Wednesday, April 4, 2018

We Did A Star Wars Room! Woot Woot!

Last week John and I got to design and decorate two kids' rooms for some friends - and they pretty much let us do whatever we wanted, so I had a BLAST. The two brothers wanted a Star Wars room, and their sister chose a teal-and-red Princess Elena theme. 

I won't keep you in suspense, let's start with the Star Wars room.


(That's Ellie, patiently waiting for us to finish HER room across the hall, ha.)

This room needed some construction work first: removing that funky top ledge. The boys' bunk bed was right beside it, so it was a parental heart attack waiting to happen.

Fortunately John made short work of it, and by the next day:

Bye-bye, ledge!

 Here's a look at the rest of the room from the door.

It's not a huge room, so the only furniture is the bunk bed and a long low dresser:

It took John and I about 3.5 days to demo the ledge, patch the drywall, paint the room, construct the window valence and Armory rack, replace and rewire the ceiling fan, and then decorate the walls with all our glowy Star Wars goodies. Ready to see the results?


 I used the dresser wall and corner as the focal point, since the bunk beds dominate the far wall.

Plus this way the boys can see all the fun stuff from their beds at night.

 There are still a few bare spots I'd like to fill, like the wall over the head of the top bunk. (I have my eye on some Star Wars art for that.)

 The dangerous ledge is gone, which opens up that side of the room:

We still need something cool up in that remaining nook by the ceiling, though. The big Stormtrooper is a start, but I'd like to make a backlit skyline out of MDF to set in there. If we made it tall enough that could also hide any long-term storage they want to stash behind it in the future.

That's the overview, so now let's talk DETAILS. Like how we built stuff, and where we bought the rest.

There's a popular tutorial on In My Own Style for making window valances out of insulation foam, so I asked John about giving that a try. Hers is held onto the wall with pins and/or paper brads, though, so John made it his way with much stronger materials. First we used 1" pink insulation foam instead of polystyrene, which is thicker and stronger but still weighs next-to-nothing:

Next John attached the L-brackets with bolts and screws, and set the side panels to the same height so they would sit flush on the wall.

He also added an extra corner support for strength:

Here's our finished valance base, ready to be wrapped with fabric:

I attached the fabric using straight pins the same way Diane of In My Own Style did, so check out her tutorial for a step-by-step. (Another bonus of using 1" foam: I didn't have to insert the pins at an angle; they could go straight in.)

The Star Wars fabric is from JoAnn's, mounted diagonally to look cooler.

The paint color is Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams, which we had Lowe's match in a Valspur paint.

We actually filmed an entire painting tutorial during the few hours it took us to paint the room, where I shared all the tips and tricks and product recommendations you need to paint like a pro.  If I'm not too horrified by myself on camera, we should have that posted next week. (Also I was wearing our old company shirt, so John has to find a way to blur out the phone number on the back. Ha!)

The project I was most excited for in this room (besides the lightsaber night lights, of course) was our Armory display for the boys' Star Wars Nerf guns:

We originally planned to use metal pegboard for this, but with a rough-housing four-year-old in the room I worried about the safety hazard of multiple metal spikes sticking out of a wall.

Eventually we came up with the BRILLIANT - but ultimately failed - plan of using magnets.
Steel flashing, Masonite, some mirrored cardstock, and whole lot of taping and painting later...
Lookin' good!

(Before you ask about the font: yes, YES IT IS. We're evil. And easily amused.)

So there it was, gang, all done and shiny and ready for install... AND THEN IT DIDN'T WORK. [sad trombone slide]

I mean, the magnets sort of held, but the guns slid right down the wall at the slightest bump. ARG. It's possible you could order much stronger magnets online, but we were on a time crunch and had to scramble for an immediate solution. 

So instead, after much sulking on my part, we attached everything with Velcro.

 We put the soft side of the Velcro on the guns, which doesn't seem to bother the boys. And hey, at least it still works and looks cool.

If any of you ever try this with stronger magnets (we attached them to the guns with hot glue), be sure to let me know if it holds!

