How do you decorate a playroom on a budget?
Creating a fun playroom for your kids is a great way to encourage creative play and help contain the toy mess.
But if you’re on a budget…
Making a dedicated room in your home for your kids to play may seem out of the question.
What if I told you that you could create an amazing playroom for your kids without spending a ton of money in the process?
By making the most of the space you have available and getting creative with your décor, you can easily transform any room in your home into a fun playroom.
These amazing playroom ideas on a budget will help you create a place for your kids to play without breaking the bank.
In this post you’ll learn:
- What cheap playroom decorating ideas will get you the biggest bang for your buck when decorating your kid’s playroom
- How to save money when decorating your playroom with planning and budgeting advice specifically for a playroom
- How to find the most inexpensive playroom ideas
Cheap Playroom Ideas
1) Focus on the storage
Since your kid’s toys will be located in this room, one of the most important aspects of decorating a playroom is the storage.
That means the room’s design needs to consider how all those toys will be stored.
It’s important to have practical and durable storage in your playroom.
This is where we spent the biggest chunk of our budget!
Here’s what we got for our playroom…
Storage bin for smaller toys
We got this toy storage bin because it has separate compartments perfect for organizing different size items in the playroom. The bins are angled for easy access to the toys.
There’s nothing above the bins so the toys can stick out slightly.
However, it’s expensive. We splurged on this in the budget because we love the features. Since it’s a quality piece, we now have 2 kids and we would be using it for a while, we figured it would be worth the purchase price.
The above toy storage bin has this matching bookshelf, but we chose to put this other bookshelf in her playroom. It’s still small so kids can take books off the shelf whenever they want. They don’t have to wait for an adult to take it down. It encourages independence.
However, it has way more space for books. Ensuring she reads a variety of books is important to us.
Sometimes it does lead to books being everywhere, but that’s okay. We encourage her to put things back and it’ll eventually become a habit.
Storage bin for larger toys
We have big storage bins for larger toys. This inexpensive playroom idea has strong material – great for heavy toys! It’s collapsible for easier storage when we’re not using it.
Having a storage ottoman is useful in the playroom as it provides comfortable seating for adults and has storage space.
That’s all the storage for our playroom.
If these storage solutions don’t work for your playroom…
Luckily, there are a variety of budget-friendly storage options you can use in your kid’s playroom. These cheap storage solutions are perfect for playrooms:
a) Make your storage do double duty.
You can make your playroom storage work for you by purchasing pieces that act as more than just storage solutions.
Storage benches, for example, offer both storage space and seating for the room. This storage bench has adjustable shelves to accommodate different heights of toys.
While you can use the storage bench as is, you can also add in decorative baskets. This helps to hide toys away while also adding some style to the space.
b) Repurpose other furniture.
Do you have furniture in your home that you’re not using? Or were you able to find a great deal on a piece of furniture? Use it in the playroom!
There are a variety of great furniture pieces that can easily be transformed into playroom storage, including:
When using traditional furniture as toy storage, be sure to take the time to make the furniture safe for kids to use. Avoid using furniture with sharp corners or rough edges.
Don’t forget to secure all large furniture pieces to the wall to keep them from toppling over when your kids are using them. Here are heavy duty, metal furniture straps that will withstand up to 400 lbs.
c) Create DIY storage.
Save a ton of money on storage in your playroom by making it yourself. If you’re handy with power tools, build your own storage units to hide away all your kid’s toys.
Alternatively, you can simply transform cardboard shipping boxes into toy storage boxes by covering them with fabric for a cheap way to store all your kid’s toys.
d) Use the walls.
Toys don’t have to only be stored on the floor of the room. It’s also a good idea to make use of the wall space for toy storage.
You can dedicate part of the wall in your kid’s playroom to storage by using hanging shelving. It adds a little bit of visual interest to the room and helps solve the toy storage problem at the same time.
Small shelves can hold items like books and smaller toys, allowing you to store the bigger items in the floor storage space.
2) Create an accent wall
One of the best ways to add visual interest to a room without spending a ton of money is to create an accent wall in the space.
When you’re making an accent wall in your kid’s playroom, you can have a little fun with the design!
