Design a space for baby monsters (+ giveaway!)

Martingale's Knit & Crochet Friday

Projects from Knit a Monster NurseryCalling all monster lovers! Today we’re excited to announce the newest release by best-selling author and pattern designer Rebecca Danger: Knit a Monster Nursery.

While awaiting the arrival of her first child, Rebecca didn’t take a break from designing. In fact, she was hard at work brainstorming, designing, and knitting fabulous toys, blankets, hats, and booties. And once her cute-as-a-button bundle of joy, Presley, had arrived, she had not only a wonderful nursery full of monster-ful baby gear, but also a wonderful book full of baby-knit patterns to share with you!

This new set of baby-knitting patterns are just as loveable, huggable, and full of monster goodness as the patterns in Rebecca’s first book, The Big Book of Knitted Monsters. These new monsters sport bright, new colors and fun expressions, as well as spunky stripes—which are Presley’s favorite! But there’s more than just monsters: Knit a Monster Nursery also includes knitting patterns for baby blankets, hats, booties, nursery mobiles, rattles, and much more. Everything you need to create a nursery for little monster-lovers to play and grow!

On top of a great collection of baby-knit patterns (see the slideshow below), Rebecca included tips for designing your own nursery—from paint and colors to wall decor and furniture. Read on for an excerpt from Knit a Monster Nursery about creating and customizing your space, as well as a few quick tips from Rebecca. And don’t forget to comment at the end of the post for the chance to win a free eBook copy of Knit a Monster Nursery!


DESIGN BASICS
Rebecca DangerThough I currently focus on knit design, I have a design background and am way into all kinds of design. When I was pregnant, one of the biggest things on my mind was designing the nursery for my new kiddo. To start, I picked a color scheme from a piece of fabric that I loved. I feel like you can tie anything together in a room if you stick with a color scheme.

Since I knew I would be adding lots of punches of color with my monsters and other decorative items, I decided to go with the gray from the background of the fabric for my wall color. Picking gray in the Pacific Northwest seemed like a risky idea, since it’s always gray outside here, but it has worked out as a great subtle canvas. From there I decided to go with a really clean, modern feel for the furniture. I looked and looked and looked (and looked) at furniture everywhere, for months. Seriously, I didn’t even order a single piece of my furniture until about three weeks before I was due! To decide what I wanted, I printed out pictures of the pieces I was thinking about and put them together on a piece of paper to see what I thought would look best together.

I stuck with pretty much all-white furniture since I wanted the focus to be on the decorations and monsters in the room. More than just focusing on the aesthetic, I thought about the function of each piece of furniture for my kiddo Presley, from birth on up. I picked nine-cube shelves, in which I could store diapers and clothes and whatnot when he was a baby, and that he could use to display toys and books as he got bigger. Instead of a changing table, I chose a dresser with a changing pad on top, so he could use it in the future for clothes. I even picked a crib that changes to a toddler bed so we could get more use out of it.

I picked a comfy armchair for the room, rather than a rocking chair. I chose a houndstooth print, bold and fun, but still in my color scheme.

Presley and his monsters at home
Presley and the monsters at home in the finished nursery.

Once all the furniture was picked out, I was able to start adding necessities (like laundry baskets and changing-table-supply storage) and accessories (like wall art). The way I picked everything else for the room was to make sure it fit into my color scheme (and monster theme).

Accessorizing your monster nursery

CUSTOMIZE IT!
I think customizing is what makes design the most fun and really makes your room stand out from the crowd. At first, after deciding on a monster theme, I was disappointed to find there was not much monster-themed stuff out there. Instead of buying premade items, I ended up making most of the items in the room. I even switched out the legs on the dresser to make it a better height for a changing table! However, by the end of writing this book, I was finding more and more commercially made monster themed nursery items—so keep your eyes peeled.

The Internet and blogosphere are full of ideas and directions to make everything. I’m not kidding, everything. In the end, I figured making things for the room was probably quicker (and cheaper) than shopping for them! And, it was really special for my kiddo and way more fun for me.

