Inexpensive Art For Hunter's Room

I've been a bit MIA the last couple of weeks due to our move.  We're finally getting settled into our new home and we love it!  As much as moving is frustrating and stressful, it's a lot of fun to start over this time....especially in our own home.  Because this house is ours and not a rental, I will be able to do so many of the things I wasn't able to do for the last 3 years.  I've been working on a lot of different projects over the last week and I'll be sharing them all very soon.  

Every time we move I make an effort to get Hunter's room and play room done as soon as possible.  This time is no clothes are still in boxes and our master bedroom is still in disarray, but Hunter's room is coming together.  It's hard on all of us when we have to uproot ourselves yet again, but Hunter is a super resilient kid.  He started this week at a new school and was excited about doing so.  When he gets home from school each day, he's excited to walk in the house and see what Mommy's been up to.  Of course he's the most excited when I've been working on his room or his play room!

I was thinking about art for Hunter's room this week.  I already had some art for his walls, but when I was at Target yesterday I decided to do something different.  Target had some black picture ledges on clearance for $4 and I knew they would look great in Hunter's room.  I bought them, but wasn't exactly sure what I would put on them.  I had some wood letters I had hung on his bedroom wall in our home in Canada, but hadn't used since (I didn't want to damage the walls in a rental).  I thought the letters along with the shelves would look great in his new room.  

On my way home from Target I stopped at a thrift store near the new house.  I was looking around and came across some old wood frames that caught my eye.  They were $.75 each so I grabbed 5 that I liked.  At the beginning of summer I bought a pile of old gas station maps for $1.  When I saw the frames I thought I could use the maps in them.  I figured they would look great once I painted the frames.  

 When I got home, much to the hubby's dismay, I started painting the frames on our kitchen island.  Did I have a million other things I should have been doing?  YES, but I knew this would make my little guy's day so I got to work.  

Here's a before picture of one of the frames.  This one is gold and a bit rough.   All of the frames were missing the glass, which was fine by me.  I didn't want the glass, just the frames. 

I decided to use my trusty Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in a few different shades....Emperor's Silk, English Yellow, Aubusson Blue, Pure White and Coco.

I slapped some paint on the frames and got to work.  I really did apply the paint very quickly.  This was a fast project and the paint didn't need to be perfect.  I wanted texture, age and definition not perfection.

 Each frame I painted differently, but on each one I used Annie Sloan soft dark wax to give them some added age and protection.

This one I painted in Aubusson Blue and then added the dark wax.  You can see there was a bit of gold  on the frame.

 After the paint and wax were dry, I picked maps for each frame from my map pile.  To attach the maps to the frames I used my staple gun.  I attached each map to the back of the frame making sure everything was straight and lined up.

 I didn't care if there were wrinkles in the maps or not because I knew it would work with the look I was going for.

This is the before picture of where the maps, letters and picture ledges where going in Hunter's room.  I call this his reading nook. 

The first thing I tackled was hanging up the wood letters.  At the Haven Conference I was lucky enough to meet a representative from 3M who gave me 4 packages of Command Strips.  These are so easy to use and don't damage the walls if you need to take them down.

 The first letter was easy to put up after I figured out the placement of the entire wall on the floor before attaching to the wall.

 As you can see here I had previously used Velcro strips (the black circles at the top of the letter) to attach the letters to the walls.  I can't even begin to explain the mess the Velcro caused on the walls!  The Command Strips were so easy to use, I just placed the sticky side face down on the letter then attached the second part of the strip on top of that.

All I had to do next was take off the adhesive strip on the second strip and place the letter on the wall.  If I needed to adjust the letter a smidgen, it was easy to pull the 2 pieces apart and reapply.  They snap together a bit like Velcro, but better.

Because the letters are so light I only needed 1 set for almost all the letters.

 Within 10 minutes I had all my letters hung!  So easy!!!  I love Command Strips!

Next came the $4 picture ledges from Target.  These were also easy to hang and even included the mounting hardware and black adhesive dots to hide the screws!

