One Room Challenge : Week One

Welcome to our very first room for the One Room Challenge. Learn about our inspiration and design plan to transform our son’s nursery into an antique train boys bedroom.

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

Howdy and welcome! If you have been following along with our woodland nursery series, then you already know that the plans for our son’s big boy room have been in the works for the last couple of months.

The plans that is, we haven’t actually started any physical work on it yet besides shopping. I am ashamed to admit this, but we have lived in our home for almost two years now and our son’s room remains unfinished.

The two biggest reasons for this are:

  • I had zero inspiration on how to design the room in such a way that I knew he would love it,
  • and I wanted antique furniture for his room. Anyone who loves antiques knows antique shopping takes time and you never know when you will find that perfect piece.

Ironically for me, that perfect piece (or pieces) somehow all came at the same time. For months I had been trying to find the bed and all of the sudden, I found both the bed and trunk in the same night!

I have my work cut out for me though, each antique for his room is in need of some TLC. But, I am ecstatic to jump in and get to work on them!


Let’s start with the inspiration for how our design came about.

A couple of months ago, I was wracking my brain over what to do for our son’s room when it dawned on me – he loves trains, specifically steam locomotives.

This idea was pulling at my heart strings because it was the perfect way to create a bedroom he will love into the farmhouse aesthetics I love.

On to Pinterest I went for some inspiration on my newfound room theme.

This was the photo that hit me like a freight train… accidental pun intended.

railway station boys bedroom with medium stained antique Jenny Lind bed, steamer trunks, wood toy train, and white vertical shiplap wall

Yes, yes, yes! The second I laid my eyes on this photo, I knew I had finally found the design inspiration for our son’s room.

The Jenny Lind bed, the shiplap, the steamer trunks, the trains, the plane, the railway sign… everything about this photo stole my heart.

Unfortunately, I could only find this one photo on Pinterest and there was not a link to any website. All I know is it was pinned by a mattress company called Zinus, which I do not know anything about.

Nonetheless, I continued to search and came across this inspiration photo as well!

beautiful neutral children's room with antique steamer trunk, two Jenny Lind beds painted black, and natural wood window trim

This precious bedroom is part of a cottage house flip done by Jenna Sue Design Co.

Notice a common denominator here. That of which is me being drawn to Jenny Lind beds and steamer trunks! Therefore, I had to make sure both found their way into the room.

Seriously though, how sweet is this room?! There is a beautiful balance between a child’s room with the low beds and teddy bear, and that of a more mature timeless look with the neutrals and a pop of color.


As you can see, we have decided to go with an antique train design theme for our son’s room! We have not told him about our plans to renovate his room and cannot wait to surprise him in the next several weeks!

Now that you have an idea of where we are going with this, here are the tasks we are undertaking to make this room happen!

DIY Projects:

  • Shiplap Feature Wall
  • Custom Railway Sign
  • Custom Wall Decor
  • Box Beams (undecided still on whether or not we will be doing this one – thoughts?)

Furniture Restoration:

  • Jenny Lind Bed
  • Steamer Trunk
  • Gentleman’s Dresser


Remember how I said I had my work cut out for me and that each antique needed some TLC? Keep that in mind when you look at the photos.


Thanks to the advice from Lyndsey at The Highland Home, I found this gorgeous antique Jenny Lind bed on Facebook Marketplace for only $75!!

Ok I say gorgeous even though the bed has an uneven finish after having been stripped, but can you not just see the potential?!

antique Jenny Lind bed with uneven finish due to stripping


As for the trunk, it too was found through Facebook Marketplace. The original trunk I found ended up not being what we had hoped after having taken a look at it in person. But, we ended up finding the right trunk for us later that same day, in much better shape and price! The trunk ended up costing us $80.

antique metal-clad steamer trunk painted turquoise


Only a couple of days later, after finding both the bed and trunk, I found the dresser! Since I had been having such great success with Facebook Marketplace thus far, I had originally been scouring the platform for an antique dresser. When luck ran out on there, I hopped onto the our local resale shop’s website and found the dresser!

Y’all we found a Victorian Gentleman’s Dresser for our little gentleman! It comes equipped with a hat box and all. I was in love and sold.

I admit, this was our splurge piece for the room coming in at $600. But, it was the perfect size for a little boys room and our son sure liked it too!

antique gentleman's dresser

This 8 week challenge begins today and I already feel behind, but that’s the life of a toddler mom. Oh and to add a little more stress, we have a fast approaching vacation smack dab in the middle of this challenge… I probably should have given this more thought before registering.

  • One room
  • Three furniture restorations
  • Too many DIYs

Challenge accepted. Let’s do this.

We would love for you to follow along as we (hopefully) complete this room transformation over the next 8 weeks!

Visit the One Room Challenge Blog page to check out the other participants design plans and find more inspiration!

Thanks for following along!

Follow along with our One Room Challenge on our social media pages!

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Learn how to easily make DIY woodland nursery curtains. Perfect for any nursery with the optimal balance between light filtering and blackout curtains.

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

Let’s just start off with what might be a controversial topic. Blackout curtains in a nursery, or no?

How about we meet in the middle and get the best of both worlds!

My logic was, if my son can fall asleep in the car or stroller with the sun blaring, then he should be capable of falling asleep in a semi-dark room with blinds and curtains. The goal was to have curtains that darkened the room some in hopes of helping make nap time a little easier, but also let in just enough light so that our son would not grow accustomed to only being able to sleep in a pitch black room.

Some may say that the blackout curtains help little ones to nap during the day or sleep longer in the mornings and not be woken up by the sun… if only that were true. Three years later and our son still wakes up like clock work no matter how late he stayed up or if the sun is still sleeping.

