It Started With A Simple Stencil

I’ve been wanting to repaint Vista’s room since before she was born.

In fact, I had this whole beautiful nursery planned out.  But V had other plans with her early arrival.

And so her room went unpainted.

Instead I stuck up some Winnie-the-Pooh decals and, later, Disney Princess decals.  But anything within her reach was quickly pulled down.  So, her room was a very stark and drab, with it’s beige walls and white furniture.  And it’s been like that for 4 long years.

I finally decided I was sick of looking at it and made up my mind that this summer we were giving her room a paint job.  It was way past time she had a room fit for a little girl.

So, I did what any geek would do.  I scoured the internet looking for ideas.

The only thing I knew was that decals were out, as far as decorating went.  Other than that, I was at a complete loss as to what to do with her room.

After months (yes.  really.  months) of looking, I finally settled on a design of pale green walls with pink and white accents.

But, once again, V had other plans.

I was looking at a wall stencil site one evening when Vista crawled onto my lap.

She immediately pointed to a picture.  “That.  I want my room to look like that.”

I brought up some other pictures for her to look at, but she wasn’t budging.  She wanted fairies on her wall and the walls better be pink… or else.

So I did what any parent would do.  Caved and bought the stencil package  (never mind the fact I’ve never stenciled anything in my life).

And things just went downhill from there…

This is what the room looked like before we started (well, we had gotten as far as clearing stuff out of her room, removing the horrid shelving units from her closet and wall cubby and patching holes before we had an ‘Oh crap…we need before pics!’ moment)


before1 It Started With A Simple Stencil

Her armoire (complete with tacky Disney Princess decal) and bed.  Her bed was one of those crib- to -daybed-to-full bed deals.  I love her bed.  She, of course, hates it.



before2 It Started With A Simple Stencil

Her massive dresser and the weird in-the-wall cubby hole.  The cubby in the far corner originally had a wire shelving unit in it. It came that way when I bought the place and I just never bothered to remove it, despite my intense loathing for the thing.  I figured since we were pulling it out to paint, it could stay out.



before3 It Started With A Simple Stencil

The closet also had a horrid wire frame shelving unit in it.  Buh-bye.

Vista’s room is fairly small, with several large pieces of furniture.  Too many large pieces.  One of them had to go.  Which kinda made me sad because I really like her furniture.

We made the decision to take the armoir out and got it as far as the living room before realizing that the thing weighed a billion pounds and there was no way we were going to be able to carry it downstairs to the spare bedroom as we had originally planned. We *might* have had an ‘Oh shit’ moment before Bil came up with the genius idea to put it in our kitchen as an extra storage pantry.  Since our appliances are all white, it fits in nicely.  And also makes me want to redo all the kitchen cabinets so that they’re white too.  And maybe refinish the kitchen table.  It’s funny how projects snowball, isn’t it?

Well, Vista’s room was no exception.  It started with a simple stencil kit.  It ended up being a total room makeover.

After pulling the armoire out, we decided it was probably time to get Vista a full sized mattress.  She’s been complaining that her bed it too small for a while.  She’s also been begging me to paint her bed pink.  I really, really, don’t want to do that. Really.  Like I would cry if I had to.  So instead we headed to Ikea to look at new (cheap) beds.  Because we’re giant suckers and our daughter is spoiled.  Oh, like you wouldn’t do the same.

We wandered around the kids bedding section at Ikea for an hour.  The single beds were ugly.  The full size beds would be to big for her room.  Well…this wasn’t working out how we had planned.

We saw a loft bed that we thought might work, but the reality is we would have to make huge modifications to it in order to make it safe for V to go up and down right now.  That sounded like work.  And effort.  Neither of which I’m terribly fond of.  But, wait! We found out that same bed can be flipped upside down!  Twin bed today, loft bed if she ever get’s coordinated enough to handle it.  Those crazy Swedes.

So we had our new bed.  And then we decided, oh what the heck… lets find a shelving unit to go in the closet while we’re here.

And of course a new bed means new sheets and comforter.

Oh, and then we saw this adorable light fixture that was just PERFECT!

(You see where I’m going with this…right?)


That $80 stencil kit turned into a $1500 complete room reno.

Which we are going to invoice her for on her 18th birthday.  Plus the cost of labor, because ZOMG it was a lot of work.



This is how the room turned out (and it’s still a work in progress).



after1 It Started With A Simple Stencil

The new bed.  I hate the canopy on it.  I wanted to do some pretty pink drapes or something more feminine.  V and Bil love the ‘tent’.  I totally got out voted.

The walls look like a pale pink in this picture…they’re actually quite a bright pink.  I had a bit of buyers remorse on the paint once we got the second coat on, because, ZOMG, it’s a lot of pink.

On the to-do list is to paint the wooden bed frame in either a dark pink or white (what say you, my readers?).  I just ran out of time this weekend.



after2a It Started With A Simple Stencil

The ugly cubby was painted a darker pink and turned into a little reading nook.  I still need to find and put up some little book shelves on the far wall of it.

We ended up, with taking the armoire out and the new furniture arrangement, being able to put V’s toy kitchen in her room.  And she still has more floor space then she had previously.  Bonus.



after2 It Started With A Simple Stencil

A close up view of the cubby and the wall stencil.  V was totally head over heals in love with this mushroom stencil.  I’m pretty sure that means she’ll be a drug addict when she’s older.



after3 It Started With A Simple Stencil

Rather than a shelving system, typical of closets, we opted for a wooden bookcase type unit.  I like how it recesses into the closet, but still has plenty of storage space.



after4 It Started With A Simple StencilThe stencil as you walk into the room.  I have to say I’m really happy with the look of the stencils.  They can be a bit of a pain to place on the wall properly, then time consuming to paint (especially if you want to layer them).  But the final results are amazing and totally worth the effort.