These accent wall ideas are perfect for a playroom:
a) Chalkboard accent wall
Grab a can of chalkboard paint and create a floor to ceiling chalkboard. Your kids will have a blast drawing on the walls without getting in trouble. It’ll be a fun space for you to write messages, quotes or lessons!
If dust is an issue, you can get dustless chalk. It also comes with an eraser.
To store the chalk and eraser, you can install a wall ledge.
b) Painted mural
Transform your kid’s playroom into a fun child-friendly space by decorating one wall with a cute painted mural.
c) Visually interesting wallpaper or decals
Wallpaper or decals are another great way to create an accent wall in your playroom without breaking the budget. Pick a brightly colored pattern to add some fun to the space.
I love this animal world map in a playroom! It’s cute, fun and educational! It’s easy to peel off, stick on and remove for repositioning.
d) Kid-painted artwork
If you’re brave, let your kids get in on the fun of decorating their playroom by giving them the chance to decorate their own accent wall with paint.
If you don’t want your kids getting creative with wall paint, consider creating a gallery wall of your kid’s framed artwork to create an accent wall in the room.
Using the artwork your kids make to decorate the room means you don’t have to spend a dime!
You can use this display. I love that it’s much easier to use than traditional photo frames because you can include artwork of all sizes. You don’t even have to put artwork on there. You can add photos, notes or special cards!
3) Make the floor comfortable.
Your kids will be spending tons of time playing on the floor of their playroom, so it’s a good idea to make the area comfortable.
If you invest in comfortable items for the playroom floor, you won’t need to spend as much on furniture for the room. That means you’ll end up saving money in the end!
Consider these tips to make your playroom floor more comfortable for your kids:
a) Look for a good rug.
If the floor of your kid’s playroom is hard, it’s a good idea to find a rug for the room to make playing on the floor a little more comfortable.
When searching for a good rug for your playroom, find one that covers most of the room’s floor to ensure it stays in place as your kids play. You also want to be sure to choose a rug constructed of material that is easy to keep clean.
A washable synthetic or cotton rug is great for easy cleaning. Wool rugs are another great option for a playroom because they’re easy to clean and naturally water and flame resistant.
This rug is inexpensive, washable and synthetic. I love the brightness of the white and the fact that it will show stains so I know where to spot clean.
I know some moms and dads that love the darker or pattern colors so that it helps hide stains. If you’re going to wash this rug regularly, than choose the color that looks best in the room.
b) Add some floor seating.
Make sitting on the floor and playing even more comfortable by adding some floor pillows or a bean bag to the room. Soft and squishy seating is the perfect spot in a playroom to rest or read a book. It’s also budget-friendly.
This storage bean bag is not actually a bean bag. It’s a cover that you can use to store your kids’ stuffed animals, pillows or blankies – making it then look and feel like a bean bag! It has dual functionality as a bean bag and storage area!
As the cover is removable, it can be washed! It has a handle so you can easily move it from room to room.
It’s large and can hold dozens of stuffed animals. The bag is made out of a cotton canvas material so it’s durable!
c) Don’t forget the blankets.
Place a few comfortable blankets like these sherpa fleece blankets on the floor so your kids can get comfortable while reading or playing.
4) Pick the right paint
Painting a room is a great budget-friendly way to transform a space.
When it comes to painting a playroom, choosing the right paint is almost as important as picking the right color.
Kids draw on walls in their playroom. Food somehow ends up getting splattered everywhere.
Washable wall paint is essential in a playroom because you’ll need to be able to quickly and easily clean up messes on the walls.
While washable paint may cost a little more, the extra money spent will be worth it in the end when you can easily wash the mess off the wall instead of being forced to repaint the room over and over again.
5) Create a homework area
Whether your kids love crafting or just need a good place to finish their homework, having a craft/homework area in your playroom is essential.
To create the space, you’ll need a table and chairs, along with a storage area for craft and homework supplies.
We have this table and chairs set. It’s an inexpensive playroom idea.
My daughter can draw on the table and it can be wiped off easily. The chairs are very light. You can easily move them from room to room. This is handy if your toddler is anything like mine (it’s occasionally difficult to get her to sit down at the table for meals). Alternatively, you could just get a second set for the kitchen.
All that said…
It can get wobbly. You have to keep an eye out for if the screws need to be tightened.