Seeing as how I have a slight obsession with flannel and it is a heavy weight fabric that could work great for curtains, I decided to try it out. I have never seen nor heard of flannel curtains, but that didn’t stop me from giving it a go and I am so glad it didn’t!

The flannel fabric ended up being the best choice for our woodland nursery curtains! Not only are is the pattern adorable, but the fabric provides the optimal balance between light filtering and blackout curtains. The curtains are heavy and dark enough to block most of the light, but the lighter portions of the flannel allowed for subtle filtered light to peak through.

These DIY woodland nursery curtains were the finishing touch and beautifully framed our woodland nursery signs.

The curtains are designed to provide two different ways of hanging – a rod pocket or clip rings.


  • Add tabs to the back for a different hanging option.
  • Customize the appliques with a different animal, flowers, trees, etc.
  • Keep it simple and skip the appliques.


  • Flannel Fabric (the amount needed for the desired height and number of panels)
  • Drop Cloth
  • Bear Applique
  • Paper
  • Thread
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Sewing Machine

If you would like to use a Cricut for the bear applique pattern:



Begin by laundering and ironing all fabric to be used for the curtains.

All of the bedrooms in our base housing were on the second floor, which had 8′ ceilings. With that being said, I custom made these curtains to be hung by clip rings and not gathered on the floor. Therefore, my curtains are 92″ (7’8″) long.

The full width of the fabric was used to determine the curtain width. In my case, the width was 44″ based off of the flannel fabric used.

All measurements stated in this tutorial are based off of this length and width (44″ x 92″). Simply add or subtract some fabric to either the drop cloth or flannel portion to get the length that works for your space.

Measure and cut 81″ panels from the main fabric – I used flannel.

Measure and cut 44″ x 15″ pieces from the drop cloth. You will only need one for each curtain panel.

Since our son’s nursery had two windows, I cut four pieces of both the flannel and drop cloth.

Iron all of the fabric pieces to be used. Next, fold over the top 3″ of the drop cloth and iron down. This is going to create the rod loop for the curtains.


There are two ways to cut out your bear appliques:

  • print and cut the pattern from the computer
  • or cut a pattern using a Cricut.

Once you have the bear patterns cut out of paper, lay them on the leftovers of your main fabric and cut out one of each bear for each curtain panel. Again, I had four panels so I needed four of each bear – papa, mama, and baby.

Pin the bears onto the drop cloth and stitch around each using the overcasting stitch on your machine. I recommend doing a test stitch to see what size stitch width and length you like for this application.


Instead of a true hem, I chose to leave frayed edges around the curtains.

Using the straight stitch, sew 1/4″ from the edges around the main fabric. Slightly fray the fabric all around.


Pin the top of the main fabric to the bottom of the drop cloth on the backside with a 1″ overlap.

Drop cloth has a tendency to fray easier than other fabrics. Because of this, I elected to sew 1/2″ away from the edges to allow for any excess fraying to take place.

Using a decorative stitch and a contrasting thread color, sew 1/2″ from the edges around the drop cloth. Again, I recommend doing a test stitch to see what size stitch width and length you like for this application.

My decorative stitching is 1/4″ wide with the outer edge being 1/2″ away from the edge of the drop cloth.

Make sure to sew along the bottom of the rod pocket (3″ fold over) and not the top edge. Slightly fray the fabric all around.

Use clip rings or the rod pocket to hang your beautiful new curtains.

Simple, right?! I have to admit, I was nervous to try and take on the task of sewing curtains. Due to the fact that curtains consist of very large pieces of fabric and are a focal point in a room, I really didn’t want to mess them up. Thankfully, they ended up being incredibly easy and the hardest part was measuring out the long panels to make sure the pattern wasn’t crooked.

We have enjoyed these curtains hanging in our son’s nursery for the last three years, and my hope is that you can do the same with yours!


Thank you so much for stopping by! Happy Sewing!

We wanna see those sewing skills! Comment below or tag us on social media to share your curtains with us!

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"it's a love without end, amen" woodland nursery signs

Learn how to make these DIY woodland nursery signs! Inspired by George Strait’s song – Love Without End, Amen – and the endless love shared between a parent and their child.

"it's a love without end, amen" DIY woodland nursery signs

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

When designing our son’s nursery, I had been seeing all sorts of wood signs available on Etsy with cute phrases and woodland animals. Being a natural-born DIYer, I had instantly already made the decision to make our own woodland nursery signs.

For me, DIY isn’t always about saving money, but putting in the time and love to make it. This is one of those instances.

We wanted something special that served as a reminder of a simple, yet cherished truth each day.

And that is how these woodland nursery signs came to be.

"It's a love without end, amen" woodland nursery signs

Country + Christian. That pretty much sums up the genre of music that plays in this household. So when I was trying to figure out what words to paint onto our son’s woodland nursery signs, I thought what better words than those from George Strait’s song – Love Without End, Amen.

Those four words say everything. Everything about the endless love shared between our son and his daddy, mommy, and Heavenly Father.

After having completed our floating corner shelves, we made sure to add some black bears to continue on with the woodland theme in our son’s nursery.


  • Use vinyl instead of paint and a stencil.
  • Customize the signs with a different animal, flowers, trees, etc.
  • Forego the chains and hang the signs arranged either horizontally or vertically.
  • Use 1×4 project boards for clean 90 degree edges.
  • Rip the rounded edges off of 1×4 furring strips with a table saw to get clean 90 degree edges. Rip .25″ off each side. Boards will then be 3″ wide instead of 3.5″.


There are two different ways to make the stencils: using a Cricut or by hand with an X-Acto knife (or something similar).

If making the stencils by hand, you can download your free printable here and follow along below. But I personally would highly recommend the Cricut seeing as how it is much easier and will save you a lot of time!




