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Savvy Mum Creates Stunning Dinosaur Room For Under £250 Using FB Bargains

November 10, 2020, 12:00 PM
  • Sophia Daly, 32, wanted to create a dinosaur room for her son on a budget
  • She upcycled decades-old furniture and shopped on social media
  • She sought out bargains from Etsy, Dunelm and ebay

If your child is begging for a new themed bedroom and you don’t have the budget for it in these tough financial times, don’t despair.

Sophia Daly, a mum of two and business owner from Nottingham, was determined to create an amazing dinosaur-themed room for her son Charlie, five, but she didn’t want to spend a fortune.

By doing some extremely savvy shopping from Facebook Marketplace, ebay and Instagram and upcycling decades-old furniture herself, Sophia managed to bring Jurassic Park home for under £250.

Sophia, 32, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "My son Charlie is obsessed with dinosaurs, so I knew I wanted to make him a dinosaur room.

"He loved Jurassic Park but with him being only five I didn’t want him to be scared of his room. I took inspiration from Pinterest and set about looking for items for his room.

"I started by painting the full room, then bought tester pots for his mountain range on the wall.

"His drawers were my husband's from when he was a child. I’d previously painted the drawer fronts when I was pregnant with my son.

"I repainted them with the same colour tester pots used for the mountain range and coated them in a clear varnish to stop chipping.

“I created the mountain range after painting the walls. I used tester pots of paint and just waved my brush as I went down. For the volcano, once the paint had dried I did the same again with a thin paintbrush for the lava.

"The drawer handles are toys. I bought a huge amount of dinosaurs in a bundle from Facebook Marketplace for £10. I picked out ones that were big enough for your palm. Handles that are roughly six to seven inches in length are best.

"Now the handles did take me a couple of attempts. I couldn’t justify buying them at £25 a pair for handles. I found a few tutorials that said to use gorilla glue or no more nails but the drawers I have don’t have metal runners so I knew glue wouldn’t work as it’s stiff to pull out.

"The drawers have fixed screws that can't be removed, so I got some different sized nuts from family and found what size I needed. I got the amount I needed from Wilko.

"I then glued the nut into the dinosaurs. When dry, I coated the inside of the nut with the same glue and then screwed the sink handle onto the drawer. Once set, they weren’t moving.

"It would have been a lot easier with new drawers as I simply could have fitted a new bolt and nut to drawers that didn’t have handles or used the fixings from previous handles.

“I coated the top of the drawers and bed to match with DC-Fix Vinyl.

"The bookshelves are IKEA spice racks and cost £3 each. The tent is originally Urban Outfitters but I managed to get it like new from ebay for £22.

"The blind was great - it was half price at Dunelm and then at the time there was a big discount for NHS workers, so I got the blind for £28.

"The photos in the window are prints from Etsy. You receive a pdf and print them at home.

"The shelves are from ebay from a small business, the artificial plants were FEJKA From IKEA, and the knitted pom poms were made by my nana.

"The bamboo chair was a bargain. Near the tills in IKEA when it reopened were all these chairs on sale for £20, so I picked one up. They were reduced from £65! It was funny trying to fit that in my Mini Cooper.

"I made the mirror from raffia and a gold hanging mirror we already had from B&M.

"I used a wicker wreath you can buy at craft shops to glue the mirror to it. I ironed all the raffia straight to begin with and proceeded to fold and hot glue it around the outside of the mirror.

"Now if I did it again, I would glue all the raffia down to the wreath and then simply glue the mirror down on top.

"It was taking shape but where I glued it down it looked a mess, so I bought some natural beads from ebay and attached them around with hot glue to mask the edges of the raffia around the mirror.

"I hung it on a door and cut the raffia into the circle shape it is. It’s so effective and cost me £16 to make, which is a lot thriftier than buying a raffia mirror for £100!

"The bedding was a second-hand purchase from Facebook Marketplace and originally came from M&S, the dino head is Dunelm, the big dino is H&M, the rug and baskets are from IKEA, the wall height chart is from Etsy for £22, his T-Rex wall light is from Lights for Fun, and his wire name is from a little Instagram business called A Little Wired.”

Sophia is delighted with the finished look of Charlie’s room - and Charlie, of course, is over the moon.

"I loved doing this room - it was a true test of what I could do all by myself,” Sophia adds.

"Charlie’s room cost just shy of £250 to do.

"Because we were in full lockdown when I did it, I had to shop savvy as a lot of things were out of stock or shops just weren’t open for business.

"I also couldn’t ask anyone to help me decorate or anything. When I did it as well it turned out to be the hottest day of the year!

"It was an amazing feeling creating this entire look for under £250. I was on a really tight budget at the time. With furlough happening for both husband and me, I needed to redo his room for the lowest price I could.

"Charlie was ecstatic. He was so surprised when he saw it. He just loves it!”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Kids’ tastes are constantly changing, so if your child has been begging for a new themed room, whether about dinosaurs, Harry Potter or superheroes, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune on something they might be tired of next year.

“Sophia’s solution is fantastic: create a stunning bespoke room that looks super-expensive, but do it on a budget by upcycling and shopping smart to avoid spending a fortune!”

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