Lots of paint, a bit of hardware, piles of pattern and a cheap and easy framed artwork give old pieces new life (in some cases new purpose, too) and offer a small bedroom loads of personality.

Butterfly artwork detail

Count butterflies among the images that never go out of style. Create your own fluttering collection using cutout likenesses in sizes and colors you might not find locally.

Materials for butterfly art

What You’ll Need

  • Large frame
  • Varied images of butterflies printed on an inkjet printer
  • Scissors or craft knife and cutting mat
  • Giftwrap in color that coordinates with decor
  • Spray adhesive

Using an inkjet printer, print a selection of butterflies in various colors and sizes. Look for images on websites that offer royalty-free photos.

Using scissors or a craft knife and cutting mat, cut out butterfly shapes. Place the images within the frame to determine final arrangement.

Butterfly artwork in progress

Remove backing from frame and set aside. Lightly spray the front of each butterfly image and adhere to the back of the glass.

Cut a piece of giftwrap slightly larger than the backing from the frame. Spray adhesive onto backing and apply the giftwrap carefully, smoothing out air bubbles and wrinkles.

Replace glass in frame and attach the backing. Hang on the wall.

Bedding detail

Let the butterfly hues inspire the colorways of neighboring accessories, like these printed shams and comforter.

Wicker elephant before painting

They say elephants never forget, and here’s a wicker one that’s certainly unforgettable. At just $5, he was an antiques mall find that was too good to pass up.

Wicker elephant after painting

Sprayed-on fuchsia paint contributes a vibrant touch of whimsy to this boudoir Babar, who enjoys a second life as a bedside table.

Bed and wicker elephant nightstand

We pulled the nightstand color choice from the pattern in the vivid comforter (quilt and shams from World Market, throw and accent pillow from Target).

There are so many gorgeous bedding choices out there now in affordable price ranges. Keep an eye out for sales and you can pull together a couple of looks to give your bedroom a quick refresh whenever the bedding needs to be laundered.

Headboard before painting

Headboards give a bed presence but may make a strong statement that overwhelms a small space. Enter the brass or metal version, which does the same job as its bulkier cousins but in a light and airy way.

Painted headboard detail

Plus, it’s a snap to refresh metal styles with paint. A quick spritz of Rust-Oleum’s Universal Metallic spray paint and it’s done.

Old wood drawers

Need more storage? Who doesn’t in a small bedroom? Old desk or dresser drawers make great underbed units that roll out of sight but are still handy.

Rolling under bed storage

Spruce them up with paint, aged-brass pulls and casters underneath, and then just slide ’em to hide ’em.

What You’ll Need

  • Old wood drawer
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Latex paint
  • Drill and bit
  • Cup pull in aged brass
  • 4 small casters with screw plates

Remove any old hardware from drawers and fill holes with wood putty. When dry, sand the surface and wipe the entire drawer to remove any grime.

Prime the drawer and let dry. Paint the entire drawer, inside and out, with two coats of latex paint, letting it dry between coats.

Place the cup pull in the center of the drawer and mark the spots for two screws. Drill holes for the screws and attach the pull.

Turn the drawer over and place the casters in each corner of the bottom. Mark the holes in the screw plates. Drill holes for the screws and attach the plates. If the bottom of the drawer is especially thin, insert small (painted) blocks of wood inside the drawer corners so that sharp screws do not protrude into the drawer interior.


© Caruth Studio

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