1×4 CUTS

We used the width of the 1×4 to help determine the size of the signs. Going based off of the 3.5″ width of the boards, we cut the 1x4s to be 14″ long and placed 4 boards together for each sign to make a 14″ x 14″ square.

Using the 1×4, we cut (4) 14″ boards for each sign, giving us a total of 12 boards.

1×2 CUTS

Rather than having the signs lay flat against the wall, we chose to float them using 1×2 furring strips.

Using the 1×2, cut (2) 11.5″ boards for each sign. There will be a total of 6 boards.


Before assembling the signs, I attached one eye screw into the top and bottom of each 1×2 board.

NOTE: The bottom sign will not need eye screws on the bottoms of the 1×2 pieces.

I went ahead and measured out (4) 4.75″ strands of the chain to go between the signs, and (1) 8.25″ strand to go across the top for hanging. Using needle nose pliers, I opened the links of the chain to separate the strands.


Laying 4 of the 1×4 boards on the ground, I placed 2 of the 1×2 boards perpendicular along the back – 2″ in from each side and 1.25″ from top and bottom.

Using a drill, we screwed (4) 1.25″ screws through each 1×2 board to attach the 1×4 boards.

You could choose to attach the chains now or wait until after staining and painting.

construction of woodland nursery signs


If you have seen our ultrasound picture frame and DIY pipe shelf posts, then you already know we decided to use Minwax Red Mahogany for our stain color in the nursery. This stain perfectly matched the top of the dresser we were using, not to mention we already had a leftover bucket of it from my dad, and eliminating the need to buy new stain!

We have since switched to and highly recommend this non-toxic brand! They even have a craft stain that is made for this kind of project.

Don’t forget to sand the signs according to the staining instructions before eagerly reaching for that staining rag! Something we have failed to do in the past and have since learned from our mistakes.


To make the stencils, I simply used some cardstock paper and my Cricut to easily make custom designs specifically for this project.

If you do not have a Cricut, you can get the printable version here and cut them out with an X-Acto knife. But I personally would highly recommend the Cricut seeing as how it is much easier and will save you a lot of time!

stencil placed in desired location on sign
Lay the cutout pieces on the signs to get a visual for where you want them located.

To get started with your Cricut, you will need the Cricut Design Space app on your computer and the Woodland Nursery Signs project file.

If you need help setting up the file and going through the cutting process, check out this post for a step-by-step tutorial.

stencils placed on wood sign in preparation of painting
Place your stencils where the cutouts were located in preparation for painting.


The colors chosen were the same as those used in our nursery painted wood letters. All I did was mix the paints to get the desired shades of gray. Below are the colors used:

Once I had my paint colors, I laid the paper stencils in place on each sign and began to paint.

I was careful to keep paint out of both the seams and knots in the wood as I wanted those to remain stained and highlight the natural character of the wood and signs.

"It's a Love" woodlands nursery sign completed
"Without End" woodland nursery sign completed
"Amen" woodland nursery sign completed


At this point is when I chose to attach the strands of chain to the signs.

When our son was just a baby, we did not have the 8.25″ chain along the top of the sign in order to hang it. We simply used some nails to hang the signs by the eye screws at the top of the first sign.

Once our son became mobile and getting into everything, we wanted the signs to be more childproof. So we added the 8.25″ chain along the top and swapped out the nails for two drywall anchors and screws. Then we used the needle nose pliers to open two of the chain links of the hanging strand to wrap them around the head of the screw.

closeup of screws and drywall anchors used for hanging the woodland nursery signs

woodland nursery signs hanging on wall of nursery
I apologize for the horrific photo quality… I didn’t realize just how terrible this photo was until after we moved.

These signs make me beary happy (sorry, I had to) and I love that they have so much meaning to them.

I am a big advocate of decor having meaning or a story behind it, otherwise how much purpose does it serve? If there is no sentiment, there is no sentimental value. Therefore, it is essentially just there for looks and easily replaceable.

I treasure these woodland nursery signs and I hope they bring inspiration for your own treasured nursery decor.

Looking for more budget-friendly DIY projects? Check out our posts below!


Thanks for stopping by! Happy Building!

Share your finished signs with us! Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!

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DIY floating corner shelves

Optimize the space in the corner of your bedroom or nursery! Learn how to easily make these DIY floating corner shelves on a budget!

DIY floating corner shelves

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

If you saw our post about the DIY pipe shelf we made, then you already know the so-called dresser we were using in our son’s nursery was rather small. With extremely limited counter space, we were wanting to add more storage and decorating space through shelving.

This project added the extra shelf space we needed for decor and didn’t cost us a penny!

Who doesn’t love a free project?! All of the shelves were made using scrap wood and stain we already had in our garage. In addition to that, we actually made more shelves than we needed!

We made four shelves with the intention of using two in each corner on either side of the crib. Instead, we ended up deciding on using three in one corner.

The three shelves were placed in one larger corner of the room above our son’s chair to create a decorative reading nook. Our goal had been to add some bookshelves on a nearby wall, but we moved before that ever happened. #militarylife

DIY floating corner shelves decorated for a woodland nursery

This corner ended up being my favorite corner in the house! It was just too cozy and adorable not to love! Find out how we easily made these DIY floating corner shelves along with details about how we decorated them below!


  • Turn the shelves upside down to have the 1×2 boards below the shelf line rather than above.
  • Use 1×2 project boards for clean 90 degree edges.
  • Rip the rounded edges off of 1×3 furring strips with a table saw to get clean 90 degree edges. Rip .25″ off each side. Boards will then be 2″ wide instead of 2.5″.


