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 – 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. Love, love, love it! We’re doing an aerospace theme for our baby-girl-to-be and you’re right, it really is hard to find space stuff for girls. Love this look!

  2. I love this!! What did you use for the background color on the mural? Is it the chalkboard paint or regular paint?

  3. I would love to hire you to do this nursery or a version of it for a friend in Illinois. Are you for hire? It’s absolutely amazing!

  4. Oh my goodness, than you so much for this!!!!! We’re doing a science nerd/astronomy theme for my little girl, but were having so much trouble finding things that weren’t overtly boyish. This is fantastic!

  5. Love this! I like the chalkboard wall idea.

    We’re renting now and want to do an atomic 60s style scifi /space pulp fiction book cover style mural on one wall… but since we want to keep it / move it when we buy a home next year, we’re thinking of painting it on large canvas panels instead of directly on the wall.

Read more comments

Comments are closed.