I hung my picture ledges and letters in about 30 minutes.  Last step was to add my map frames to each shelf.   To top it all off I added a few vintage license plates.

Here they are all together.

The chair is another estate sale find.  It was $15 and is in perfect condition except for the tops of the arms.  I added some Chalk Paint® in Pure White on the arms and coated them in clear wax....Problem solved!  I think it's a cool and unique chair that's perfect for Hunter to read in.

I was really drawn to the arms on this chair.  I hadn't seen one before with the two-levels of arms.  Plus the color was perfect for Hunter's room.

The pillow I've had for years in Hunter's room and it's from Pottery Barn Kids.  The wire basket is from Home Goods.

Here's the reading nook all finished!  The lamp we've had for a few years and it's from Land of Nod.

In this picture you can see one of the windows in his room.  I'm still trying to decide what I'm doing for window coverings.  Hunter's old room had two windows and this room has three.  The curtain panels I have from Pottery Barn Kids are no longer available, so now I'm trying to decide if I should go with curtains or roman shades.

Decor and design really are my passions, but doing these things for my Son is what I love the most.  Seeing the look on his face when he comes in and sees what I've been working on in his room is the best.  As I'm writing this, Hunter is on his way home from school.  I can't wait to see what he says when he sees his new reading nook!  (by the way he loved it!!!  Came up and gave me a huge hug and a kiss!)

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I'm hoping that now that we're moved into our new home and starting to get settled I'll have more time for more frequent posts.  I do post a lot to Facebook, Instagram and I'm working on Twitter so please feel free to follow me there as well.  

Is there something you love working on that gives you lots of satisfaction and makes you happy?  Maybe it's painting, gardening, sewing, exercising or cooking....whatever it is I'd love to hear what it is!  Let me know what you love doing and what you think of this post.  I enjoy all of your comments and emails so please keep them coming!

Take care,



  1. This vignette looks so good! It has a mature boy room feel to it. I'm sure Hunter loves it :)

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! Hunter does love it and I was going for the mature boy feel so thank you!

  2. Love this! You did a great job. This look would look great in my son's room, as well! I'm pinning and might be knocking it off!!! lol!!!

    Suzie @ Dorothy Sue and Millie B's too...

    also, I'm now following you!

    1. Thank you Suzie! If you do something similar I'd love to see pictures!

  3. What a lucky boy!! This looks awesome! I love the old maps and license plates - you have such a good eye! Now I'm just trying to figure out how I missed the 3M booth at Haven...I could really use some command strips :)

    1. Thank you Julia! I don't know how you missed 3M either! :-( Email them and I'm sure they'd send you some. I hadn't really used them before this project and now I'm a huge fan!

  4. Looks great, Melody! Love the maps!!

  5. Love it! I just did one big map in my little one's room and he loves it- I think it makes them feel like explorers:)

    1. Thank you Bee! Hunter and I both have a love of maps and globes. We're a travel-crazy family so it reminds us all of where we'v been and where we want to go next.

  6. Very, very, very cute, Melody. It looks fantastic and I love maps! What a fun room for Hunter- xo Diana

  7. What an easy and cool project for a boys room! It's so hard to not be too little kid-ish, you know? Love this!

    1. Thank you Claudia! It is hard to make a mature space for an 8 year old. He's great though because he loves so many big boy things it wasn't as hard. Plus he trusts me to make his room cool....wonder how long that will last?! :-)

  8. Love love love it! I spent way too much on frames and I am kicking myself now. The license plates put it over the edge in the cool department - (direct comment from my 9yr old) He likes a good deal too!

    1. Thank you Kari! I've spend a lot of frames in the past so don't kick yourself too hard! Sounds like you're 9 year old has great taste!

  9. Hi Melody! I love what you did for his room. I've been trying to find letters like that for my son's room. Can I know where you found them?

    1. HI Melissa! Thank you for the comment! I honestly scored on these letters. I found them when I lived in Canada at a local dollar store for $2 each! You could always find some at Hobby Lobby or Michaels as well. Or you could do the cardboard letters and paint them. I hop you find some you like for a decent price!

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