  • 1×12 Project Board
  • 1×2 Furring Strips (or Project Board)
  • Wood Stain (<< Our favorite!)
  • Staining Rags
  • Sandpaper (120 + 220 grit)
  • Wood Shims
  • 1.25″ Nails
  • 1.5″ Screws
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Circular Saw or Miter Saw
  • Table Saw (Optional: used if ripping edges off 1×3 furring strips)



1×12 CUTS

We began by drawing a line at the 11.25″ mark on the 1×12, then drawing the hypotenuse across the center of the 11.25″ x 11.25″ square.

If using a miter saw, you could simply make a 45 degree angle cut starting from one corner of the 1×12.

Granted, the walls might not make a perfect 90 degree angle and therefore shims will be needed later during installation. If you really want the shelves to be exact, measure the angle of your wall and make cuts accordingly.

Repeat until you have the number of shelves needed.

1×2 CUTS

For each shelf, we cut (1) 1×2 at 11.25″ and (1) 1×2 at 12″.

Repeat until you have two trim pieces for each shelf.


To assemble the shelves, we went old-school and simply used a hammer and some nails.

You could choose to use wood glue as well, but we opted to go without.

Three nails were used in each of the two trim pieces to attach them to the shelf. Repeat for each shelf.

Assembly, done!


Pick a tone and grab a rag, it’s time to stain these beauties!

Like I have mentioned in our ultrasound picture frame and DIY pipe shelf posts, we decided to use Minwax Red Mahogany for our stain color. This stain matched the top of the dresser perfectly and we already had a leftover bucket of it from my dad.

We have since switched to and highly recommend this non-toxic brand! They even have a craft stain that would work well for this kind of project.

Don’t forget to sand the shelves according to the staining instructions before eagerly reaching for that staining rag!


Next up is installation!

As mentioned previously, the walls may not make an exact 90 degree angle and this is where the wood shims come into play. We just wedged an appropriately sized shim between the shelf and back wall for a tight fit. We couldn’t see it and everyone else was none the wiser.

Once we determined the spacing of each shelf, we drilled a total of (4) 1.5″ screws into each shelf (two screws in each trim piece) to prevent any torque. Repeat for each shelf.

Installation, done!


And now for the best part – decorating!

Of course, the first items to be placed on our new floating corner shelves were pictures of our growing little man! The frame colors were the inspiration for our son’s personalized wood letters.

DIY wood corner shelves with a Canadian Mountie bear and galvanized metal pail fill with dried floral.

I had found this cute little galvanized metal pail that reminded me of our babymoon in Tennessee and it fit perfectly on these corner shelves. I filled the pail with some neutral color dried floral and straw for a bit more masculine look.

Lastly, are the precious little black bears. The black bears from our vacations to Tennessee were the inspiration for our woodland nursery, and I couldn’t resist adding them in the spare nooks and crannies of the shelves.

DIY wood corner shelves with wood picture frame and black bear.

Every black bear in his nursery has sentimental value. Chris and I were having our babymoon in Tennessee at the same time my family was vacationing in Canada. The Canadian Mountie bear was a gift for Cole from my family and the black bear was a gift from sweet Miss Elvira from Elvira’s Cafe in Sevierville, TN.

If you are ever out in east Tennessee go to Elvira’s Cafe – it’s delicious and filled with good people! We stop by there at least once each time we are visiting!

That’s all there is to it!

We were so happy with how these floating corner shelves turned out and loved being able to utilize the large corner in the nursery! The fact that it didn’t cost us anything made it that much more of a win for us!

Looking for more budget-friendly DIY projects? Check out our posts below!


Thanks for stopping by! Happy Building!

How did you decorate your corner shelves? Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!



DIY industrial pipe shelf

Learn how to make this DIY industrial pipe shelf for under $25. An easy beginner DIY project inspired by Restoration Hardware, but made for a budget!

DIY industrial pipe shelf

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

When designing our son’s nursery, I wanted to incorporate a collage wall above his dresser. Being inspired by the industrial pipe shelves I had been seeing, I decided to add one onto this wall for additional counter space.

The so-called dresser we used in the nursery was technically not a dresser, but more of a decorative storage cabinet. The overall depth and dimensions of the cabinet were much smaller than that of a regular dresser; therefore, it did not leave much counter space for storage or decor.

This industrial pipe shelf, in addition to this paper mache deer head, helped to add a variety of dimensions to the overall collage. The depth of the shelf paired nicely with the depth of the dresser, and I loved the extra surface area available for decorating!

In terms of difficulty level, this has got to be a runner-up with our ultrasound picture frame or our painted wood letters – in other words, super easy!!

This was an incredibly easy project, but one of my favorites in the nursery. It was such a simple way to add depth and visual interest to an otherwise flat canvas of a wall.


  • Use these pipe shelf brackets instead of making your own.
  • Use 2-hole metal conduit straps to baby-proof the shelf in a nursery.
  • Use a 2×8 board for a thicker shelf profile.
DIY industrial pipe shelf on nursery wall




Using the width of the dresser as a guide for overall available space, I began by spacing out what was going to be my collage wall on the floor in front of the dresser.

After determining the placement and spacing of each piece, I measured the space available for the shelf and let that dictate the length of the shelf – 2’0″.

We cut the board to length and stained the wood.

For the stain, we used Minwax Red Mahogany because we already had a bucket of it and it matched the top of the dresser. We have since switched to and highly recommend this brand! They even have a craft stain perfect for projects like this one!



The industrial pipe brackets themselves weigh a little more than a typical bracket, and depending on what you plan to place on top of the shelf, you might choose to use anchors or drilling directly into a stud.

We started off by locating any studs in the wall. Using the flange, we marked the location of the holes on one of them. To make it easier for leveling the other side, we went ahead and installed the one flange.

We then used a yardstick and a level to place the other flange and mark the location of the holes on that one as well. Install the second flange.


Brace yourself, this is the hardest step of the entire process.

