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My not-so-little-anymore-guy recently turned twelve, and over the last year he has grown like a weed (hello, size 13 in freakin men’s shoes!) He has now surpassed his teenage sister and his mom in height, and he is well on his way to catching up with his stepdad. Needless to say, his little boy room wasn’t quite cutting it anymore, and we had to do a bit of a bedroom makeover. He is at that in-between stage where he mostly wants be a teenager but isn’t quite ready to give up his legos and nerf guns. So, we had to find a way to make his room more teen looking but still have space for the toy storage. Not the easiest of tasks, but I think we managed it fairly well.
Our overall theme for the room was desert camo. He has been obsessed with the stuff for years!
Painting the Walls
He wanted his room to have textured paint so that it looked like sand. Seriously, I have never seen a child be so happy about some dang paint! My husband, on the other hand, was cursing about that paint for weeks. Guy at Lowe’s: “Oh yeah! Easy to use. I did my dining room in it with no problem!” Yeah…about that.
Tip: Paint the entire room with a non-textured version in the same color then do a coat of the textured paint because it does not cover very well. It took nearly two gallons of the textured to cover the baby blue previously painted on the walls, and there are still a few spots where you can almost see the blue peeking through. For comparison, his sister’s room, that is basically the same size as his, took less than half a gallon to paint to go from purple to gray. Side note: the textured walls will take the skin off of your body should you accidentally brush your arm or leg against it. BUT he loves his paint so much. I suppose that is the point, right?
IKEA Bunk Bed Hack
His little boy room included this IKEA bunk bed set. When I bought it for him, he was just a kindergartener, but towards the end of 5th grade, he was having a very hard time getting in and out of it. The bottom bunk was way too low, and he basically had to roll in from the floor. Getting into the top bunk usually involved him hitting his head on the ceiling when climbing the ladder. So, basically, we just cut the bottom bunk off. We measured his sister’s standard twin bed to see how high from the floor it should be, then just hacked off that bottom bunk! FInally, we stacked his two thin bunk mattresses to make one super comfy twin mattress. A good quality mattress cover holds them together quite nicely.
He already had the bedding, a previous Christmas gift from his grandmother. She and I decided that it would be better to get things in the color scheme of desert camo instead of getting the actual camo pattern because he would be less likely to tire of it.
He needed a place for all his books, Lego ships, and other odds and ends. My original plan was to DIY some pipe shelves, but my husband wasn’t too keen on the idea of screwing them into the walls and floors. So, he built him a sturdy wooden bookshelf, and I added metal casters to give it a more industrial feel (I will still get my pipe shelves somewhere in this house!)
We decided to leave it the natural wood color instead of staining to better match his bed. He has a huge collection of Legos and minifigs, so I made him a little Lego stand to display some of his favorites on his shelf. He likes to rotate the characters out from time to time.
Nerf Gun Board
The Nerf gun pegboard is really the piéce de résistance. He refers to it as his arsenal. Like so many other amazing ideas, I found this one on Pinterest while searching for Nerf gun storage. We had a bunch of pegboard in the garage, and after some tool shuffling, we had a piece large enough to handle the bulk of his gun collection.
Since we were sticking with the camo theme, we painted it black and Army green. We used the black on the entire board first to evenly cover over the original white, then used painter’s tape to make a border before using the green.
The painter’s tape pulled off some of the finish, all the way down to the pressed particle board underneath, but it gave it a sort of worn and scratched up look that my son says is more authentic. Accidental bonus! We used the regular metal hooks that would normally hang tools to get all the guns up there.
For the ammo bin, I sprayed the front and lid of an oatmeal container with silver spray paint. While it was drying, I cut out the letters using an Exacto knife and painter’s tape. I applied the tape letters before spraying the whole thing black. Once the black dried, I peeled the tape letters off. They aren’t perfect, but they aren’t that bad considering a did them freehand!
We stuck one of the metal hooks through the container and hung it near the bottom of the board for ease of use (getting him to actually put the darts in it is waaaay harder than making the dang thing!) His friends have all been properly impressed with his arsenal.
Next on the to-do list is updating the light fixture, I have my eye on this super cool industrial looking one. Also, he really wants one of the old Uncle Sam posters to go on the wall, then we will be all finished with his desert camo bedroom makeover!
Do you have a “big boy” room transition coming soon?