DESIGN TIPS

    • Pick a color scheme and stick with it. You’ll notice all of the project samples in this book are in the color scheme I picked for my nursery.
    • Customize! It’s easier than you think. Cut monsters out of felt and use fabric glue to stick them to store-bought storage bins. Buy a lamp and knit a monster to sit on the base. Hang one of the mini monsters from “Monster Mobile” from a doorknob or a curtain tieback. You get the idea!
    • Make it art. Think outside the box and hang anything monstery you can find on the walls. Just because it’s not designed to be artwork doesn’t mean it won’t look awesome on the wall! And speaking of boxes, why not buy a shadowbox frame and fill it with monster stuff?
    • Keep your eyes peeled for commercially made monster items. Just because it doesn’t look like something you could use in your nursery at first glance, that doesn’t mean it can’t be tweaked, or added to something else to fit in. Appliqués or buttons could be added to lampshades or pillows. Monster-themed scrapbook or wrapping paper could be framed or decoupaged to anything (even furniture). Get creative!
    • Have fun. Most importantly, remember that making a special space for a baby should be super fun. Just the fact that you take time to work on a nursery will make your kiddo feel very special as he or she grows older.

Knit a Monster NurseryHow have you customized a space in your home using handmade items? Tell us about it in the comments and you could win a copy of the Knit a Monster Nursery eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won.

Or, you can get Rebecca’s book right now, and download the eBook instantly when you do!

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Kathleen, who writes:

“I wish that when I was expecting 35 years ago there had been such creativity. My students have asked me to show them how to knit a few days ago. I dreaded the idea until I saw the monsters in Presley’s nursery. So this next week will be an introduction to knitting and yarn. I am hoping that by Christmas, all my students will have a monster under the tree for our annual community brunch that is a fundraiser for the less fortunate in our community.”

Kathleen, we’ll email you about your free eBook. Congratulations!


36 Comments

  • I have used knitting in my bedroom – adding interest and colour. Thank you

    —Caroline on November 16, 2012
  • these projects are soooo cute! i love the monster wipes cover, i m gonna have to do that one for my son.

    —Lora Baker on November 16, 2012
  • These are SO CUTE !!… Love them. I wish I could knit, but I only crochet…… but my sister and my step daughter knit. 🙂
    Betsy

    —Betsy on November 16, 2012
  • I have hand-crafted items throughout the house, but I’ve not taken a whole room and decorated it intentionally (I’m not great at planning).

    —Jean Ashley on November 16, 2012
  • I haven’t knit since my children were small, but have just taken it up again. I have been quilting for the past seven years and thought I would try my hand at knitting in between.

    —Wanda Heath on November 16, 2012
  • What a wonderful nursery! I want to make some monsters, too. And of course, Presley is absolutely adorable.

    —Barb on November 16, 2012
  • Most of the things I make I give away. I have crocheted covers for some of my kitchen appliances that sit on a shelf.

    —Diane on November 16, 2012
  • I love the amigurumi animals for my granddaughters to match their room decor!

    —kathy on November 16, 2012
  • I love the soft knitted toys! The hats are just too sweet.

    —Judy Bowes on November 16, 2012
  • I paint murals in my home and add painted items I have painted, but I really want to learn to make those monsters.

    —Catherine Brown on November 16, 2012
  • I just knitted my first monster, and I loved it! Rebecca’s first book was wonderful, and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one, too! Hope I win!

    Cheryl Brown on November 16, 2012
  • Love these monsters they are too cute. I would love to use them in my baby’s nursery.

    —shay on November 16, 2012
  • I’m a novice knitter, so no knitted room makeover as yet. I love the knitted monsters! They are so adorable! I’d love to get this ebook.

    —Jean Blythe on November 16, 2012
  • I have guest room that seems to be all handmade items, from the comforter and pillows to the wall decor.

    —theresa n on November 16, 2012
  • OMG, those monsters are so cute!!! I want to knit some for myself 🙂

    Pauleen on November 16, 2012
  • My 3 year old grand daughter always wants Nana to make her monsters. This book should help me with that task.

    —Patti Hauser on November 16, 2012
  • I wish that when I was expecting 35 years ago there had been such creativity. My students have asked me to show them how to knit a few days ago. I dreaded the idea until I saw the monsters in Presley’s nursery. So this next week will be an introduction to knitting and yarn. I am hoping that by Christmas, all my students will have a monster under the tree for our annual community brunch that is a fundraiser for the less fortunate in our community.
    Kathleen

    —Kathleen on November 16, 2012
  • They are so cute! What a fun nursery.

    —Laurie Giddings on November 16, 2012
  • What cute little monsters!! My grandson who just turned two years old was a blue monster this year for Halloween.. He loved his costume and I know he’d love one of these guys! How clever and creative!

    Thank you, Rebecca and Martingale for an awesome giveaway and a chance to win.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

    —usairdoll on November 16, 2012
  • Not customized really, just is. I have my quilts and needlework art on the walls and tables, and some on racks. It’s just the way we live.