Once both flanges were securely installed on the wall, we screwed the steel pipes into each flange and lastly screwed on the caps.

Boom, done.

black galvanized pipes, flanges, and caps


All that was left was to simply place the cut and stained board onto the pipe shelf supports.

You can baby-proof the shelf by adding 2-hole metal conduit straps to secure the wood shelf to the pipes.

close-up view of DIY industrial pipe brackets


And now for the fun part!

I wanted a special place in the nursery for our son’s wooden toy train and this shelf was the perfect spot. My sweet friend, aka one of Cole’s aunts, gave him this precious train from Pottery Barn and even hand-painted his initials along with some sweet baby bears!

wood train on top of DIY industrial pipe shelf in nursery

When shopping for nursery decor, I found this metal tool box and couldn’t leave the store without it… so I didn’t.

After giving it some thought as to what I could store inside this bin, I realized all of our burp cloths and baby blankets would fit! Adorable and functional decor, my favorite combo!

The inside of the metal bin had a bit of rust and chipping paint, so I lined the inside of it with some leftover drawer liner to keep the contents clean.

metal tool bin with burp cloths and blankets on top of DIY industrial pipe shelf in nursery

There you have it, clean and tidy nursery storage! Added bonus, it is a visual reminder when you are running low on burp cloths and need to do some laundry!

That’s all there is to it! With zero experience and $25, this is a great project for any beginner DIYer!

Check out our posts below for some nursery inspiration and more budget-friendly DIY projects!


Thanks for following along! Happy Building!

How did you decorate your nursery shelf? Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!

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diy paper mache deer head

Learn how to make this DIY paper mache deer head for free using items around the house! Perfect for a woodland nursery or kids room!

DIY paper mache deer head

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

While out shopping for our son’s nursery, I came across this $15 paper mache deer head at Hobby Lobby. I could have just bought the deer head, I could have used a coupon, but me being my stubborn self said, “I can make that.”

Let me preface this with the fact that I have probably only done paper mache once back in grade school…

After completing our ultrasound picture frame and wood letters, I wanted some way to add dimension to the collage wall we were doing in the nursery. This DIY deer head was a wonderful addition with its neutral tones and antique flair of the newspaper and twine!

DIY paper mache deer head on collage wall in woodland nursery

Zero planning went into the making of this project, and my process may seem like a mess. Nonetheless, it worked and I didn’t even spend a penny to complete this project! All of the supplies was either free – newspaper and packing paper – or items we already had – twine and Mod Podge.

My logic was this:

I will make it and love it. – OR – I will hate it and it only cost me the time to make it.

Thankfully, the former was what happened!

Zero planning. Zero dollars spent. One happy mama. One good looking deer!

front view of diy paper mache deer head in woodland nursery


  • Add floral to the crown of the deer’s head for a girl’s room or nursery.
  • Use this pre-made paper mache deer head and simply decorate!
  • Cover only in brown paper for a more neutral look.
  • Remove the antlers for a doe or try a different animal.
  • Use as an art project and have your kids help make it!


If you do not want to make the form from scratch, you can purchase a ready made paper mache deer head and skip to Step 3 for how to decorate!


We had mounds of packing paper leftover from our previous move with the Navy, so I decided to put at least a tiny portion of it to good use!

I used scissors to cut my paper into strips. I later found out the the pieces of paper will lay smoother if torn rather than cut. Either way works!

strips of packing paper

I cut both 1-2″ strips for my paper mache and 4-6″ strips for creating the overall base form.

To thin the adhesive, I placed some Mod Podge in a bowl and added some water to get the thinner consistency to dip the paper strips in.


Y’all are going to laugh so hard when you see my process for how this paper mache deer head took shape! I am not exaggerating when I say that I was completely winging it on this project and seeing where it took me.


To begin, I grabbed two brown paper lunch bags and stuffed them with packing paper. I roughly shaped them into a head and neck, and tied them off. You can use whatever you have to tie them off – rubber band, tape, glue, staples, string, etc.

brown paper lunch bags stuff with packing paper to form head and neck shapes of the deer head


Next, I formed the base of the antlers by twisting a 4-6″ wide strip of packing packing into a curve and wrapping it in smaller paper mache strips.

I did the same with smaller portions to form the points of the antler and attached them to the base of the antler by wrapping with smaller 1-2″ wide paper mache strips.


The ears were simply flat pieces of packing paper that I rolled up the sides of to form the rims of the ear. I used the hot glue gun to glue the rolled up sides to prevent them from unrolling before applying the paper mache.

formation of paper ear for the deer head


After I had all of my pieces, I then attached them all to form the base. Starting with the base pieces, I glued the head to the neck portion. I twisted some more 4-6″ wide strips of packing paper and wrapped them along the top and base of the neck to form a natural tapering shape.

base form of paper mache deer head showing the tapering of the neck

Next, I created and attached the detail pieces. I glued the ears onto the head and crumbled up some small bits of paper to form mounds for the eyes and nose.

I know, it looks pretty bad right now. Keep going, it will get better!

Dipping the strips of 1-2″ wide packing paper into the glue, I began laying the strips onto the base. I used the strips to taper and smooth the details of the face until the base was covered and I was happy with how everything looked.

paper mache deer head covered in brown packing paper

The antlers were the last pieces to be glued onto the head because of their weight. Once I glued the antlers on, I had to prop them up while they dried.

Notice my glue bottles playing the role of structural supports!


Now that the foundation was made, it’s time to move onto the decorating portion! Considering our son was a Navy baby, I found it fitting to use Navy newspaper articles to decorate the deer head for his nursery!

I cut the newspaper into 1-2″ wide strips for my paper mache and thinned out some more Mod Podge.

Dipping the strips of newspaper into the glue, I began laying the strips onto the base. Continue until the base is covered in paper mache newspaper.