We used that same Velcro (industrial strength) to attach a few of the boys' ships to the wall:

I'm a HUGE fan of decorating with toys (as evidenced by my office, ha) so before we started on the room I asked the boys to bring me all their Star Wars stuff. That's how I got the idea for the Armory wall (so many Nerf guns!) and this one. Originally I wanted to mount a lot more ships to the walls, but it's tricky finding enough flat surfaces on them for the Velcro! Anyway, these two can be pulled right off the wall when the kids want to play with them, easy-peasy.

 We ordered the color-changing lightsabers from Amazon here. They're battery operated, remote-controlled, and super fun to play with. Plus they automatically shut off after 15 minutes, so they're great for night lights. These cost about $30 each, but the same company has single-color options for nearly half that price.

 I asked the boys which toy ships they *don't* play with, and they gave me this big one to hang from the ceiling:

John used clear fishing line and three eye hooks screwed into the ceiling. Tying clear thread into knots is tedious work, but I love the end result!

Over on the bed wall we put together an epic space battle using re-positionable wall decals by RoomMates. I was impressed by how well these stuck, considering there's no glue.

Over by the door we have our other awesome light-up feature: BB-8!

 Again, super impressed with how great this looks - though the tiny crack decals were a pain and a half to install. BB is another Amazon purchase, and cost about $25.

 K, I think that does it for the Star Wars room!
I hope this gave you guys some ideas - especially in the mounting-toys-on-the-wall area. :D

Stay tuned for the Princess Elena room and my bedazzled wall mural. Aw yeeeah.


  1. That ledge was truly bizarre. I do not understand why it was there in the first place.

    Also, assuming your painting clothes are in generally the same state as mine are, you could just wipe some paint over the phone number. I realize that doesn't help for *this* video, but if you make any others, you'd be all set.

    1. Aha! That never occurred to me, but I'm totally doing that for future vids. (Assuming we make more, of course.)

  2. I love the idea of using the toys as decoration, but attaching with Velcro so they can still play with them! How awesome.

  3. Fantastic job again! I also really love the velcro idea. Everything looks AMAZING, and that armory is just too fun!

  4. Velcro is the right answer. You should NEVER use rare earth magnets where kids can get a hold of them. They do stupid stuff up to and including swallowing them and can do real damage to themselves.

  5. That looks AMAZING!!!! Too bad I already have my room painted the color I want it, because tips from you would have helped a ton! (Pink Destiny by Valspar with silver paint crystals! Aww yeah!) Anyways, yay for this project and a new video! Can't wait for the post featuring the girl's room. :)
    Pinkie Welborne, 17

  6. And this post has now inspired me to finish putting together my son's Star Wars room after our move. All of his Star Wars art is in a stack on the floor. I'll get it done this weekend!

  7. Oh I hadn't thought of Velcro for the hanging of the nerf weapons. I have three boys who's walls are super tall (and paneling) so I'd been planning a weaponry wall for all their gear. Right now the "not to play with" con swords and gear are up on the tall parts but I wanted something they could pull off easily and play with but would hold up. Awesome!!

  8. That's funny you mention the font, because when you showed the picture on Instagram that was the first thing I noticed... lol

  9. My younger son would love this room! We bought a cool stormtrooper canvas art on clearance & framed Husband's vintage Star Wars poster & a newer poster & have Star Wars sheets for my kid's room, but this is way cooler!

  10. So. Awesome. I can't wait till my daughter is old enough to pick her own theme. We did the very wide "Disney" theme for the nursery so we snuck in Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, plus traditional Disney stuff.

  11. Such a cool room! I really like the way the lightsabers reflect off the flashing. I am especially fond of your "sneaking" in an alternate fandom! Mwahaha and eyebrow waggle. ;)

    Can't wait to see Ellie's room!

