. We were on a tight budget and we did it, so others can too!

  3. Great post thank you for sharing. Here at The Fitted Bedroom Centre we have lots of inspirational ideas for creating great bedrooms and love to hear of readers' own views and ideas too.