When working with newspaper, be careful not to overwork the paper. The ink can smear if brushing the surface with a sponge brush, rubbing the surface, etc.

Make sure to paper mache the base of the neck (the part that will be against the wall) with packing paper strips to strengthen it for hanging.


Once all of the paper mache was complete and dry, I then used a hot glue gun to attach the twine to the antlers.

I started from the base of the antlers and worked my way up, venturing off the base of the antler onto each point.

At the top of each point, I wrapped the twine until it filled in the space, glued it down at the center of the point, and trimmed off any excess.

Then, I went back to where I left off on the base of the antler and continued up the antler with a new strand of twine.

I repeated this process until the whole antler was covered in twine.

At this point you could choose to add floral! If we have a little girl at some point, I plan to add floral to the crown of the deer’s head and possibly intertwine some into the antlers.


My original plan for hanging the deer head onto the wall was to attach it to a wood plaque like a taxidermy deer head.

But, I was in a pinch to get this on the wall in time for some baby photos that were being taken in our son’s nursery.

What I ended up doing was simply poking a hole into the back of the deer’s neck and hung it on the wall through the use of a small command hook. It got the job done and I was happy with it!

DIY paper mache deer head hanging on wall in woodland nursery

I gotta admit, I was very happy with how this turned out especially when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing in the process! And I especially love how this project didn’t cost me anything! You can find more of our nursery projects below!


Happy Crafting!

How did you decorate your DIY paper mache deer head? Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!

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DIY Painted Wood Letters

Learn how to easily paint and distress wood letters for your baby’s nursery with this simple tutorial! These DIY painted wood letters are a great way to add a personal touch to any room!

DIY painted wood letters, how to paint distressed wood letters

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

If you caught my post earlier this week on our ultrasound picture frame, then you already had a sneak peek at these painted wood letters!

Every nursery needs baby’s name displayed somewhere in the room! I feel like it’s almost obligatory to display baby’s name, initials, or birth date in some form.

The inspiration for this project was a collage wall I wanted to do above the dresser. I needed letters that were proportionate to both the ultrasound picture frame I had made and the space available within the college area.

I found these wood letters that were the exact size I needed to fill the spot! When it came to what colors to paint the letters, I chose to use a picture frame that was going to be used in the nursery as the inspiration.

This is a very simple project that adds a personal touch to any room! Continue below to find different ways you can personalize a space through variations of this project!

DIY painted wood letters


  • Use large wood letters to hang above a crib or bed.
  • Use paper mache letters to stand on top of a dresser.
  • Mix and match sizes of wood letters to create a monogram.
  • Use numbers to paint their birth date.
  • Have a painting party with your kids and let them paint their own letters!



When it came to the colors used, I mixed paints I already had from another nursery project to get the desired shades. These are the colors I used:

Next, I gave each letter a nice even coat of paint using a paintbrush.

Don’t forget to paint the sides of the letters!

unfinished wood letters

I have a before picture, but forgot to take one of just the letters painted solid…


Once the letters were dry, I took a dry paintbrush and placed only a small amount of accent color paint on the brush.

Accent colors used:

  • Gray accents for white letters
  • White accents for gray letters
  • Lighter brown accent for brown letters

I lightly stroked the dry brush across the letters until each letter had the amount of distressing wanted.

Be sure to distress the sides of each letter where needed!

painted and distressed wood letters


After all of the paint was dry, it was time to hang the finished letters!

Since I wanted the wood letters to lay flat against the wall and they did not come with any way to hang them; I chose to use command strips to attach them to the wall.

Simply press and hold a command strip to the backside of each letter. Then press and hold the letter against the wall. Easy peasy!

DIY painted wood letters hanging on nursery wall using command strips

We had these letters hanging in our son’s nursery for over a year before we moved and removing them was a cinch. Zero damage to the wall and they held up great! Plus, this is a great option when renting because it’s less holes in the wall that you have to fill when you move out!

Easy, right?! I loved being able to personalize our son’s nursery with a fun and simple project! Check out some more of our nursery project’s below!


Happy Crafting!

We would love to see your finished project! Is your baby’s name displayed in the nursery? Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!

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DIY ultrasound picture frame

Display those precious ultrasound pictures with a window pane frame! This DIY project is very simple and a sweet addition to any nursery.

DIY ultrasound picture frame

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

We are going to kick off our nursery series with a super simple DIY project! Seriously, this is quite possibly one of the easiest DIY projects ever. If you are not much of a DIYer, there is a ready-to-go option for you in the supplies list!

During my pregnancy I was shopping for the nursery of course and found this cute chicken wire window frame in the clearance section at Michael’s. Who doesn’t love some good old fashioned chicken wire?!

At the time, I did not know what I wanted to do with it, so I took a picture of it and left it sitting on the shelf. Then the little light bulb went off in my head…

Each window pane in this frame was the perfect size for ultrasound pictures!

Our ultrasound pictures were residing on the refrigerator at the time, but I knew I wanted a way to display them in the nursery after our son was here. So I went back and got the frame.

I failed to take a picture of the frame before staining it, but here are some random close-ups I have showing the unfinished wood.

Seeing as how it was an unfinished wood frame, the first decision to make was whether to stain or paint the frame.

Considering the ultrasound picture frame was going to be hanging above the dresser, we decided to match the wood stains. The dresser we were using in the nursery was one I had from college and it has a dark red mahogany colored wood top.

With that being said, we figured a weathered stain with gray tones would probably not pair well with the rich red mahogany tones of the dresser and went with the matching route. Plus, we already had a gallon of Minwax Red Mahogany my dad had given to us previously, which meant this project just got cheaper with one less thing to purchase!

