Saturday, July 3, 2010

DIY Princess Themed Bedroom by Heidi Panelli

If you have little girls, brace yourselves.  This is perhaps the most glaringly girlie, most pink, most dainty-princess-y little whimsical fairytale land of a bedroom you will ever see.  And get did not even cost a fortune in mass-produced licensed Disney princess decor to pull off.

This is my niece's new bedroom, created by none other than my very creative sister, who recently transformed a room in her basement into this magical room fit for a princess.  (Yes, those creative genes do run rampant in our family.)

She was kind enough to allow me to share her incredible work with all of you mommies out there in the blogosphere.  Okay, so you may not have the artistic ability to paint a perfect silhouette of Cinderella's castle on a hill, but there are some elements of her project that you may want to attempt if you have a frilly little pink bundle of joy yourself!

I am going to paste her own comments and descriptions of how she created various elements:

The trunk was my old trunk from college. For safety we padlocked it so the girls couldn't go inside it. I painted placemats on top of it & spray varnished the paint job so they could have tea parties.

"The end table was from was bare wood that I painted & sprayed clear coat over before assembling...cost $10 new.

The wavy mirrors are $14 per two pack at IKEA (not bad!).

The canopy (you'll see a more finished photo where the sides are tied back...held to the wall w/ command 3M hooks)...the fabric is the shear curtains that come in a two panel pack at IKEA for $4.99, I strung them on extra cord I had cut from blinds (sturdy!) and tied on. Then pinned some cute ribbons to it. The top part is actually a wall shelf turned upside down (from Savers). My other idea I was looking for was a planter...any type of wire frame or plastic wall planter would also work for a cute top. [ID Mommy comment: You can find tons of this ornate, gold wall hanging stuff at thrift stores!! Painting them white sure made them perfect for this room!!]

She specifically requested roses for her room. The fake roses I cut shorter w/ a wire cutter & made the sharp wire ends safe by adding a dollop of hot glue to the ends. The kids love them! She likes them in the wooden vase by her bed & they use them to decorate their tea party table.

Light fixture was from Menards $30

The closet knobs were bare wood, a few bucks from Menards, painted to match the pink walls.

Wall hooks for the dresses was from IKEA,

The flower light was from IKEA (put on the wall with cord molding from Menards to hide the cord & make it safer).

The cabinet is covering the power panel/breakers, so I removed the handle and added a lock.

The princess pictures are free downloadable computer wallpaper from Disney that I printed out & glued jewels onto.

The curtain over the doorway is a dowel rod I cut to fit & got hardware for holding up a closet rod. The pink curtain was another find from Brand Name Deals.

More comments & Tips:
There is a ton of space under her bead. By going with a platform bed instead of a box spring bed, and using bed raisers (both bed and raisers from IKEA...bed was $49) that are mostly hidden w/ a bedskirt, there's plenty of space under there for 3 large rubbermaid tubs that hold toys.

I purposely painted most of the room bold colors that could easily convert to an older kids room if she gets tired of the princess theme. I'd just have to paint over the castle wall and maybe the white decorative lines, switch out some decorations, curtains & bedding and the room could change dramatically...adding lime green, or black for instance would make it a cool teen room.

And someday when we can afford it, we'll remove that blue carpet that came with our house!
...oh, and you're right about "super fancy"...that was more my goal than to find every Disney theme thing I could. The licensed character stuff is very expensive! But I looked for things that tie together with color (i.e. the curtains and bedding are totally different brands, but look like they belong together!), and looked for things that, when painted all the same, would tie it together (the candle holders, shelf, and picture frames were tacky and mis-matched, but I washed them in warm soapy water, sprayed them w/ rustoleum primer, then rustoleum canvas white gloss paint & suddenly they were a matching set!). I looked for things that were fancy, girlie, pink, "Victorian," whimsical, and even a little sophisticated.

I only used 3 shades of pink, plus a warm white (dutchboy, lambswool white, cabinet & trim paint) for the trim. The darkest pink makes the room feel luxurious and the white really pops against it!"


Okay, back to you, ID Mommy...

So there you have it...a do-it-yourself princess room that blows away anything that could be bought in a store, and is surely the only one like it on the planet.  Awesome.  And for those of you who are thinking, "wow, this lady has too much time on her hands..." stop right there.  That is my hugest pet peeve when people say that about me too.  Heidi is one of the busiest mommies I know, running several of her own businesses (including freelance design work, a restaurant with her chef husband, and BusyBodies among other online businesses and blogs!), while also somehow juggling motherhood of THREE girls.  Yup, she's busy, and she manages her time well.  That or she never sleeps.  Like myself, I think it's a bit of both, coupled with a brain full of unending project ideas and an overwhelming drive to complete them all.  Thanks, Heidi, for sharing this little corner of your basement with us!


  1. haha, thanks for defending me on the time issue. I did put off laundry and housework for a couple straight weeks, gated off the room, and was sure to let both girls come in from time to time to "help" mommy paint. And, of course, worked late at night. Speaking of...time for bed :-)

  2. I found this on pinterest and loved it! Did you have some sort of stencil for the mural of windows/castle or did you freehand it?

  3. She did actually freehand it! But, then, she is a professional illustrator and graphic designer. If you can get your hands on a projector though, you could find any image and shine it on the wall to trace, which works great!



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