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Mum creates incredible woodland nursery for her son - and it was all FREE

21 May 2020, 0:00 pm
  • Emma Richards, 39, painted her son Arthur’s amazing woodland nursery by herself
  • After finding paints for free on Facebook, the transformation was totally free
  • Emma provides tips to do the same

If you’re keen to create an amazing nursery for your newborn but are fretting about how to do so on a budget, take inspiration from this creative mum.

Emma Richards, 39, a mum of three and a florist from Worcester, decided to create an amazing woodland paradise for her son Arthur, nine months.

After finding the supplies she needed for free on Facebook, the transformation of the nursery cost her precisely nothing.

Emma told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "When our son Arthur was born, we decided to paint his bedroom with woodland fairyland theme. I had a look across the internet and Pinterest for ideas and made a rough drawing on paper of what I wanted where, and which animals I wanted to include.

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"Once I was happy, I painted the room a pale cream, and the base of my mural white. I started with a rough outline of what was to go where on the wall, doing it in pencil and only roughly to let me play around with the size of the animals and tree and branch thicknesses.

"I built up a section at a time. I started in one corner, worked my way along and up, and I concentrated on the focal animals first. I found mixing paint and building up the animals gave them a softer look, as painting them solid would have given them a cartoon feel to them.

"Once my animals and larger pieces were done I then filled in the gaps with plants, grass and toadstools, then added detail in layers and colours using different flicks and strokes and different shades of paint on my brush.

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“To fill a large area of grass or any other colour, I’d recommend using a sponge as it fills it softer than using a paintbrush. Build up the background the same as the animals, layer up the colours, then add the details last.

"The more I painted my larger animals, tree, grass and up the tree and animals on it, I was left with lots of gaps which I then filled in with smaller things like the gnome putting the washing out, the flowers and the fairy house on the tree.

"The more I painted the more I got carried away with detail - there are lots of bits to keep my little man occupied! As I got up the top to finish I really wanted to incorporate a rainbow.

"The best way I found to do it after three attempts before I was happy was to paint rough lines of the different colours, clean my brush, then use a bit of water on my brush to blend the colours together.

“Remember to wash the brush before you mix the next colour! I then sponged white on each end with a bit of grey and blue over that until I was happy with the cloud shape. The owls were my favourite, I’m not sure why but I really enjoyed these. Building up the colours let them dry in between.

"On my mixing plate, I had two colours, then used my brush to pick up a bit of each colour so with the stroke marks the colours would shine through. I then used a yellow with my base colour, and once that was dry, I painted the detail of the eyes.

"The hedgehogs also were super easy, so we had a couple of those through out too. I had a big gap under the tree branch so I filled it with a hanging plaque with Arthur’s name on.

"Once I was happy that everything was complete I added all the final detail: we have ants, caterpillars and toadstools to fill gaps and ladybirds and bees flying around to bring the whole picture together. I also superglued some artificial leaves up the tree to bring it out.

"This took me about three or four days to complete to enable each layer of paint to dry and build it up. I didn’t want to rush it.

"If you were to do something similar don’t worry if you make a mistake - let it dry then correct it! Some of my animals got bigger as I went as some seemed a bit small but it was easy to build up.

"If you go back to something and want to add like a flower or a different shade of grass, add a little bit across the whole thing - just a couple of brush strokes can stop it looking odd.

“I already had a simple grey pair of curtains and a white paper lamp shade finished the room. All the paint I used was emulsion tester pots, and some acrylic I already had mixed with white emulsion.

"I didn’t buy any paint as I had collected it for free from a waste exchange Facebook group. The only thing I bought was the light shade and it cost £2.50 from Wilko!

"I have a well stocked shed and craft cupboard and I tend to pick up bits and pieces when they are in the sale and in the £1 shop!"

Emma also made a stunning rainbow hanging stick for Arthur, and didn’t spend a penny on making it as she just used bits she already had in the house.

"I love rainbows and wanted to make something to go in my son's new room along with the one painted on his wall,” Emma adds.

"I had some spare felt, so I cut two pieces together into cloud shapes and the rainbow colours into raindrops.

"I stitched them together with some invisible thread and packed them slightly with a bit of stuffing to make them 3D.

"Then I threaded some wool using a darning needle up the centre to enable them to hang.

"I then carried the wool through the clouds to tie on to a stick and added a bit of wool to create a hanging loop. It was all for free just using scraps from the craft cupboard!”

Emma is delighted with how the project has turned out, and says that although she designed this nursery before the lockdown, getting stuck into creative pursuits is the perfect distraction during these tricky times.

"I really enjoyed creating this space from my son at almost no cost,” she adds. “It’s unusual, different and keeps him entertained looking at all the detail.

"Painting and craft is great for helping keep my brain busy and focused during lockdown!"

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Having a baby is expensive, but parents needn’t panic about spending a fortune on creating an Instagram-worthy nursery.

“Emma is living proof that with hard work, creativity and social media-sourced paints, you can create an incredible space all by yourself without spending a penny!"

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