This was probably the fastest DIY project we have ever done, but certainly a favorite. This ultrasound picture frame serves as a sweet reminder of those blissful pregnancy days and how much our little boy has grown.

DIY ultrasound picture frame


Paint the wood instead of stain.

If you don’t want a project that involves staining wood, you could use this window pane frame instead.

Could use a glass window pane frame instead of chicken wire and mini clothespins.


  • Unfinished Wire Window Frame
  • Wood Stain (I recommend this one for crafts!)
  • Staining Rag
  • Mini Clothespins
  • Ultrasound Pictures
  • Scissors



As I mentioned earlier, we chose to match the stain with the dresser being used in the nursery. At the time, I had used Minwax Red Mahogany, but would now highly recommend using this craft stain.

This craft stain is specifically meant for crafting projects such as this and is non-toxic, zero VOC, and no odor! All of which is a huge bonus for me considering I would always get migraines after working with conventional paints and stains.

stained wire window frame with some stain on the wire

We used a sponge brush to apply the stain which I have to admit was a big mistake! The stain got all over the chicken wire when trying to apply it to the inner portion of the frame. Based off our experience, we recommend using staining rags!

Apply the stain and any additional coats until you reach the desired color. Allow for adequate drying time between each coat.


Once the frame was stained, I cut out each ultrasound picture that was going to be displayed in the frame.

Here’s a tip, DO NOT try and laminate the ultrasound pictures!! I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea. This was the result…

ruined ultrasound picture due to laminating, picture is now solid black

Thankfully, I tested an awkward ultrasound picture of my ovaries first and not a picture of my growing baby boy!

Learn from my mistake. Say no to the temptations of the laminator for this one.


As I was meandering my way through the same clearance aisle at Michael’s, I found these teeny tiny clothespins. Obviously, because I thought they were adorable (and on sale) I bought them. Well this time I can actually thank my impulse buy!

case of assorted mini clothespins

These mini clothespins were actually part of the inspiration for turning this unfinished chicken wire frame into an ultrasound picture frame. They offered me a means of attaching the pictures to the frame.

I chose to use the two natural wood tones in the kit to go with the staining of the wood frame and the overall color scheme of our son’s nursery.

ultrasound pictures attached to chicken wire with mini clothespins

Then I simply clipped one on each side of the pictures to attach them to the chicken wire.

All that’s left is to hang the finished frame in the nursery!

When it came to hanging the frame, I wanted it to be hoizontal and lay flat against the wall. The hangers that came with the frame were positioned to hang it vertically. All I did was remove the hangers and use two nails to hang it by the frame and wire itself.


Isn’t this such a fun and easy project?! I loved being able to find a way to display our son’s ultrasound pictures in his nursery!


Happy Crafting!

We would love to see your baby’s ultrasound pictures! How did you display your baby’s first pictures? Comment below or tag us on social media to share with us!

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Start a Valentine’s Day tradition with your kids! Share something you love about them on their door with this free printable and Cricut Project file.

Valentine's Day tradition for kids

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

The most important thing we can do as parents is to love our children deeply and make our love known to them. In honor of this love, we have decided to start a new tradition in our home for Valentine’s Day!

For the 14 days of February leading up to Valentine’s Day, write something you love about your child on a paper heart and place it on their bedroom door.

These decorative hearts serve as such sweet, visual reminders for children each day on the love that is shared in the home. These sentiments are one of the first things they see in the morning and one of the last things they see before bed. Your children will be reminded of your love day in and day out.

A friend of mine inspired me with these Valentine’s hearts after sharing that she had decided to start this fun tradition with her family as well. This is such an easy project, but makes a big impact on your children. Your children will look forward to you adding a new special something you love about them each day.

Make this Valentine’s Day truly special for you and your family with this sweet tradition!

Two Ways to Make the Hearts:

There are two different ways to make these Valentine’s hearts: by hand or using a Cricut. I highly recommend the Cricut, I absolutely love mine and use it quite often!

If making the hearts by hand, you can download your free printable here! Simple trace, cut, and paste the decorative hearts.

If using a Cricut Machine, continue below for the tutorial!



Begin by opening the Cricut Design Space app and connect your Cricut machine to your computer.

Open the Valentine’s Hearts project file and choose which heart design to start with first.

open the Valentine's Hearts Cricut file

There are three images present:

  • Valentine’s Heart (a large simple line heart)
  • Scalloped Heart – Front (a small simple line heart for pasting on top of the scalloped heart)
  • Scalloped Heart – Back (a large scalloped heart for pasting behind the small simple line heart)

The layers are located in the right margin of the canvas. You can hide the layers you are not currently using to cut by clicking on the eye button next to the corresponding layer. I cut one heart design at a time and hid the other two.

hide the layers not currently cutting in Cricut file

Duplicate the design to the desired amount that will fit on your paper size and arrange on the canvas. Press the “Make It” button in the top right corner.

duplicate the layers in the Cricut file


Select your material size in the left margin. You may have to rearrange the final cut layout on this screen. Press “Continue” in the lower right corner.

select material size in cricut design space

Follow the prompted instructions on the screen to ensure your machine settings are ready.

Place the paper on the machine cutting mat and load the mat into the machine by pressing the double arrow button on the machine.

select settings to cut in cricut design space

Press the Cricut logo button on the machine to begin the cut.

Once the cut is complete, unload the mat with the double arrow button and press the “Finish” button in the bottom right corner.

finish cutting in cricut design space

Repeat the process above with the other layers until you have all of your necessary pieces.


Mix and match the pieces to find combinations that you love! Simply grab a glue stick and paste the coordinating pieces together.

Valentine's Day tradition for kids, paste hearts together


Grab a pen and write love notes to your children! Hang the hearts on their doors with tape and enjoy your new Valentine’s tradition!