As it’s light, my daughter can carry the chairs. Then she proceeds to stand on the chair to reach something up top and has fallen down at least once. She doesn’t do this anymore, but like everything, it took time.
If these are issues for you, you’ll want to invest in a better quality set of table and chairs like this set. It’s more expensive, but it’s sturdier and made of wood.
6) Purchase items that grow with your kids
As I’ve mentioned, this is something I didn’t do. I think it’s a great idea if you can find the right products that work for you and your playroom.
A lot of toddler items like the tiny little chair and table set for art time and puzzles (which I got as you can see above) are only going to be in use for a short time.
If you get furniture for small kids, in a few years, you’ll need to replace that tiny table with a new one. That isn’t very budget friendly.
You could consider items that can grow along with your kids.
You can look for full-size furniture that is child friendly, like a sturdy wood coffee table that can be used as a desk when they’re younger. If you don’t have a coffee table, you might want to consider getting one with storage.
Then all you have to do is purchase toddler chairs.
As an alternative solution, you might be able to find an adjustable table and chair set for your playroom.
These types of sets aren’t necessarily cheap. It’s also not always in stock, but if it’s available and it works for your space and situation, it’s worth considering.
7) Don’t be afraid to do it yourself
One of the best ways to save money on decorating a room is to DIY it.
From building your own kid-friendly furniture to upcycling secondhand decorations to give them new life, DIYing décor for your kid’s room is a great way to decorate the playroom on a budget.
8) Decorate with a neutral theme
Keeping the design neutral will ensure your kids – no matter their age or gender – can enjoy the room for years to come.
In addition to staying away from gender specific designs, it’s also smart to skip character specific decorations.
While your little ones may be in love with Sesame Street right now, they’re sure to grow out of that phase. If you’ve decorated your playroom with those characters, you’ll need to redo the room when they outgrow their favorite characters.
How to Save Money on a Playroom
Whether you’re on a strict budget or you just don’t have a ton of extra cash to spend on a playroom, finding ways to save money when creating your playroom is essential.
Just like any renovation or home improvement project, you’ll need to do a little bit of planning before you start creating your kid’s playroom.
These simple tips will help you save money as you decorate your kid’s play room:
1) Set a budget.
The first step to starting any project is to set a budget.
Take a look at your overall budget to determine how much money you have to spend on your playroom. Then, think about all the elements you’ll need to purchase to see how closely your budget matches with those expenses.
Then work to pare back your expenses to make them align with the money you have to spend.
Related: If you’re new to budgeting, here’s a post on budgeting tips for beginners. It can be unnerving to go through the numbers and get that first reality check. This post will help you ease into it and create a simple and easy budget.
If you’re looking for a budget template:
2) Make a plan.
After you know how much money you have to spend on your project, you can start planning out the layout and design of your playroom.
Consider the different elements you’ll need for your playroom, including storage options and furniture, then create a mock-up design you plan to use.
Laying out your plans for the room can help you figure out what supplies (if any) you need to purchase to make your dream playroom a reality for your kids.
3) Write a shopping list.
Now that you know how you’ll set up your playroom, you can start creating a shopping list.
Along with your shopping list, jot down the approximate cost of the items you’ll need. Keep a running tally of the expenses to help you stay within your budget as you shop.
Once you purchase something for the room, be sure to mark it off your list. Try not to stray from your list to keep yourself from going overbudget on your playroom project.
4) Get the essentials first.
To make sure you stay within your budget as you’re shopping, it’s a good idea to get the most essential items for your playroom first.
Whether you’re most concerned about keeping the room organized or giving your kids a comfortable place to play, take a look at your list and determine which items are must-haves for your playroom.
Be sure to purchase those items first, then buy the remaining items on your list with the money you have left in your budget.
5) Take your time when shopping.
You may be a in a hurry to get your kid’s playroom finished, but there’s no reason to purchase everything you’ll need for your project all at once.
Taking your time to purchase the items you need will give you a chance to compare prices and shop around for the best deals for each of the things on your shopping list.
You can always add items to the room as you go to help you save a little money.
Where to Find Cheap Décor for Your Playroom
Finding cheap décor and furniture for your playroom is one of the best ways to save money on your project.
But knowing where to look for cheap decorations is difficult.
If you’re having trouble finding the best deals on kid-friendly décor and furniture, consider looking in one of these places:
1) Thrift stores and consignment shops
One of the best places to find cheap decorations and furniture is at thrift stores and consignment shops.