    1. Oh, I didn't get the comment about the font until reading this reply. I immediately recognized the font but didn't think hard enough about which show it was from. *duh*

  12. P.S. Ohmygosh! There's an R2 light also! I may have to set up droid bookends!

  13. LOVE these ideas! If you ever come up with good ways to store huge collections of books or dress up clothes PLEASE share. It's so difficult to find solutions that are accessible for small children, as well as easy for them to clean up independently without taking up half the room!
    My recent attempt was clothes pins glued to a canvas, but I would have needed a longer, skinnier one I think.

    Anyway, can't wait to see the Elena room!

  14. I don't know if it would work for this, but in a previous magnets-are-strong-but-magnets-are-sliding instance, the solution was to add friction (I used thin double-sided tape) between the magnet and the surface you want the magnet to not slide to the bottom of. The repositionable tape was thin enough that it didn't mess with the magnet strength, but did provide enough grippiness that the magnets stopped sliding down. I suspect a thin coat of fabric paint or similar thin but does-not-slide-against-metal substance (maybe rubber cement?) would work instead - just need to stop it from being slippery-surface against slippery-surface.

    That said, Velcro is probably the way to go for kids!

    Thanks for posting this!

  15. Love the room!

    I have a question about paint. We used Sherwin Williams Black Bean paint in eggshell on our fireplace facing and mantel. But it has stayed sticky. What do you do to combat that? I've had it happen several times. I had a horse that William Shatner signed for me, never removed from the box, and the bottom of the box stuck to the mantel.

    1. If your paint's not curing it was probably mixed wrong at the store or you got a bad batch. I can't imagine your house would be so humid a latex paint wouldn't cure even after a few days, and it sounds like it's been longer? Also, what was on the surface before you painted it? It would take a lot of leaching moisture to keep paint sticky.

      The only times I've seen that happen were with very old paint people had in storage. The dying agents are the first thing to go in latex paint, so really old paint will sometimes take a lot longer to cure and/or won't cure properly at all.

      You'll probably have to scrape it off, sand, prime, and try again with a different brand. (source: I worked at a Benjamin Moore paint store for two years)

  16. I love Star Wars, I really do...but I am so looking forward to the Elena room :D

    Alright, I give up. I don't recognise the font. Help?

  17. I love this! The toys stuck to the wall is an ingenious way to decorate and store while keeping favorite toys accessible. Now I’m thinking how to incorporate this Velcro idea into some of my handier classroom supplies.

  18. With regards to the magnets, stainless steel is actually kind of crappy as far as magnets go.

    An alternative would be a more magnetic surface, with a reflective coating. Maybe some of that aluminum tape?

    As for the ledge area, perhaps Cloud City?

  19. I showed my three year old the pics. He loved them. We are moving in a few months. I am thinking of redecorating his room to a space/Star Wars theme after we move. Right now it's puppy dogs.

  20. My mom tried to do something like the space battle in my brother's room - except the base color was mud brown and she just cut out pieces of the sci fi border that was also going up. So 10 years later when he moved out, they got to try to steam off itty bitty bits of metallic wallpaper (and paint over the mud and years of teenage boy stuff.) Re-positionable clings are definitely a better idea.

  21. Ah ha! Finally a way to 'store' my boy's ever increasing collection of Nerf guns! Although for his I think we may end up going with some sort of pegs for them to sit / hang on, especially the ones that don't sit flat.
    On the other hand, very strong magnets fastened on the inside of the guns would remove the risk of a small person or animal accidentally consuming one of them (although the thought of opening some of them up is a bit worrisome as well, I think they may be a bit complicated inside...).
    Kahurangi, New Zealand

  22. In the future, possibly try magnetic paint or mixing iron oxide in the the paint for a more magnetic surface? I use this in some of the projects I do, but only for people old enough to know better than to swallow a rare earth magnet- although I suppose Tide Pods and condoms are now up for grabs *rolls eyes*

    Also, these rooms both look amazing. I am just catching up after being gone from the webs for a while so I'm backwards commenting. LOL! If you ever need some custom wall decals for another room remodel just let me know. I know it can sometimes be hard to find just what you are looking for online.


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