Elements of Aviation Boy's Bedroom

It’s been quite a while, so I thought I would come back with a bang! After our relocation, we did some room switching. Our new house no longer has a nursery in it, since our kids were both mature enough to retire the crib ::tear::.  The crib converted to a full sized bed, and our daughter moved on into that space. Our son took over the dual-twin bedroom situation. Most of Girl’s decor made the switch to the full-sized version of her room, but Boy was left in the cold. The nursery stuff was too baby-baby, and we didn’t have big BOY stuff yet. I was on a mission to make a mini-man cave!

My husband is a pilot. BOTH of his parents are pilots. We live beside an Air Force training base with constant fly-overs. It was a no brainer. Aviation was going to be our theme. Boy loves “A-Pains” so it wasn’t just a pigeon-holing solution, but something he would truly enjoy. We knew we were going to use the same twin bedroom set that my husband grew up with (that had previously been used for Girl), so furniture was not a question. We looked around at what we already owned to use as accents and decor, and things started falling into place really easily.

We found:

  • Two framed drawings of aircraft (T-1, and T-37) that Hubs flew during flight training that we were not going to hang.
  • Two shadowboxes full of patches collected by Hubs throughout his first couple of years in the Air Force that he had since stopped assembling and we were not going to hang.
  • The airplane rocking chair that was made for Hubs when he was 2 years old. This one was really cool because both my son and husband have the same initials, and those were included in the tail number painted on the rocker.
  • The small propeller that I purchased years ago as a gift for Hubs to hang in his man cave that has since turned into a mini-man cave.
  • A helmet that had been retired way back during training that had been gifted to my husband.
  • Two rustic, stained, basic shelves that had been used with this set in the past to hang over the two headboards of the twin beds.
  • An antique advertisement for the Civil Air Patrol that I’d purchased years ago at a thrift shop, and placed in a basic Ikea float frame, but had not yet used in our home.

Ok, so we had a fairly rockin’ room without having to purchase anything! Can I get a thrifty mother high five?! It was just plain missing something though. The ABC themed drapes were not cutting it. As the wife of an aviator, I put on my pilot hat and got creative. I decided that I wanted to make two red blackout curtains that were parodies of the “Remove Before Flight” tags that are placed on aircraft once checked by maintenance.

I went over to Wal-Mart (THE ONLY STORE IN TOWN THAT CARRIES CURTAINS) and purchased two Eclipse brand red curtains. Then, I hit Pinterest and found this pin that brought me to a tutorial on creating freezer paper stencils for custom screen printing. Unfortunately, these tutorials called for ironing the freezer paper to your fabric, and my fabric was marked “no iron” due to the blackout fabric containing (I assume) some materials that would melt. Darn it! On one curtain, I traced the stencil through the fabric and hand-painted the letters by filling in my “stencil” lines. On the other, I tossed the freezer template and made one out of contact paper (sticky on one side). I do not think one method worked much better than the other, but I think both turned out great! Oh, and because I was using blackout fabric, we had to get creative on the traced curtain. That one was created by putting the printed design up onto a window laden door and using our spot lights on the other side to cast enough light to see the letters through.