A DIY retro space-themed nursery for a GIRL

Guest post by Katie Swindler
All photos by Katie Swindler.

I chose “Spaceships and Robots” as the theme for my daughter’s nursery because I wanted to create a special environment that would inspire her to reach for the stars and “boldly go where no man has gone before,” so to speak. Oh yeah, and because I’m a giant NERD! (And darn proud of it.) The mural was done by me using sidewalk chalk with a lot of help from my friend Vin (a graphic designer/brander/artist) and a little help by my hubby (he did the cool stars). I sealed it with Krylon Low-Odor Finish.

The mural is inspired by a poster of Saturn by Steve Thomas who has a whole series of retro-fabulous space-travel posters. I was just so thrilled when I stumbled across Steve’s posters — one of which actually featured a female space adventurer that wasn’t dressed like a vixen! And a delightful, steampunk-esque Venus poster that actually used some girly purples and greens!

When I started shopping for the room, I was a bit disappointed, if not particularly surprised, to discover that pretty much every fabric or nursery accessory available on the market with robots and/or spaceships only comes in blues and reds and screams “little boy.”

Determined to create a “space” that embraced the geek-friendly theme with a feminine flare, I put my sewing machine and embroidery needle into warp drive to fill the room with handmade and embellished items in shades of pink, purple and teal. I also scoured the work of Chicago-area “renegade” crafters and found some inspiring, handmade pieces that made for fantastic finishing touches to the room.

I used fabrics to pull in a wide range of pinks from hot pink to “berry” to the more traditional baby pink. Then I threw in a few teal accents for spice. My mother-in-law gave us the charming rocker which used to belong to her late father and she made the cheery cushions with Bubble Burst Berry fabric I found on the aptly named Sew Mama, Sew website.

The little bench next to the chair was actually a bench given to me by my Uncle Jeff when I was a baby that I recovered with some scrap fabric. In the shelves on this wall you’ll see one of my most recent projects — fabric Ikea bins with patches I made by embroidering felt using Jenny Hart‘s amazingly fabulous Spaced Out patterns from Sublime Stitching.

I came across these patterns at last year’s Swap-O-Rama-Rama Chicago when Jenny donated them to our event. I fell in love with them and recognized instantly that they were the ideal way to work in retro, space-themed imagery in a color pallet of my choosing! Hazzah!

I also worked the Sublime Stitching embroidery into one of my more elaborate reuse projects. These IKEA fabric pouches were originally navy and used as extra storage in the bathroom of a previous apartment. I threw them in some scarlet dye hoping to turn them deep purple โ€“ I got close, a color Vin calls burple (brownish-purple). To brighten them up I added the pink pockets with the embroidery. Not only do the pockets make them cuter, they also provide extra storage! Bonus!

In addition to the things I made, I’ve included several wonderful pieces from local artists. Take this owl print by Amanda Breitenbach that I picked up from the amazing Madison, WI shop Absolutely Art. (Flower lamp from Target.)

And, I’m absolutely in love with this tea towel print by Leah Duncan. It was super easy (and free) to turn it into a wall hanging using a little scrap wood, ribbon, paint and hot glue (I’ll do a how-to post on this soon). Both the print and the blue robot embroidery you can see on the closet door (see next photo for a better shot of the robot) were picked up at Chicago’s Renagade Craft Fair.

And finally, here’s the first project I made for the room — a felt mobile with lots of stars, a purple and pink jupiter, a hot pink rocket ship, a loving robot and a one-eyed, baby alien.

You can check out the rest of the blog post at Katie’s blog, Fearless Crafts, and follow her on Facebook to find out about her future crafting projects!

Comments on A DIY retro space-themed nursery for a GIRL

  1. I love this. So so much. My son’s nursery is space-themed, because my husband/his dad, my dad, my grandfather, and my husband’s grandfather all work in the aerospace industry. Its kind of in the blood.

    And this is one of the best (girl or not) nurseries ever!

    Great, great job!

  2. I love it! Big thanks too for your helpful links – I’ve been in a design rut for awhile ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Yay! My son’s room is robot/spaceship themed too. We decided on the theme before we knew he was a boy, so it would have been the same if he was a girl.

  4. I love this! We have a Star Wars Nursery, so it’s kind of spacy, too.

    I’m always baffled my how clutter free and empty everyone elses’ nurseries seem to be. Living in a small condo in the city, our rooms get messy so easily. Ha! I feel embarassed just thinking about it…

  5. I love it so much! Its so special that its handmade, and its cooler than anything store bought! Excellent job ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Beautiful! I love rooms like this that manage to be feminine without just being typically froufy and princessy. Fantastic job.

  7. Wow WOw WOW!!!!
    I love this room!!! We just moved and now have our room for our one year old daughter, we’re working on making it space themed! (her crib sheets are the typical blue/green rocketships from Target) So thatnks for the awesome inspiration! I’ve been in the mood to embroider/cross stitch, but haven’t known what to do, now it’s totally obvious to me!!! : )

  8. I love that nursery! We decided on an underwater theme for our firstborn before we knew the sex, and it wound up being blue-on-blue. Lo and behold, we found out we were having a boy, and our family loves to tease us that their most determinedly unconventional children have the most stereotypically colored nursery!

  9. Yes! I love the theme you settled with! And it looks so nice and well laid out! I’m sure your little girl is going to love it. I know I would if I grew up in a room like that! Genius design and collaboration work! <3

  10. i’m drooling over those fabric hanging baskets. my mind is buzzing with ideas, laundry sorting, playroom, kitchen tools, planters, game system organizers… omg

    • Yeah, gotta love Ikea organizers! Sadly they don’t make this version anymore, but it would not be hard at all to whip up your own version out of some canvas and wooden dowels. And BTW, “planters”… YES!!

  11. Our daughter’s nursery is Wallโ€ขE and Eve themed. The colours are yellow, lime green, white, and navy blue.

  12. i love this!! I like how you kept the fabrics and colors’ girly’ but incorporated space themed art. I also have the spaced out embroidery patterns from Sublime Stitching and just made the rocket ship as a patch for my cousin’s baby. Can’t believe I didn’t think of it for my own daughter! oh well, maybe when she graduates to her big girl room:) and great find with the steve thomas art!

  13. Bzuh, that’s awesome. I’m loving the pink and teal, and the robot on the mobile is adorable!

  14. My husband is a space physicist (for realz) and we have a baby girl. It is so hard to find cute space stuff fr girls. I LOVE how you dd your daughters room! It is cool and cute at the same time! awesome! Will totally show this to my hubby.

  15. Ohhh last week we went to hobby lobby and they had this robot fabric. It was so awesome (or is it AUSIMO :P). I love robots, I turned to my hubby and said “if we have a boy we could do robots!” without blinking he said “well you could do it even if its a girl”. Hehe I taught him well.

    Totally love it when I see creative nurseries. Im trying to do peter pan themed (not diseny related) and its tough going so far.

  16. I LOVE this! It’s so inspiring! My daughter’s four and she loves pink, but also loves trucks and cars, so maybe I can adapt this design for cars when I do her room in our new place! It’s a flippin’ master piece in my opinion.

  17. What a cool idea, and so beautifully done! I want to go back in time and have this room for myself as a little girl. ๐Ÿ™‚

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