    —Patricia Hersl on November 16, 2012
  • I Have decorated my bedroom with a quilted wall hanging. I am looking forward to knitting for my new granddaughter especially one of those cute hats.

    —ELIZABETH CROSS on November 16, 2012
  • I wish I had the skills to create more knitted creations for my children’s room. I would love to create more but I am just starting to knit again after a long break so I need to improve my skills before taking on big projects like decorating rooms.

    —Mhairi on November 17, 2012
  • Thank you very much for every wonderfull pettern! I’ use them often! Lovely greethins from magda

    —Magda Frittmann on November 17, 2012
  • I don’t have a space, but every room has some of my creations, from pillows to wall hangings there are touches everywhere. This book is just so cute, thanks for the chance.

    —Dana on November 17, 2012
  • this would be great to win.

    Shirley Martin-Tutolo on November 17, 2012
  • Love the color combination here, it’s perfect for a boy’s room! I have a co-worker who loves to knit during her supper break (we work second shift) and she’s due to deliver her first son in a few weeks! Would love to win this to give to her with some funky yarn.

    —Jacklynn A Grimm on November 17, 2012
  • Before my daughter was born, there were curtains and a painting in a catalog that I really wanted for her room, but we couldn’t afford them at the time. So I made my own! I bought cheap white fabric curtains from WalMart and used pearly fabric paint and big chunky stamps of butterflies, dragonflies, and ladybugs to stamp all over them. For the painting, I used a large, already stretched canvas, and some basic watercolor paints to paint some stylized butterflies. Then I hot-glued ribbon around the edge of the canvas where the staples were, so we didn’t have to frame it. They weren’t exactly like the catalog ones, but they were made by me, which made them even better!

    —Maria on November 17, 2012
  • I always need more space for handmade stuff. I give it away, but it seems to multiply overnight!! I really enjoy making and gifting handmade items.

    I am so pleased to preview your book, it looks great. We are expecting a new boy cousin and I was looking for patterns. It seems that there are many more cute girl things, so I really am grateful for your patterns. I would use this book often.

    —Deb G on November 17, 2012
  • Presley is such a handsome boy and so fortunate to have a mom to knit such cute toys, accessories, sweaters. Wow I sure would like to win this book so I can have these patterns to knit for gifts. Carol

    —Carol Dunn on November 17, 2012
  • I love the monster nursery! The patterns, colors and knitting are just wonderful! Great tips on how to use neutral furniture and walls to make the hand knitted designs stand out. Much less expensive to change as the child grows and has new interests. I can’t wait to try some of these. I used to knit, but became bored with it because I am not a great knitter and some projects are just too much for me. I like these because many are small and can be completed in a reasonable time. I need that to keep going with projects or I become overwhelmed and frustrated. So thanks very much for such a great idea.

    —Cari P on November 17, 2012
  • I have my creations throughout the house

    —MaryRose on November 18, 2012
  • Every room in our house has homemade items: some made by us, some by others. We love the warmth it adds.

    —domestic diva on November 18, 2012
  • I have a house full of knitted (and some crocheted) creatures. Next to where I sit I have an old Singer sewing machine, and the table is crowded with stuffed, homemade toys. My son’s bed is also full, so that he hardly gets any space himself. I love turning my small balls of leftover yarn into monsters and dolls and animals. Most of them are made without a pattern, but I pick inspiration everywhere.

    Most of my creations are to be found at my blog and on Ravelry. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/mimouna Watch out for Kiweke the monster rabbit! 😉

    mimouna on November 19, 2012
  • We customized our coworker’s baby shower with a "Monster" Baby Shower. She loves your monsters, and always makes a monster for her friends who have had children. This time, she and her husband are blessed to finally be having one of their own, after quite a long wait. So, we all decided she should have some monsters of her own, and each gave her one for her new nursery. (5 total) She was so excited, she loves all of them and their individuality. We even made monster cupcakes, monster marshmellow sticks, and a monster fruit basket. Great time had by all!

    —Marcy on November 19, 2012
  • My guest bedroom is a work in progress. I’ve put a crocheted flower garland around the bulletin board, and I have a quilt I made hanging on the wall. I also have a crocheted bedspread. I wish there were more hours in the day to add lots more stuff I have planned for that room! Thanks for the nice giveaway!

    —Debbie Constable on November 21, 2012
  • I’ve used quilting and sewing projects in my bedroom!

    —Kathy MacKie on November 21, 2012

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