Our modern kids playroom makeover features this under stairs closet turned dress up nook featuring DIY faux wallpaper made with my Cricut!
We finished off the kids playroom space over a month ago and today I’m so excited to share this fun DIY faux wallpaper tutorial and the design if you want to make it yourself! It’s got a bit of a woodland creature vibe with fun animals that my kids helped pick out. And the best part about it is you can customize it to your kids favourite animals (we added some kitties even though I know they’re not in the woods!) and colours to match your decor!
So today I’m sharing the transformation of this space, plus a full tutorial so you can make your own faux wallpaper in partnership with Cricut. As always, I only work with companies I truly love and if you’ve been following Lemon Thistle for any amount of time, you’ll know I love Cricut! Find all my policies here.
Let’s take a look at this little nook before just to remind ourselves what a glow up this is. It went from a totally useless under stairs closet to… the most fun dress up nook! We have a full storage room and a utility room so this space really wasn’t being used. We had the kids dress up clothes in a hamper in here for the past year or so but the space itself was pretty… gross.
When we had a flood last year and new carpet put throughout the basement, we pulled the door off and trimmed it out to have the carpet extend to this space. My daughter picked out the paint colour from what we had sitting in our storage room (she surprised me with this pick, I thought for sure it would go pink!).
The kids helped me paint and then they took turns searching Cricut Design Space for animals they thought looked cool. I love that it’s so easy even they can navigate their way through the library!
As it came together, I scored this light on clearance from a local lighting boutique and we were able to use some decor from our last house that hadn’t found a home yet. It’s honestly better than I could have imagined! But the showstopper is for sure that ceiling. So… let’s chat about how to make it yourself!
SUPPLIES FOR FAUX WALLPAPER
- Animals Design (click here to use mine!)
- Removable Vinyl (see note below about permanent option, I used Clay)
- Transfer Tape
- True Control Knife
- 12×24 Mat
- Cricut cutting machine (any one that works with Design Space!)
- Scraper for application
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose the designs you’d like in your wallpaper. If you’d like the same wallpaper as me, you can GET THIS DESIGN HERE. This design is using images included in Cricut Access so if you’re subscribed to that it’s totally free for you!
If you’re choosing your own designs (imagine this with underwater creatures and some mermaids!), I suggest searching for your animal with the words ‘outline’, ‘doodle’ or ‘line art’ to get this style of illustration! Some things to consider. I let my kids add any animals they liked. I then went through and deleted any that were ‘draw’ files or print then cut and narrowed it down to cut designs that fit with our loose theme. You can see from the sidebar what those other image types look like.
Once you’ve picked your animals, now it’s time to size them! With more detailed designs, it’s important not to go too small since those lines will get pretty fine. I keep a ruler at my desk when I’m designing and deciding how big things should be.
As you add designs, they’ll likely default to different colours or shades of grey. I find clicking over to the Color Sync tab in the layers panel and then dragging them all to one shade is the fastest way to take care of that.
Then you can hit make it! Here’s where it gets a little time consuming but super rewarding. You can save so much material just by arranging the designs on your mats more strategically. Rotate, shift, even move mats as much as needed to pack your designs into less mats without overlapping any designs. I find using a 12×24 mat helps. I was able to get this entire project onto ONE 12×24 mat. I think I only deleted one animal! To move a design between mats, click on it, then the three dots in the top corner and choose ‘move object’ then select the mat you’d like to move it to. Arrange the large designs first, then squeeze in the little ones around those.
Then you can cut it… and weed this beast! Weeding was time consuming, but my kids all enjoyed helping. They’re remarkably more patient with weeding than I am! Even the three year old helped on some of the larger designs.
Once they’re totally weeded, I applied transfer tape to the full sheet of decals before cutting them to size. I cut them to size using the TrueControl Knife to get in those small gaps since I’d packed the designs pretty tightly on the mat. This uses so much less transfer tape than if you cut the designs apart before applying it.
When it comes to applying the decals, my kids enjoyed helping with this too. I recommend peeling the design off the backing for them and letting them place them, then helping them peel back the transfer tape. I would use a scraper to really press down the design onto the wall before removing the transfer tape. Peel the transfer tape back over itself instead of away from the wall to avoid peeling up the transfer.
I used a removable vinyl to make changing the space up when my kids outgrow the dress up space easy. You could use permanent vinyl if the surface you’re applying to is going to get more wear (like the lower half of a wall in a space like this). You can still remove permanent vinyl from walls using a hair dryer! The color of vinyl I used is a new fave. It’s called Clay and it’s one of the premium vinyls– it’s such a soft, beautiful color and matches our light perfectly.
I put the larger designs on first and added the smaller flora details to fill in any gaps. I love the tiny mushrooms in this design!
That’s it! I’m so so happy with how it turned out. It’s such a magical little space now thanks to this faux wallpaper made with my Cricut! And so much more affordable (1 roll vinyl!) than wallpaper!
Want to see the rest of the playroom makeover? We actually made over the full playroom for under $100! You can see that YouTube video right here. Also! Check out that embroidery hoop DIY here :)
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