craft room before and after

Today I’m going all Adele and telling you hello.

Remember when FrogTape challenged me to take an empty room and transform it with paint and color and $1000?

Cue the drums.

Cue the ticker tape parade.

Cue the pots and pans and wooden spoons in your kitchen.

Today is the day for a little before and after craft room amazingness.

Are you ready?  Have your party hat on?  Ready for choreography and dance moves?  Memorized all the verses to Eye of the Tiger?

Oh good.  Me, too. 🙂

Before room staircase picture

Just a reminder of where we started just a few short weeks ago.

Gray floors check.

White walls check.

Stretch.  Sigh.  Yawwwwwwnnnnnnnnn.

Before side window view picture

You can see all the before before here.

Here’s one more before picture.

Nanana nanana hey hey hey goooood byyyyyye.

And now it looks like…..

craft room


upstairs craft room

And this.

twins imagination room

And these people….

fuzzy stool

Are sitting on furry, fuzzy stools like these.

color pencils imagination

And drawing museum-worthy creations with fistfuls of these.

imagination room paint colors

And painting with buckets and buckets of these.

a book and a friend

And spending the afternoon curling up on a window seat with a furry friend.

craft room bookshelf

And reading chapters and chapters and chapters in these.

craft table

In the imagination room there are spaces to draw and painted diamond flowers on the walls and the floor.

You can see the DIY for the walls and the floor here.

craft room project after

And spaces to sit and think about how amazing your mother is.

Book Shelf

There are tables and x-shaped bookcases.

painted arrow

And wooden arrows.

happy pillow

And pillows that hashtag themselves happy with exclamation points.

In the imagination room there are more craft supplies than the Mississippi river can hold.

presswork pallet imagination roomAnd the entire space is decorated with color and life and a presswork pallet.

There’s typography everywhere you look.

wood sign

Like here.

wood painted sign

And here.

painting a sign

And here.

pencils and flower

Here’s a detailed budget and the breakdown on the space and the $1000 budget I was given.

IKEA desk and bookshelf component  $375

Target stools $47

Pillows (assorted makers) $90

Paint $75

Hobby Lobby baskets $90

Hobby Lobby signs $75

White wire stool $40

Orange X Bookcase $13

IKEA curtains $40

Lowe’s curtain rod $48

Wood for built-ins $67

Accessories $40

The rest of the room furnishings were things I already had (like the white bookcase) and the craft supplies came over from the gatehouse.  I was able to save on the rug by painting the diamond pattern on the floor and keeping the curtains simple.

Before side window view picture

pulling Frog Tape

imagination room drawing

And now the plain, ordinary, gray and white room is full of color.

And drawing and painting and sketching and making and creating and reading and writing and laughing and whispering and giggling.

And life.

And of course…..

….imagination. 🙂

PS  If you want to see our summer bucket list for the room, click here.

PPS  Fingers crossed.  I’m hoping to win $5000 for my charity, The Humane Society and voting on the rooms starts May 31.

You can see what the other rooms look like and learn more about this year’s design trends here.


disclaimer:  this room and project was sponsored by Frog Tape.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.


Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Kathleen Hall Kathleen Hall

    Love, Love, Love!!! The diamond flowers are just AWESOME! Love the colors! What a creative room for your girls to dream in!

  2. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    What an absolutely fun and creative space! It's wonderful, KariAnne! I can see a lot of daydreaming and creating happening in this spot. Love it!

  3. Image for Cherie Cherie

    Such an exciting and inspiring space, Karianne!!! So clever how you brought the floor pattern up on the wall! Love the colors and - well, everything! Makes me happy just to LOOK at the photos!!! Happy imagining!!!

  4. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Absolutely amazing!! Love the colors and the diamond flowers! And who can't resist a window seat...made my heart happy! P.S. Couldn't wait for the email about this post when I saw the Facebook post!!! P.S.S. You ROCKED this!

  5. Image for Barb Barb

    So absolutely Perfet in every way!!!!! And my have the girls grown up! Your creativity know no bounds, what a wonderful space, you certainly deserve to win!!!!!!!