P.S. These aren’t just for kiddos! Show your spouse some love and surprise them with a love note each day too!

Valentine's Day tradition for kids, write love notes to your kids


We would love to see you start this tradition in your home! Share your sweet sentiments towards your children with us by tagging The Bluebonnet Farmhouse on social media!

Happy Valentine’s Day!



Learn how to make a hot water bottle cover and keep your feet warm under the covers during the chilly winter months!

how to make a hot water bottle cover, free sewing pattern and tutorial

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.

During the winter months, my grandma loves to keep warm under the covers by placing her hot water bottle near her feet. She decided it would be nice to have a cover for her hot water bottle and asked if I could make one for her birthday.

With that being said, this hot water bottle cover makes a wonderful handmade gift! I paired it with another handmade gift for her birthday!

My grandma wasn’t sure how she wanted it to look, but figured a simple rectangle and drawstring would work. However, I couldn’t resist making it pretty for her! I shaped the cover to be a comfortable snug fit and hand embroidered it with none other than bluebonnets (rather my attempt at bluebonnets!).

When she asked me to do this project, I went to Pinterest for some inspiration. There is where I found a picture of a fitted, hand embroidered cover, but no pattern or tutorial on how to accomplish it. So I made my own.

After one failed attempt, which resulted in a cover that was too small, I managed to come up with a pattern that fits perfect and extremely cozy!

how to make a hot water bottle cover, free sewing pattern and tutorial


  • 1/3 Yard of Fleece
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Measuring Tape, Yards Sticks, or Acrylic Ruler
  • Pen + Paper (I used brown wrapping paper)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Hot Water Bottle


Begin by tracing your hot water bottle cover onto some paper. Use whatever you have: wrapping paper, parchment paper, poster board, etc.

Add 3/4 inches around the body of the water bottle and draw the new cut line. This allows for some possible excess of fabric that you can reduce later if needed.

I ended up needing to remove a little bit of length off the bottom of the cover by simply sewing a new seam in the desired location and trimming off the excess. After my first failed attempt, I wanted to play it safe and have too much fabric to work with rather than too little.

For ease of use, I chose to keep the spout accessible by extending the neck of the cover just passed the neck of the hot water bottle to ensure the bottle is hidden. This way she could fill the bottle, refill later with fresh hot water, and let the inside air dry – all while still staying inside the cover!

For the neck of the bottle, draw a line down the center of the pattern and measure out a 6.25 inch wide by 3.25 inch long rectangle (measurements may vary depending on the bottle). This includes 1/2 inch seam for the top opening. Start the rectangle from where it intersects with the 3/4 inch line drawn previously.

Sticking with the most comfortable route possible, I designed this cover to function like a pillow sham. There are two flaps on the backside that overlap – allowing for the hot water bottle to be easily placed inside and concealed without the need of any closure device.

Draw two lines where you want the pillow case opening to lay. I chose to place my lines at the 3 inch and 5 inch marks from the intersection drawn previously. This allows for 1/2 inch seams and 1 inch overlap of the opening.

how to make a hot water bottle cover pattern

Trace and cut the three pieces of fabric: the front piece, top flap, and bottom flap. Remember to pair the 5 inch cut line with the top flap and the 3 inch cut line with the bottom flap.


Using the overcasting stitch, fold the seams at each opening over 1/2 inch and sew the raw edge down. This will need to be done at the back and top openings.

overcasting stitch seam at pillow case opening


Pin the three pieces together inside out in this order: front piece, top flap, and bottom flap placed on top.

Sew 3/8 inch seam around with reinforcement stitches at the top opening and on both seams located at the pillow case opening on the back. This is to help reinforce the seams that might be getting tugged on while placing the bottle inside the cover.

I normally sew 1/4 seam around, but I recommend doing closer to a 3/8 inch seam when using thick plush fabric such as fleece. I simply found it easier to work with while feeding the fabric through the machine.

overcasting and reinforcement stitch at openings

Lastly, I chose to sew overcasting stitches in the same areas as the reinforcement stitching to help cinch the fabric of the seams for a cleaner, thinner, and more finished appearance. You could choose to sew the overcasting stitch all the way around.

Turn right side out and the sewing of the cover is complete!


When it came to the design, I chose to decorate the cover using only embroidery thread to keep with the comfortable feel. I didn’t want to add buttons, Velcro, beads, etc in order to keep the cover plush and practical.

All you need to embroider the cover is an embroidery needle, some embroidery thread, and a design in mind.

I chose to do a design true to our Texas nature and embroidered a couple bluebonnets onto the cover – one for her, one for me. Then added two decorative stripes at the neck of the cover to create some visual interest and division between the body and the neck of the cover.

I used split stitching for a slightly more intricate look rather than the basic running stitch. Split stitching looks just like it sounds – a stitch splitting another stitch.

how to embroider with split stitch

Tie a knot at the end of the thread, place a stitch into the fabric, stick the needle through the thread just below the knot, and pull the remainder of the thread through to make a loop. I like to do this method for knotting to ensure the knot cannot get pulled through the fabric.

For split stitching: thread one stitch forward, thread needle one-third of the ways back into the previous stitch, and pull the thread through to split the stitch. Repeat.

Once your design is complete, tie off the thread and weave the tail of the thread back through a couple of stitches to secure.

My best advice is to knot your thread and simply start stitching! I went into this project without a game plan and do not have much experience at all with hand embroidery. Needless to say, it took a good three attempts at stitching these bluebonnets to come up with a design that I loved. Third times a charm, right?

I am very happy with how it turned out once finished! I do wish the bluebonnets were off to the left a little bit more, but I’m choosing not to sweat the details for the first time in my life.

how to make a hot water bottle cover, free sewing pattern and tutorial


Tag us on social media to share your finished project with us! Happy Sewing!

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