Mum secretly transforms spare room into amazing play area for son's second birthday

Mirror Online Finance 3 weeks ago

A clever mum-of-four has transformed her conservatory into an incredible soft play room for her kids complete with a ball pit and slide.

Sarah Balsdon, 29 and her husband Kyle, completed the renovations in secret - revealing the finished room to their youngest child, Elijah, on his second birthday on Tuesday.

The thrifty mum used foam tiles stuck down with tile adhesive on the floor and then attached strips of stripy material to the roof along with fairy lights to create a space like a circus.

She used superhero wallpaper to cover the walls and bought the soft play equipment online before filling the ball pit with some second-hand balls.

Sarah and her son Elijah, who turned two this week
Sarah Balsdon used foam tiles stuck down with tile adhesive on the floor and then attached strips of stripy material to the roof along with fairy lights to create a space like a circus

Sarah, a nurse and also mum to nine-year-old Shannon, eight-year-old Lucy and five-year-old Jack, said the whole project cost them less than £500.

She said: "We recently moved house and will eventually be extending out the back so didn't want to spend too much.

"I wasn't sure what to do with the space and that's when I came up with the soft play idea.

"We have curtains leading out onto the conservatory and we kept them closed so we could surprise Elijah on his birthday.

She used superhero wallpaper to cover the walls and bought the soft play equipment online before filling the ball pit with some second-hand balls
Sarah, a nurse and also mum to nine-year-old Shannon, eight-year-old Lucy and five-year-old Jack, said the whole project cost them less than £500

"He was so excited and his little face was a picture.

"The first thing he did was dive in the ball pit and then go down the slide.

"It's nice as well because the other children are still at an age where they can enjoy it.

"It was actually really easy to do and has definitely earnt me some mum points."

Back in October, young mum Rebecca Compton spoke to us about her home renovation secrets after moving into an empty home with little money with her partner.

Five years later, she's now mum to two boys and runs her own YouTube channel featuring home-makeovers on a budget.

“I was in a long distance when I became pregnant,” Rebecca, 27, told Mirror Money.

Rebecca's home renovations have been completely free

“That was five years ago – but since then I've fallen in love with home renovations, looking after the kids at home while making out little property our dream home,” she said.

Rebecca says she’s saved hundreds and possibly thousands of pounds on home renovations in the past few years – by snapping up new carpets, a mantle piece, a Singer sewing machine and wallpaper for free.

“At the time of moving in, I got a few bits from friends and family, we bought a new bed and sofa – but we had no actual flooring. On our shoe-string budget, we had to think outside of the box."

But she says she's always had a creative flair - it was just a case of putting it to good use.

“I come from quite a crafty family – my mum and gran have always been into DIY, so I was more than happy to decorate our home the secondhand way.”

On her quest to make her dream home for free, Rebecca says she became obsessed with websites Freegle, Freecycle, Freelywheely and Facebook Marketplace.

“Once you sign up to the freebie websites, they’ll start sending you alerts every morning. Go on there each day to see what’s been listed – everything is free!”

“Over the past few years I’ve saved hundreds of pounds on the sites. All for free, I’ve managed to pick up a solid wood wardrobe, shredder, and even a vintage, working sewing machine to do my crafts around the house.

“I’ve always said, if you wait long enough, you can get it for free – and it’s true.”

But it’s not just online websites that she’s cottoned on to.

“If you go into B&Q or any hardware shop for that matter, you can request some sample wallpaper.

“Wallpaper is also good for upcycling anything from tables, to beds and even things for the children. I covered one panel on my son’s bed with superhero wallpaper – and he absolutely loved it.

"In fact, I gave both of my boys a superhero themed room in 24 hours for just £60 altogether.

"I've even renovated toys - picking up a free batmobile, and turning it 'new' for my son's second birthday."

She even managed to transform a batmobile

Speaking on how others can get involved in free renovations, she says it’s all about having a plan and “thinking about what you can make of it”.

“Make a plan, stick to local pages (less travelling means saving the planet) and use Pinterest for inspiration. There’s a great Facebook page called DIY On a Budget which is wonderful for inspiration.

“And lastly, do it yourself. It’s such a rewarding feeling to see the result of your own hard work.”

You can keep an eye on all of Rebecca's home renovations on Instagram, here.


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