Lord of the Rings Inspired Bedroom Makeover
An Elegant LoTR Bedroom Makeover On a Budget
When someone says to you, “I want a Lord of the Rings bedroom,” you might think they are talking about something like these rooms…
And those rooms are amazing – but that’s not at all what I was going for with the LoTR inspired bedroom makeover that I put together as a Festivus present. I wanted to put together something classy, and elegant, something that said, “I’m an adult, with taste, and style, who wants to feel like I live in Middle Earth.”
So, first, I did some recon via another friend and roommate of the giftee, my good friend, Rin, (fellow site admin, and lover of all things Tolkein) and snagged these before pictures:
You may want to kill me for putting pictures of your bedroom online Rin, but I think it really is worth showing the before state… a virtual blank slate. ‘Twas a room with no soul or definition, a functional room, but not a beautiful room. One thing I will say about it though, is that it had good bones… the black furniture was nice, and it all matched well with the bedframe and the jewelry box. I could work with that.
I took inventory, and decided that I would need the following to make the room magic:
On a whim, I stopped at Goodwill on my way home that day, and found a fake tree that I felt I had to have. It was only $5, and I thought it would bring the spirit of the trees of Lothlorien into the room if I hung some twinkle lights in it. Plus it was kind of shaped like a heart and I’m a sucker for sappy touches like that. My whim purchase proved challenging to get home, as it was about an 8 foot tree, and I had a 4 door sedan at the time. I laid it down in the back seat, and stuck it’s foliage out the back window. I then had to take the long slow way home because I was afraid to drive over 30 with so much fake tree flapping in the wind.
Fortunately, I made it home unscathed, and then proceeded to break a damn branch off while hauling it into my house. A little wood glue added fixed that little mishap though, so no harm done. It was the irony that got to me more than anything.
Next was a headboard – I deliberated a lot with this one. Should I go with wood? wrought iron? rustic? regal? I was looking on Craigslist for inspiration and finally settled on regal, and wood, because that is what would best suit the existing furniture in the room. That, and I found a great wooden headboard for $10 on Craigslist. I later found out that this “Headboard” was in fact a crib headboard, you know, one of those heirloom cribs that you can literally use from infant to queen sized bed. It was also a lovely shade of oak. Which didn’t work at all, since I needed it to be black.
So, I took a sander to it, and then spray-painted it black. Or at least that’s how I imagined it going in my mind. But, it’s also winter in the pacific northwest, and it happens to be the wettest December in the history of ever (no Joke, look at these stats!) and as you can imagine, doing any sort of spray painting, or power tooling outside in the rain is no fun. And outside was the only option, as I do not have a garage. So, the paint bubbled a bit with the moisture in the air, and the wind knocked it over several times causing super fun gouges in the finish that I then had to go back and fix.
It all turned out fine in the end – black is a forgiving color. Just don’t look at it too closely >.>
While all this fun was happening, I had ordered a duvet cover, in purple. I’m not sure why I chose purple, maybe because I didn’t like the idea of green and black furniture (made me think of Slytherin – wrong universe, I know, but I like to mix up my nerding) blue and black seemed too dark, and red/burgundy and black just seemed a bit goth/emo. Anyway, I bought the duvet because I had this crazy, hair-brained idea to put Rin’s favorite symbol on a bedspread. I gleaned via an earlier conversation that Rin’s favorite LoTR symbol was the White Tree of Gondor. Of course. it HAD to be the effing White Tree of Gondor – the most intricate, delicate, and curly symbol of them all. Forget rings, rings are easy, but that goddamn tree…
First, I bought some Dupioni silk, some Frey Check, and two yards of heat and bond, an iron-on adhesive that would *hopefully negate the need for sewing. I then free-hand drew the white tree onto about 3 paper bags that I had cut flat and taped together. I made a grid first to help me keep my bearings straight.
After I cut out the entire tree out of the paper (yes, all the curves and swerves) I decided that it was too thick when I laid it out on the spread out duvet cover – so I had to cut the whole thing out again.
Once I got that right, I pinned it to the silk, folding both the silk and the pattern in half (to cut both sides at once, and reduce the overall amount of cutting).
Fortunately, there ere no mishaps during this step. Once it was cut out, I treated it with the Fray Check to prevent the edges from fraying.
Then, I pinned the tree to the adhesive bond paper, and cut it out AGAIN.
Then it was time to iron the tree to the duvet cover. To do this, I spread the duvet cover over my own bed (pictured) and centered the tree and stars in the correct location.
After ironing it on (right there, on my own bed, with a towel in between the iron and the tree/duvet), and realizing that I wasn’t going to get away with just ironing it on, I embarked on the longest, most arduous sewing adventure of my life. It was a lot of curves, and a lot of fabric to bunch up. After a few evenings of sewing and swearing, Involving several stitch ripping and re-sewing sessions, I managed to get the whole tree stitched on to the duvet cover.
Meanwhile, in between these sewing sessions, I was hitting every Goodwill in the vicinity, looking for curtains, frames, and general items that would add to the overall theme I was going for. I suuuper scored on curtains one day when I went into goodwill, found some lovely sheer purple curtains, some gold and white flourish curtains, some black curtains, and one panel of lace curtains (to add a feminine touch to the room and then got up to the cash register to find that 8 out of the 10 panels and all of the frames I picked were red tagged, which happened to be in the 50% category that day. SCORE! I also picked up an interesting metal feature – I say that because I have no idea what its original purpose was for – perhaps a fancy easel? I may never know. But it too was 50% off, and I went with it thinking it would look great above the bed. I was later to find that this particular metal feature didn’t quite fit how I had originally intended, but I was able to find another use for it that was equally as effective (see the after pictures below).
While all of this was going on, I had another hobbit pal of mine who is quite skilled in Photoshop make some amazing prints using LoTR quotes and pictures of Rin. I also found these awesome LoTR inspired microbrew labels on Etsy, and this sweet map of middle earth poster to adorn the walls with.
So, with wall hangings, bedding, curtains, and a headboard, I was ready to make the big delivery. Fortunately, I had arranged with Rin to pet sit during holiday vacations, and had full access to the house once Festivus rolled around.
So now, it’s all set up, and ready to go, as planned. Rin just hast to come home and discover it… Here’re the before pictures, one more time:
And here are the after pictures:
What do you think? Is this a winning gift? Or a total flop? Let us know in the comments!