Bubs My Neighbor Totoro Nursery

As mentioned in a previous post, it was decided very early on that regardless of bubs gender we wanted a My Neighbor Totoro themed nursery, its one of my favourite animated movies and I loved the idea of filling the room with Totoros, toadstools and other woodland wonders.

As we rent our house (and lack artistic ability) a full wall style murial like this amazing Ghibli themed room was out of the question

We decided to use something more like this as our inspiration, using wall decals that we can easily take with us should we move.

Even though we rent, I wanted the room to be colourful so we have painted it with Dulux Melon Sorbet, originally I wanted a pale sagey green for the walls and this is slightly brighter but I love it now as its much brighter for my little one and feels like more of a childs room.

After a lot of hard work and a few lengthy projects the outcome was this:

We brought the large colour Totoro wall decal on Etsy, I made the patchwork blanket using Totoro fabric found on Spoonflower, my Gran helped to make Bub’s one of a kind Totoro¬†Amigurumi mobile, and we painted Ikea Spice Racks with satin paint to create forward facing bookshelves.

We made the Tree shelving ourselves.

We also made the shelving unit above the changer, and we printed soot sprites on to vinyl decal paper ourselves and stuck them up in the corner of the room.

We are so happy with the outcome, its perhaps not as Totoro heavy as I’d have liked but living in the UK options are limited without paying large shipping costs from Japan, but hopefully over time we can add a few more bits and bobs that come up on Ebay or Etsy.

All the room needs now is for its new resident to make his appearance, hurry up Bub, we are so ready to meet you!!!

You can see all of my posts about creating Bub’s Totoro Nursery here!


Pinspiration Post No.3 – DIY Nursery Shelves

With the nursery painted and furniture built, it is finally taking shape which is great, but we still have a lot of finishing touches to put on and I’m not going to be able to completely relax until it is done and all ready for our little guy.

One thing became clear once all the furniture was in place and that was that we needed some shelves above the changer, there’s loads of storage in the drawers but the changer top is just big enough to hold a changing mat so I thought somewhere to keep the lotion etc to hand would be great, as well as providing a bit more space for stuffed toys and photo frames and bits and bobs to go. So I hit Pinterest and found this beautiful nursery and some gorgeous shelves that I wanted all for my own.

My husband has recently got into DIY and after building a beautiful coat rack, upcycling an old dresser and making an amazing Tree Bookcase for the nursery, he has got the bug and has been waiting for me to let him know what his next nursery project is, so I showed him this picture, and he got to work….very quickly…which is unlike him ūüôā

We had some MDF offcuts left over from the wood cut for the big nursery project, this bookcase, so he got to work cutting that all down to size, and then assembled it using screws.

As I wanted to use the shelves for practical items along with decorative ones, I asked if he could just make it with two larger sections rather than 4 basket sized ones, a look I would love for our dining room but one that in this case wasn’t so practical. Once it was all assembled he applied a coat of MDF Primer, and then headed off for a week of work.

With not much work or things to do around the house this week, I decided that although those lovely little wooden hooks look great in the photo, maybe I could do something that will fit in with the Totoro/Forest theme of Bub’s room, and that’s when I decided to make him some toadstool hooks, all by myself, with no help from Pinterest!

We found some 25mm wooden handles in Wilkinsons for a bargain £2.99, I then sanded them down a little, before priming them and giving them a coat of the white paint that the rest of the shelves will be painted with.

Then I brought a tester pot of Red paint, and painted the tops of the handles red, I gave them a couple coats of this until the red was nice and even, then armed with a tiny paintbrush, I blobbed (technical term!) on some white dots and was done.

So that is my contribution to this project, back to my better halves…

A few coats of paint later, my hooks were screwed onto the shelves, and the shelf was attached to the wall using two wooden blocks that were first attached to the wall and painted the same colour as the walls:

Add a few changing essentials, some fluffly toys and our DIY shelves are complete!

Bub’s Roomate Totoro: DIY Tree Bookshelf

Months and months ago I came across this Tree Bookcase on Pinterest, and fell in love with it…

…then I saw that I costs $899!! So I began to look online for any DIY guides to creating something similar and after a while and a few pages that showed how to make different looking tree bookcases I found this post:

Knowing that we were going to need DIY skills and tools beyond our capacity, we enlisted the help of my Dad, and this weekend we finally got started on it.

For the most part we followed the steps from The Design Confidential post, and we used the plans provided on the post, but scaled it down to 5ftx3ft rather than 6ftx4ft as the space we are placing the tree is barely 4ft wide and we also used MDF as it was cheaper and lighter than Plywood.

First, using the method 1, in Step 1 of the post, we printed out the tree template bit by bit and placed it onto our MDF sheet, making some adjustments where necessary to allow the reduction in width, this meant just changing where some of the branches, branched off and shortening some of the branches, I thought I had scaled down the template in Photoshop but obviously had not, my baby brain once again convincing me I’d done something I had not!

Once the whole template was on the wood, we cut around it and then drew around the template onto the wood with a black marker and removed the paper template.

Then it was time for cutting to begin and using a jigsaw and a drill the first layer of the tree was cut.

We put the tree in its rightful place to make sure it fit ok and then got to work cutting the other two layers, after using the first layer as a template and drawing around, and this time after screwing two sheets of MDF together to speed the jigsawing process up.


Then using wood glue and improvising with body weight, due to a lack of clamps, we stuck the layers together…luckily it was quick drying wood glue and it gave me an opportunity to put my extra baby weight to good use!

We brought 4 sheets of 18mm MDF but after taking the 3 layers up into the nursery we decided that instead of cutting another sheet and fitting it directly against the wall, we would instead screw some blocks into the wall and add wall fittings to the back of the tree so that the tree would still sit as much off the wall as if there was another layer.

Block fitted to wall

Block fitted to wall

Wall fitting on back of tree

Wall fitting on back of tree

This worked really well and will avoid the added weight and also it will allow us to remove the tree easily for dusting etc, and there is still plenty of room on the shelves for Bubs toys to sit comfortably and the extra space behind will come in handy at Christmas time when we can string some battery powered lights around the tree so that Bub can grow up having his very own Christmas Tree.

The tree then had two coats of primer and finally two coats of Holly Green Gloss Paint, if we were doing it again I would use a Satin paint with a sheen as the gloss paint really is quite shiny and didn’t apply great to the wood, but it still looks great and we are super happy with the end result and hope for it to be a feature in Bub’s room for many years.