I only had time to get a couple stencils on the wall, but I will be adding more in the weeks to come.

Overall, I’m happy with how things turned out (I could have done without the attached price tag, though, but hey).

Now… to do something about those kitchen cabinets…



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32 Responses to It Started With A Simple Stencil

  • Deidra23 says:

    That looks awesome!! Can I hire you? A’s room needs some help ;)

    PrincessJenn Reply:

    lol. sure. for a complete obscene amount of money I’d be happy to help you out.

    Deidra23 Reply:

    @PrincessJenn, oh.. how about eternal gratitude?

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    That would be an aaaaaaawful lot of gratitude.

  • Ashlee says:

    I love it!!! You did a great job! V is one lucky little girl to have a Mommy and Daddy that will put so much care and effort into such a great room for her. You guys kick some major a**!!!

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    We might have decided that she’s stuck with fairies until she moves out of the house because hell will freeze over before we attempt this again. :D

  • Dawn says:


  • Kel says:

    Looks fantastic…I agree can I hire you…not just for Sammi’s room but for my whole house. I wish I was crafty enough to do stuff like this. :)

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    I am so not the person you want to hire. I don’t have an interior design bone in my body. I wish I did. I would love to be one of those people who can magically make a room look fabulous. I follow a whole bunch of DIY type blogs and I covet their creativeness.

  • Michelle says:

    Looks wonderful!! I keep eyeing that Ikea bed myself (I love the blue tent and the fact that it can be a low bunkbed).

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    I have to say it’s a really good bed. It’s definitely solid and surprisingly comfortable and spacious.

  • Meghan says:

    I love it! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the boy’s new rooms. Are all decals out or just the cheapy character themed ones?

    I vote for a white bed.

    And now I’m off to research boy appropriate stencils.

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    I would stay away from the character themed ones only because 6 months from now they’ll be interested in some new show.

    But if they’ll leave the decals on the wall? I’d definitely go the decal route. A lot less work and less permanent.
    I love some of the decals this site has (not your typical fluffy kid stuff)

    The other decal site I really like is this one:

    But if you think they’ll pull the decals off, then definitely go the stencil route. The site we got V’s stencils from has some cute boy rooms. And they also have decals as well as stencils.

  • angi says:

    Good job, you! I’m kinda with you on the tent, but that is totally a kid thing. But the work you did on the stencils and such is FANTASTIC. I love the room!

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    Thanks! Yeah, I think the tent is a hit right now because of the novelty of it. What I may do at some point is get some nicer fabric and sew her a new tent

  • As far as painting the bed goes, since you seem open to pink or white, I’d go ahead and let V decide. Though, since the old bed was white and she wanted it pink, I’m betting she’ll go with pink again.

    PrincessJenn Reply:

    @Walkingborder (Karen),

    Very good point. I probably should ask her and you’re right, the answer probably will be pink.
    I’m totally cringing at the thought of adding even more pink to the room.

    Walkingborder (Karen) Reply:


    Yeah, that is a lot of pink. But her response will probably make it worth it.

    Walkingborder (Karen) Reply:


    You might also be able to work in some brown curtains that match the fairies to break it up some.

  • punkinmama says:

    Love the room! Especially the reading nook! When I saw the first picture of it, I thought, “I’d totally turn that into a reading nook!” and then you did! We’re so smart! :)

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    We are freakin brilliant, is what we are.
    And quite possibly addicted to book nook pictures on Pintrest.

  • Lisa says:

    It looks so cute. Perfect little girl’s room. I love it!

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    Thanks! Part of me wishes it wasn’t so pink, but hey… V is nothing if not a girly girl.

  • tomthegirl says:

    oh my gosh, jenn! what a fantastic job!!!! i cannot believe you were able to pull all of that together yourself! i’m impressed!
    just one question: can you PLEASE come over and do my room next?


    PrincessJenn Reply:


    Thanks love! I can’t believe it either. I think the stars must have been in alignment with my bank account that weekend or something.

  • Melissa says:

    LMAO! Good job.

  • SmugMama says:

    I love it! Cna I ask where you got (or what kind) the little play kitchen? I want to get one for my girl, but the plastic ones all suck! I want something more wooden if possible. What do you and Vista think of the one that you guys have?

    PrincessJenn Reply:

    Oh I know what you mean. I HATE those plastic kitchens, so I looked high and low for a nice wooden one. We finally ordered this one from Costco online. It’s a Kid Kraft kitchen and we’ve been really happy with it. It’s taller than most of the plastic kitchens and very sturdy and durable. V and her friends love it.
    This is the particular one we ordered on the KidKraft site:

  • utah hostage says:

    I cringed a little at your final cost too, but it looks adorable! Awesome job!

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    OMG! I *love* it! I want a room like V has!

    So happy-pants you turned the cubby into a reading nook: I was totally going to suggest it, but you beat me to the punch. You did an awesome job! :)

  • duuuuuuuuude, way to bust out this incredible talent you have! it looks amazing!!!! i bet V is happy as a peach in her room. hell, i wanna hang out in her room (near the mushroom fairy).

    well done, mama.

  • colormeroo says:

    Very cute! Great job with the stencils! :)

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