Head to your local thrift store and take a look around to see what you can find. The key to finding the best items at thrift stores is to look past what you see in front of you and imagine what the piece can become.
A fresh coat of paint or a new use for an old item can transform a secondhand store find into something perfect for your playroom.
2) Garage sales
Another great place to find cheap items for your playroom is at garage sales.
You can find a variety of kid-friendly items for your playroom by searching your local yard sales.
Look in the newspaper for yard sale advertisements or check Facebook groups and Craigslist for online listings.
When scanning the listings, look for yard sale ads that list kids items to ensure you head to the sales with the stuff you need. Make a list of all the sales that include items of interest in their ads, then head to the sales to find cheap stuff to put in your playroom.
3) Check online for used items
Instead of traveling around town checking out local yard sales, you can also search for great used items for your playroom online.
Facebook Marketplace, local Facebook buy and sell groups, VarageSale, and Craigslist are all great ways to search the web for used items in your area.
Start by doing a general search for kid’s items or furniture, then narrow your search for more specific items to find what you need.
The key to finding great deals on used items online is to check the sites often and be quick to claim something you want.
Another excellent resource is Freecycle where you can give or get items for free.
You can also use Nextdoor. It’s a local neighborhood resource. People usually use it to sell goods or find out about local events, but you might see cheap playroom stuff.
4) Ask friends and family
Your friends and family are a great resource when it comes to finding cheap (or free) items for your kid’s playroom.
Let your friends and family members know that you’re creating a playroom for your kids and ask if they have any items they want to get rid of.
You never know who might have been thinking about selling or throwing out something you need for your room.
5) Swap for playroom furniture
If you have friends that have babies, you can coordinate a swap party and trade goods.
Since you know where the playroom items are coming from, you can feel confident knowing you’re getting playroom products in good condition.
This is an ideal way to get playroom decorating stuff on a budget because you get items for free AND you get rid of clutter in your home.
If you’re new to swap parties, here are tips on how to host a swap party including what rules to establish.
6) Shop online
If you would rather purchase new items for your playroom or aren’t having any luck finding the perfect used piece, head online to search for decorations and furniture for your playroom.
Shopping online allows you to easily compare prices and shop around at different retailers without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
Before you check out, make sure to purchase through a cashback site like Rakuten (formerly Ebates).
This awesome site can give you up to 40% cash back each time you buy! It’s FREE to sign up. And with hundreds of participating retailers, you’re sure to find a great deal at your favorite online store.
Here’s my Rakuten review including how it works for reference.
Another great online shopping tool to use for your playroom items is Honey.
Honey is an application that looks at the items in your cart and helps you search for coupon codes. If it finds relevant codes, it enters them AUTOMATICALLY! You never have to search for coupon codes online again!
It also has other money saving features like cash back, price drop notifications, and a price history. It’s also FREE to use.
Here’s my detailed review on Honey here.
7) Add your playroom items to your baby registry
If you’re planning ahead, using a baby registry is a good opportunity to get your playroom items for a budget price!
When you add your playroom products to a baby registry, you can get discounts and potentially a welcome baby gift box with free samples.
The Amazon Baby Registry provides a 10% discount on select items from your registry, 60 days before your child’s arrival date. The discount will only apply to one transaction so you have to buy everything you want discounted at the same time.
If you are an Amazon Prime member, the discount is 15%! Amazon Prime also comes with 20% off diapers and baby food when you have more than 5 subscriptions.
The best part about this membership: 2 day FREE shipping and FREE access to movies, TV shows, music and books. You no longer have to worry about last minute items. You can cancel your other movie, music and book subscription services!
You can always get the Amazon Prime 30 day FREE trial, which you can cancel at anytime.
Amazon also sends you a baby registry welcome gift box if you meet certain requirements.
To be eligible for the welcome gift box:
- You must be a Prime Member.
- You must spend a minimum amount from your registry, which can be from yourself or others ($10 in the US or $25 in Canada).
- If you’re in Canada, you must also have at least 20 items added to your registry.
Final Thoughts On How To Organize A Playroom On A Budget
Whether you have a small space or an entire basement, there are many ways you can inexpensively decorate and organize a playroom.
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