  6. Image for Christelle Christelle

    Tu es bien au dessus des autres projets ! Très bon choix de couleur : ça fera la difference. A mon avis tu as de grandes chances de gagner ! Bravo ! Christelle

  7. Image for cindy barganier cindy barganier

    That is awesome Kari! I am so impressed with your painting prowess. I have yet to accomplish a successful tape off. Mine always bleeds under. I know the girls are loving the space. xoxo Cindy

  8. Image for Ellen Ellen

    THIS IS A WINNER!!! Positively the best ever- so full of color and design and love. You let your imagination soar and this room will inspire the little thistles to do the same. Love the window seat- so cozy. The challenge is well met!

  9. Image for Ardith Ardith

    This is a room full of creative spark and color, fit for beautiful girls with infinite imagination, style, and energy...made with much love. What a wonderful gift. Cheers, Ardith

  10. Image for Linda Pinion Linda Pinion

    I just looked at the other players final designs. You got this hands down. Yours is much more creative, functional and bright. You go girl!

  11. Image for Peg Peg

    Amazing! Brilliant! Fabulous! Creative! Dramatic! Tasteful! Pleasing! Stimulating! Stylish! Dolphin clapping! Love, LOVE!!!

  12. Image for Susan Susan

    *JAWDROP* WOW...just WOW, KariAnne...the Imagination Room is absolute gorgeousness...I love how dreamy and ethereal it looks as the sun streams through the windows and laps at all of the scrumptious wonder your little girls couldn't wait to get started crafting in there...I'm not known as being very "crafty", but I sure could be in a room like that! And you only spent $1000??? The room looks like a million bucks...way to stretch your budget! This room is just everything I imagined it could be and soooooo much more...thank you for sharing it with us and please remind us closer to the day when voting begins, k? Also, darn you for putting THAT song in my head! "It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight..."

  13. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    You DID put flowers on the wall! What a happy place to spend time in....I dare anybody to even attempt to be sad, or mad, in this room....LOL I think I know the underlying reason you "really" created this space.....seriously know those girls are getting close to dreaming about being out on their own...and you're doing all you can do to nip that idea in the bud, arncha? You think they'll never wanna leave all this.... Great job, Miz karianne. Great. Job.

  14. Image for Lenore Lenore

    Lucky girls I'd say! Love it as usual. As a side note, I just donated my van to the Humane Society yesterday. The vehicles are picked up by a tow truck at no cost to you, taken to auction and the Humane Society receives the cash. All my animals are rescues, including a mini-mule who is somewhat magical. She is like the pied piper of love...all my animals are in love with her, even the cat. Go figure! Fingers crossed for the $5,000 to help the animals.

  15. Image for Susie @ The Chelsea Project Susie @ The Chelsea Project

    Wish I had daughters....and a room just like this. Oh the fun we'd have ....huuum....they'd have creating art...and family....and life in general. It's a knockout space and the girls are adorable. Love every single square inch. XOXO Susie

  16. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Looks soooo good!!!! Nice job! So, I was pulling out of the driveway the other day and Eye of the Tiger came on, so funny Karianne because I thought of you!!! I hope the girls have fun in that room :)

  17. Image for Debra B Milam Debra B Milam

    OK, KarriAnne, I scoped out the competition and you have nothing to worry about. You are definitely the clear winner! And that is not a biased opinion even though I am. LOL

  18. Image for Jill Jill

    Ah, color, beautiful color! I love this room. And you did it with a mostly neutral background--a very clever move for a neutral-loving girl. Bravo, KariAnne.

  19. Image for Teresa Teresa

    So bright and inviting. Enjoy to the fullest! Having grandchildren who paint in my art room I have seen paint fly onto the curtains and floor, etc. but wouldn't take anything for the memories made.

  20. Image for Julia - Vintage with Laces Julia - Vintage with Laces

    This is over the top FABULOUS, KariAnne!!! It's such a fun room to play, create and relax in. I love everything you've done. There are so many great details and it's obvious that you put a lot of thoughts in this project. It's an amazing room and your girls are so lucky to have such a creative and kind mom! I'm very happy to see that you chose an animal charity. Your room is my favorite in the challenge and I hope for you and also for the animals that you will win it.

