This savvy mum saved £300 creating a rainbow mural with leftover paint and string

Find out how you can create something similar yourself

Stuck for children's room ideas? Then take some inspiration from this mum who saved £300 creating a stunning rainbow mural with leftover paint and string.

We've seen rainbows take the UK by storm over the last few years and painting one as a mural in a child's bedroom idea is a fun way to brighten up their walls, whether it's in their bedroom, a playroom or a nursery. Plus, by using leftover paint, you can avoid some hefty costs as murals aren't always cheap, especially if you're hiring a professional mural artist to create it for you.

Rainbow mural makeover

Claire Vernon from Teddington, London, is mum to two children aged three and seven, and wanted to liven up her daughter's bedroom wall. 'My little girl’s room had plain walls and I wanted to create something colourful and cheerful for her that wouldn’t cost too much,' she told money-saving community

'She had enjoyed painting rainbow pictures to put up in our window to show support for the NHS during the pandemic, so we thought it would be a nice idea to do a mural in her bedroom. She’s always loved rainbow colours so it seemed like the perfect plan.'

Before: Child's pink bedroom

room with white door and pink walls

(Image credit: Claire Vernon)

This pale pink wall was the perfect spot for Claire to paint her design. ‘Although I use a lot of colour in the house, I tend to prefer more muted tones, rather than bright primary colours,' she says. 'So I knew this bedroom design would have to be in a similar palette. Then I had the idea of using leftover paint, to save money and tie in with the other rooms in the house.'

‘I had pink, gold, green, black, white and blue paint from other decorating projects, so I was able to create the mural without spending any money,' Claire continues. 'I'd used the dark blue on painting one of my bedroom walls, the pink was used to paint my bathtub, the muted green shade went in my hallway, the black was used for my fireplace and the white went on some cabinets. The gold paint was originally bought for my toilet cistern!'

After: Budget rainbow wall mural

room with giraffe toy and rainbow printed wall

(Image credit: Claire Vernon)

The finished result is a modern half rainbow design that sits nicely next to the built-in wardrobe, which also received a lick of paint. But how did Claire manage to paint the rainbow so perfectly? ‘I tied a pencil to the end of a piece of string and used that to mark out the arches,' she explains.

'We then got the leftover paints out and I let my little girl do the painting, which she loved. For the black spots on the second arch she used her fingers!'

room with green door and rainbow printed wall

(Image credit: Claire Vernon)

‘The gold paint was a bit tricky to work with, as it was metal paint and not designed for walls, but I persevered and got the result I wanted,' says Claire. 'Even though I ended up having to go over it to get an even finish, it was worth it as the gold really makes the mural stand out.'

It's not only Claire that's pleased with the mural, either. ‘My daughter absolutely loved the end result and it’s definitely the best room in the house,' she says. 'I’m jealous of how good her bedroom looks compared to mine! If you wanted to create your own, you could just buy tester pots, which would also be a cheap way to create a mural.’

How to create a rainbow arch on your wall

room with green door and rainbow printed wall

(Image credit: Claire Vernon)

Here's one way of creating an arch on your wall using the pencil and string trick Claire mentioned…

  1. Cut a length of string and attach a set of keys to the end. Tape the string to the wall and mark the line with a piece of chalk.
  2. Repeat this process further along the wall, where you want the other side of the arch to be. Measure the distance between the two lines and mark the space in the middle.
  3. Attach a pencil to the end of a length of string. Pin the string to the middle point. Ensure the pencil on the other end reaches both edges of the arch. Draw a semi circle from one side to the other.
  4. Paint the outline of the arch, then create further arches as required.

‘Claire has proven that you don’t have to get a professional in to create a stunning wall mural,' says Tom Church, co-founder of 'What’s more, she has likely saved hundreds of pounds. According to Checkatrade, the average cost for a design fee and materials is £150, while a mural painter costs around £190 per day.'

If you were painting a mural, what would you choose and which room would it be in?

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at