DIY Mackenzie

Mackenzie’s Big Girl Room

June 17, 2012

It has been all hands on deck here at the Wilcox house. For the last week, our home has been DIY central. It started with garden boxes built from reclaimed wood scraps and pallets and a decision to paint the room we moved Mackenzie into a year ago. I am excited to finally reveal our progress on Mackenzie’s big girl room so far.

I knew that if we were going to paint (and inevitably repaint when we move), then I wanted to really go all out and decorate the space to suit our aesthetic and Mackenzie’s personality and development. We were also in need of some help with organization as we began to transition out of a nursery setting into more of a little girl’s room (and the plethora of toys and clothes that go along with that).

I originally had my heart set on a pale green moss color for the walls, but Chris and I agreed that are landlord was more likely to approve the same light grey we used in the living room. The grey is copied from a sample swatch from Restoration Hardware’s line of paints. I painted silver birch tree trunks (in white) on two of the walls to add interest.

A key element of the new room had to be storage that was within reach for Mackenzie. Organization reduces stress and frustration, and that was my motto. My goal was to remove or store what wasn’t used or needed, and then make everything else easy for Mackenzie to reach and (learn) to put away.

With that in mind, Chris built this beautiful shelf, and Mackenzie and I helped paint it. It holds her toys (in baskets), her speakers, her train set, and a few larger books.

My sister Lea and I tackled the closet. We found the shelf at a local thrift store for just $10. It rolls easily and is the perfect height for storing extra toys in bins, as well as keeping extra crib sheets, diapers, and wipes in easy reach.

I created three separate color palettes for Mackenzie’s room based on the new wall color. The colors in this one just made my heart happy every time I looked at it, so that’s what we went with. It was Chris’s idea to try yellow, and I found this beautiful fabric – Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry. Turns out, the two work out really well together.

Making a new cover for the glider was a must. The white canvas slipcover I made before was pretty but also impractical. We went with a soft, fine-grain corduroy. The fabric was easy to work with, and the project was much less daunting a second time around.

(I also found another tutorial for a different kind of glider that I want to try someday — looks fun!)

I found this dec-weight yellow chevron fabric on It came in a big roll and was also very easy to work with. It has almost a starched linen texture — very easy to see. I love how these curtains turned out!

I wanted to try something new with Mackenzie’s books, and I loved the idea of using Ikea spice racks as book shelves (seen here and here). Unfortunately, Ikea Atlanta was out of stock, so I tried these simple wooden crates instead. I think they are made of balsa wood. Lea and I painted them yellow and put pretty scrapbook paper in the bottom, and Chris screwed them into the wall.

To finish Mackenzie’s new reading area, Lea made this sign:

I love it. 🙂

We added the chalkboard Chris made for Mackenzie and a new child’s rocking chair, painted the same yellow as the new bookshelves.

We made tissue-paper pom-poms and hung them over Mackenzie’s bed. I used the remainder of the yellow chevron fabric to sew a simple crib skirt, and I found some adorable organic cotton fabric at Textile Fabrics for a new crib sheet.

A few more photos…

Add a couple of new throw pillow covers in the Joel Dewberry fabric, a re-covered footstool, and some handmade drawer pulls, and Mackenzie’s room is about 98% complete.

I have been asked a few times how Mackenzie feels about her new room, and if she even notices or realizes all of the changes.

As far as I can tell, she loves all of it. She jumped around in her crib when Zi put the new sheet on her mattress, and she loves to spin the Pom-Pom mobile. She loves to pull out her books and sit in her rocking chair. The shelf Chris built makes her toys easy to get to, and the table-top train track is her new favorite.

So that’s it for now. We have a few more details to add, but I am so, so happy with how this space has turned out. We have so enjoyed working on it. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Feel free to share a link to your space in the comments.

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  • Reply Lea June 19, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I am so amazed at all you have accomplished in such a short time and how you have been able to transform this space into such an amazing, adorable Big Girl Room for Mackenzie. You and Chris are so loving, motivated, hard-working, and talented!!! I feel lucky to have gotten to help. And Mackenzie is so lucky to have you both! (Yes, I think she really does love it!!!)


  • Reply Chris June 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Very nice babe! You did a fantastic job on her room! Very proud!


  • Reply Hope June 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Wow! The room looks amazing!


    Dee Reply:

    Thank you, Hope!


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