7 smart and creative playroom ideas on a budget

Victoria S.
March 28, 2019
boy sitting on blankets and pillows in a stylish playroom with a tent and a large window We all want a perfect Pinterest playroom—a beautiful, well-organized play space for our kids to create, laugh, and be happy. But not many parents can justify buying 12 rattan baskets, three shelving units, and a plush ottoman all in one day. And that’s ok. Your kids don’t care about the dollar value of their playroom decor. They care about having fun and being kids. The good news is that you don’t have to compromise your aesthetic tastes to create a playroom that’s fun and affordable. Here are some great DIY playroom ideas that make room for kids creative activities at home.

Playroom decorating ideas that don’t cost a fortune

1. Repurpose jars and bottles

From pickle jars to tiny spice bottles, wash them out and keep them. Not only to they make great storage containers for craft supplies like pens, paints, and beads—they also give the room an attractive, eclectic look. You can even turn your jars into craft projects with paint, markers, stickers, and more!

2. Up-cycle shoe boxes

Did you know that you can turn a shoebox into a beautiful storage basket in about fifteen minutes with a hot glue gun, an old pillow case, and some wrapping paper or twine? The colors, patterns, and options are nearly endless—and all of them are cheaper than buying a rattan basket.

3. DIY shelving for small spaces

Nine times out of ten, a piece of MDF and some wall fasteners are going to be cheaper than buying shelves. And they’re not hard to install, either! If you don’t already have tools on hand (screws, a level, a screwdriver), a friend or family member probably does. Try using shelves to create more storage space. Try placing shelves at low heights as an alternative to a table. It's a great way to make room for kids activities in a small space. You can even paint them to blend with your walls—that’ll make the room look bigger.

4. Make your own wall stencils

You don’t have to be an artist to use this easy alternative to expensive wall decals. Just draw your pattern (stars, leaves, whatever your kid likes) on a piece of card stock, cut it out with an exact-o knife, and paint over the stencil. For bigger wall art, like trees and mountains, try using painter’s tape to create the outline on the wall, then paint.

5. Make comfy sitting areas on the floor

Sure, floating egg chairs and overstuffed armchairs are pretty. But if you’re like most people, you already have extra pillows and blankets on hand in a linen closet. Use these to create a super comfy “nest” in a corner of your play area. It makes a great book nook or nap spot. You can even use spare sheets to create a little tent.

6. Paint a wall with chalkboard paint

Not only does a chalkboard wall look striking, it also allows kids to create on a whim and use a huge canvas. Kids love drawing on the walls, and so do adults! A can of chalkboard paint won’t break the piggy bank, and one can will be more than enough. Check out this post for more chalkboard wall ideas.

7. Shop craft supplies from your recycling bin

Looking for affordable activities for kids? Try saving your cardboard boxes, paper towel tubes, sheets of bubble wrap, and more. Paired with tape, paint, or markers, they’re the building blocks for an amazing fort, a pirate’s spyglass, and good old fashioned creative fun. Not only do recycled craft supplies save you money, they also give your child so many more opportunities to use their imagination and create their own craft ideas during playtime. When you put love and effort into your kids room, it shows. Saving money is just icing on the cake of imaginative play, little giggles, and your child’s growing creativity. Making your own playroom decor? Share your great ideas with the hashtag #PlayRelay on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be featured on our blog!  

Start the discussion at our Community forums