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During these waning weeks of winter, it's the perfect time to add a major dose of personality to your child's bedroom — and do it on a budget. Here's how to dress up a dresser, create a headboard, customize bed linens, and jazz up those tired old walls.

Make-a-Face Dresser

An assortment of drawer pulls and a little imagination can revive a plain old dresser (or rehab a tag-sale find). Plan a fun outing to the hardware store to select the perfect knobs and handles.

You will need:

- Dresser

- Screwdriver

- Lightweight spackle or wood filler

- Putty knife

- Fine sandpaper

- Paint and brush or roller

- Assorted drawer pulls

- Repositionable glue dots

- Drill and bits

- Adhesive craft foam (optional)

1. Use the screwdriver to remove existing drawer hardware. With the putty knife, fill the holes with spackle or wood filler.

2. Sand and paint the dresser as desired.

3. Design a face by attaching the drawer pulls temporarily with glue dots. (Keep in mind that you'll want the drawers to open and close easily with the new pulls.)

4. When you have a face you like, drill holes as needed, then secure the new hardware. Cut and adhere craft foam pupils, if desired.

Favorite Things Comforters and Pillows

Celebrate your kid's latest obsession (and brighten boring linens) with printable iron-ons. Whatever your theme — building blocks, butterflies — be sure to use digital photos or scanned artwork saved at the highest resolution possible. For the greatest durability, apply images to throw-pillow covers or comforters; they will be washed less often than bedsheets and pillowcases.

You will need:

- Computer and printer

- Digital images

- T-shirt transfers (the dark kind for colorful fabrics; the light variety for white fabrics; we used Avery Dark T-shirt transfers)

- Iron

- Bed linens, plus a scrap of similar fabric, washed and dried.

1. Print the images onto the transfers according to the manufacturer's instructions; print an extra for testing.

2. Trim around the images.

3. As a trial run, iron the test transfer onto the fabric scrap, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Adjust the iron's settings, if needed. Then adhere the remaining images to the linens.

TWO WAYS TO DRESS UP WALLS

Fast Flowers

Steal a few filters from Mr. Coffee and fill an empty wall with a spray of mod blooms. To make each flower, trace cans in two or three sizes onto colored card stock. Cut out the circles, then stack two or three in a coffee filter. Attach the flower to the wall with a thumbtack. (If you'd rather not make holes, use repositionable glue dots between layers and to hang the flower.) Repeat to create your desired floral arrangement.

Storybook Hanger

Suspending a skirt hanger from a cup hook lets you turn a favorite read into instant art. If you like, sand and prime, then paint the hanger to match the wall. When you're ready for a new view, simply flip to a different page or swap in another book.

Use-Your-Noodle Headboard

Sweet dreams are a sure thing when your bed is adorned with cushy and colorful pool noodles.

You can attach your creation right to the wall or use it to cover up an old headboard. Kids can choose the colors, but cutting and gluing the foam core and noodles are jobs for adults.

You will need:

- Wrapping or craft paper

- Large foam core sheet or two smaller sheets joined with duct tape

- Craft knife

- Serrated kitchen knife

- Pool noodles

- Hot glue gun

- Picture hanging strips (we used large 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips)

1. To make a template, draw the desired headboard shape (or trace your old headboard) on the wrapping or craft paper. Cut it out.

2. Lay the shape on the foam core sheet and trace around it. With the craft knife, score along the traced lines, then cut out the shape.

3. With the serrated kitchen knife, trim the pool noodles to approximately the same height as the foam core, then cut each noodle down the middle.

4. Starting at the headboard's center and working toward the sides, use the hot glue to adhere the noodles' flat sides to the foam core.

5. Secure the foam core to the wall or the old headboard with the picture hanging strips.

 

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