How to Create a Playroom on a Budget

As you read in my recent post, we moved from a two-bedroom townhouse to a four-bedroom house with a separate family room which I converted into a playroom. I was really excited about designing this space but I did not want to spend a lot of money and I certainly did not want to hire a professional so I did what anyone might do…shopped around and bought whatever looked purposeful and pretty.


One thing to remember though is that because this is a rental, I was limited in creativity and couldn’t take on any permanent and fancy Pinterest-worthy projects like enclosed desks, shelving, and others. All of my ideas were confined to things I could do with minimal wall damage and so double-sided tape, velcro, and push pins were my best friends.


One of the best things about kids at this age (and really should be, at any age) is that they don’t particularly care about “things” per se. They would be just as happy playing outdoors as they would, indoors. Similarly, they could care less whether they had a separate play room or not as long as they get to play. However, all first indications (and we’ve been here a little over a week now) show that the kids really enjoy this open play space with easy and immediate access to all their toys, where they can be kids separate from the living room where adults get to be adults.


While kids get to be kids in their space, as parents, we had other priorities. The biggest thing for us regarding our kids’ play area was that all their stuff stay contained within one space and that they didn’t spill over all their toys into other areas of the house. I understand it is a privilege to be able to afford to have additional space like this. We feel fortunate enough to be able to provide our kids with this nice little “extra”.


So, given what we already had and what we needed to get, I got to work. Here are the things I purchased:



Four sets of 16 sq. ft. floor mats by Norsk from Walmart – $60


Toys Cube


These mats are only available on Walmart’s website and can be shipped home or to the store. They cost (different brand, but identical product cost $19.99 + taxes at Lowe’s) $14.99 + taxes at Walmart.


A white 3-2-1 Cube Organizer from ClosetMaid from Walmart – $53.28. I thought I paid more for this organizer than it was worth but I couldn’t find the same product elsewhere. I also added a three-shelf bookcase (below) that I bought at Big Lots in 2015, that I was using in my previous walk-in closet to the 3-2-1 organizer to add extra storage space in the playroom.




Mainstays Floor Lamp in Coral (cheaper at Walmart but bought on Amazon) – $27.50

I wanted to actually buy the Mint one from Walmart but it was unavailable on the day I needed to buy it and for some reason, it wasn’t available on Amazon either. The latter did have the Coral lamp and so I went with it. (Coral wasn’t available at Walmart either even though it was advertised)



6 Piece Rainbow Sheer Window Panel Curtains – Lime, Orange, Burgundy, White, Bright Yellow, Navy

I did a LOT of browsing to find just the perfect curtains for the Playroom but they were too expensive, not the right size, or made of heavy fabric that would have bent the curtain rod. I saw these on Amazon and thought they were perfect for kids’ space. What do you think? (you can see my lemon tree peeping from the backyard and my little bebe below trying to get out).


Wall Decals – for a range of prices:


Jungle Theme Peel & Stick stickers – $12



City Construction Decorative Peel & Stick Wall Art Sticker Decals – $7.99



Just Dots Primary Colors Peel & Stick Wall Decals – $8.30



Making Memories Wall Sticker $3.99



3D Brick Hole View of Construction Site Digger Stretch out Wall Stickers – $8.99




Cubes (Wal-Mart) – 7.88 + 3.88 x 7

Cube Box with zipper (Ross) – $4.99

Twinkle Twinkle Crate (Ross) – $5.99

Cork Board – On clearance at Ross – $8.99

Stuff basket (Ross) – $5.99

Family Rules Board – Ross – $7.99

Enjoy the Little Things Board – Ross – $3.99

Dr. Seuss Poster – Target – $1 + $1


Dr. Seuss Wall Border – Target – Don’t remember the price. Bought this a couple years ago and just kept it for a “one day” use and that day was a few days ago 🙂



Height Chart – Anupam, Mumbai – Probably around $2

Live, Laugh, Love Board – Consignment Sale – $5

Total – $283 +/-

The kids already had a lot of the other things – the white Ikea table, the red and grey baskets of books, the chalk board, and such. Because we moved from a completely carpeted home to an entirely hardwood home, at least the kids’ space that would take a lot of tumbles, had to have something soft – the mats WERE my single biggest expense for this room.


Initially, I thought of buying a rug and looked into several cute ones specially made for kids’ rooms. I found a few reasonably priced ones too, but not for the size and type that I was looking,


I understand that spending nearly $300 is still quite a lot of money and honestly, other than to say that it makes all the kids’ toys and books organized, I cannot quite justify anything else I bought except for the mats and the curtains. I wanted to create this playroom because I could, because it makes everything look good and organized, and because now finally, their massive sea of stuff have a home. Vanity, by any other name….this time chooses “Playroom”.



Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017


A former Communication Studies professor turned a somewhat reluctant stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), I blog about my adventures raising two multiracial kids. I write about parenting and living a multicultural Indian-Canadian-American HinJew life with honesty, a few tears, lots of laughter, and gallons of coffee.
Blogger at:
Follow me: @thephdmama

You may also like...


  1. Back in the 90s, when I had an extra room for a playroom, I went yard sale-ing in the ‘fancy neighborhoods’ and found cool things like a ride on train with tracks, little tikes toy box, a toddler sliding board, and other awesome alsmost new toys, for super cheap.

    1. That is such a good idea too. Not so much for the playroom because they didn’t have anything, but I did buy a bunch of things for the new home at Goodwill. I’m like you, I love looking for deals and never pay full price for anything, if I can help it 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.