  21. Image for Kris Kris

    What a fun, happy space. :) My attention-deficit question (completely unrelated to the room ... ) is ... did your daughter braid her own hair, or did you do it? So cute.

  22. Image for Laurie Laurie

    This is a beautiful space you have created! Please tell me about painting the floor, and how it stays beautiful! Thanks for sharing your passion with us!

  23. Image for Betty Baker Betty Baker

    Everyhing has been said about the room. I want to mention the beautiful daughters that are a wonderful part of the decoratin - so grown up and pretty. Congratultions.

  24. Image for Nancie Nancie

    What an amazing space you created, Karianne! I love every inch of it! The colors are perfect! What a fun, happy place to create! Congrats!

  25. Image for TwoPlusCute TwoPlusCute

    "And spaces to sit and think about how amazing your mother is." Hahah, oh the subtlety of that hint. :D The colors are amazing. The layout both dreamy and modern. Love the unusual and beautiful flower diamonds. Secretly, I'd love to have such a room for my daughter. Pinning and maybe one day I will copycat something similar for her. :)

  26. Image for Ramanda Ramanda

    What a great room . Lucky girls great room and great mom!!!!!!!!! Where was the orange x bookcase purchased? Voting for you!!!

  27. Image for gail gail

    What an amazing place to be creative Karianne! Who's the best mom in the world? (besides me) YOU! I wish I had such a place to create! way to go gail

  28. Image for Betsy Betsy

    WOW! I loved it so much I decided to not read all the instructions and go right to voting!!!! Being a crafter I dream of a room like this!!! I'll be behave and wait until the 31st. xoxoxoxo p.s. the others are nice but your's!!!!!

  29. Image for Jan light Jan light

    I love it. It's amazing what a little color can do!!! And your girls a lovely. But question? The compass and light fixture on the it still there??? I didn't see any pictures of the ceiling post imagination. PS your awesome!!!!

  30. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    I wrote kind of a long post yesterday, and just as I pressed send, my internet service went out...but it's back up now, so I'm going to try again. The room is super cute! I love the colors! Orange inspires creativity. (I painted my laundry closet orange so that I'd be inspired to think creative thoughts while taking care of the mundane!) I love how you brought the flowers up onto the walls! You also did a great job stretching your budget! I can see your daughter's influences on your design. My granddaughter is the same age as your twins, and the room looks like something she would be happy in...except that she would probably have to add some bling and sparkle, because she's like a little bird. When she was about three years old, I made her the cutest hat with a rose flower on the brim, and she gave it back to me, and asked me to add some metal buttons (from my button jar) and some faux jewels, ha! A designer in the making! My mom and I also often "tweak" things, (can't leave it as is) so I guess she comes by it naturally. Your flowers were a lot of work, I know, and they are wonderful, but have you considered altering the size? I think a really big one in the center of the room would look even more fantastic! (See? There I go, tweaking things!) Now that the job is done, you probably don't even want to consider it. (And I don't blame you.) Please don't take this as criticism. I don't mean to be a Debbie-downer. Because I'm a fan! And a cheerleader too. Go, KariAnne! Luv, ya!

  31. Image for Maria Maria

    What a fantastic transformation, Karianne! The colors are lovely. I'm a fan of crisp white rooms with added pops of color and this was absolutely stunning! Thanks so much for a great inspiration and for sharing your space with us on #shinebloghop this week. It's always such a pleasure to read through and see your creations :)

  32. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Just saw this post, been waiting for it, was gone with high school girlfriends for a week and we tried to look at each other rather than our phones:) AWESOMELY beautiful and functional and just marvelous! Absolutely love the colors! Love it all!!! Great job, can't wait to vote:)

  33. Image for cindy cindy

    Imagining how "AWESOME THEIR MOTHER IS", is right! That room is fabulous:D You did a fantastic job, Ms. Thistle!!!

  34. Image for Megin Megin

    What a darling room, Kari Anne! I really loved that room empty ~ all that glorious white!! But, the touches of color you added are so sweet and fun. I would love to hang out and craft (or read!) there. Lovely! I voted, too. Thank you for sharing this week at Brag About It link party on VMG206 (Mondays at Midnight). ~ Megin of VMG206

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