Monday, January 2, 2012

Mini Man Cave

We have finally finished the mini man cave!  The glow in the dark dinosaurs have retired and I do have to say that I'm sorry to see them go.  Here's a before picture (excuse the mess. . . we were starting to clean out the room before I thought to take a before picture)

And the after:

Yup, those are the roman shades I made (tutorial in the next post).  See them as curtains in the photo above?

This was a ton of fun to do with my little guy this vacation.  He's ten now and interested in all things having to do with power tools, paint and loud noises.  This room had it all!

We were trying to do it on the cheap since this was something we hadn't budgeted for.  He mentioned it to me at the beginning of December and I started looking around and planning.  I saw a great room on the site Pinterest and decided to copy it as much as we could on a low budget.  It doesn't look much like the photo but we like it!

Here's the quick and easy of what we did:

We stripped the wallpaper off and painted the walls.  I paid extra and got the Behr paint with primer combo. . . LOVE IT!  No priming and you can't even tell the walls were two toned.  I could have gotten by with one coat but had the extra paint (and had a lot of somewhat questionable help along the way) so I stayed up late and did it right with two coats.

We took a trip to Denver to see family and went to IKEA.  Love the place!  The headboard is made out of two BestA bookcases.  They are quick and easy to put together. . . my ten year old literally did one himself.  The footboard is also a BestA bookcase.  I attached a 2x4 to the base in the back to extend  under the bed.  Now it can't topple.  The other two bookcases are attached to the wall.

The middle part of the headboard is just a board with some trim.  The middle part lights up. . . I used these.  Check out WalMart's Holiday clearance because you can get them at 75% off.  It makes it less than $2.

Drill five big holes in the board and insert the lights through.  They are on a spring clip thing.

I stained my board which turned out to be unnecessary because I decided to add a trim piece.  Fasten your board across the top.

At this point, I ran an extension cord down and plugged it into a standard lamp dimmer.  Please note that I am not an electrician and I am not saying this is the right way to do it or this is how you should do it. . . this is just how I did it.  Be smart, people!  I used a 3M strip to attach it to the side of the headboard.

At this point, I brought out the air compressor and the nail gun and stapled up the trim.  It hid the wires on the top and covered the bulbs.

The desk is a pre fab corner desk that looks like it's all pipes and boards.  The magnet board on the other side of the bed is actually an oil drip pan from WalMart ($9) and I used the 3M strips to hang that, too.  He loves his room and, for the time being, it is clean.

And the "If I did it again" section of my posting:

1.  I wouldn't use the holiday lights.  They're cheap but you need all five on the brightest level for any reading.  The dim is perfect for a night light but he doesn't need one.  I would splurge and buy the thirty dollar set of lights that is supposed to go under the cabinets for task lighting on counters.

2.  I wouldn't use as dark of paint.  He wanted a chocolate brown, I wanted a light gray.  We compromised to this "pebbled beach" color.  It's a little too dark for my taste.  I would pull mommy rank and get the lighter color in there.

3.  Again, with the roman shades.  I would put the pull to the front so he had an easier time opening and closing it.

4.  I would buy one additional shelf per bookcase.  I had to order those in which is why there's the big gap in the one bookcase.  Those should be here in a few days.

I think that's it!  He's loving his room and I'm loving that he's happy.

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