Paper Leaves and a Printable

By Kate Riley October 29, 2012

My sister and I shared a room when we were young girls and I wanted pale blue paint and she wanted lavender on the walls so my mom painted the walls a compromise hue she often called “lavender blue”.  I can’t imagine how many paint samples she went through to settle the argument but our walls really were a lavender blue and we tease each other to this day about whether they were actually more blue or more lavender.  Typical sister stuff.

Now all these years later, my 8 year old daughter decided on both lavender and blue for her room (me thinks it’s a common favorite palette among the 8-12 group).  I decided a pale gray paint was better in the long term for the walls, but we will certainly bring in some lavender and blue accents.  I started by repainting her walls in a shade of pale gray (‘Jade Frost’ by Glidden), then adding a whimsical and fun update to her existing tree mural, and a new framed printable on the wall.

blue desk and you are loved printable


I painted a tree mural for her several years ago, but we’re eliminating pink as an accent, so I removed the flowers and cut up several dozen patterned scrapbook paper leaves to replace them. 

cut paper leaves


I loved the idea of multicolored patterned leaves on a tree mural that I pinned a few months ago, so I glued the paper leaves to the wall to replace the flowers.  It’s fresh and fun and most importantly, she really loves it.

paper leaf tree mural centsational girl


I also repainted her little thrift store desk that used to be green I gave it two coats of aqua blue.  [I feel like all I do is paint things aqua blue for young girls (like this bureau and this chair) and now my daughter’s desk too!]

aqua desk in girls room

The paint is a custom color I mixed up with several of my leftover paints, but its closest matches based on my collection of blue paint swatches are: 1) ‘Lake Champlain’ by Dutch Boy, 2) ‘Tranquil Blue’ by Benjamin Moore, 3) ‘Prince Edward Isle’ by Glidden and 4) ‘Reflecting Pool’ by Sherwin Williams.   

For above the desk I framed this printable I created:

you are loved printable


I made a few other colors and styles if you’re interested in printing one for your child. 

you are loved printables


Download any of the four ‘You are Loved’ prints here.


All my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you on the east coast in the wake of the hurricane, please be safe!  .



  1. My 7 yr old is changing her room up to lavender and blue as well. Your tree looks fantastic! I have a large wall that I will need to fill up and might have to copy this. Looks so cute! Love all of your paper selections. I wonder if I could use fabric remnants? I am struggling to find her decent bedding in this color combo. Can you share a whole room reveal? I would love to see what you used.

  2. I love the colors in her room! We’re also planning a color change in our 8 year old daughter’s room from pink to purple/lavendar, I love the gray mixed in, it’s so sophisticated to take her into the tween/teen years.

  3. That’s beautiful! I wish my kid’s rooms were this neat. My kids want to change thier rooms but they have so much stuff that I refuse until they decide to get rid of stuff. I am wondering if they ever will because it’s a nightmare when I threaten to get rid of it for them.

  4. Wow. you are amazing. i love reading your blog. it’s awesome how you link to other things you’ve made in the past..i swear it just pulls me in and before long an hour and half has gone by and i’ll of done is read your blog.

    thanks for keeping me entertained and inspired.
    i love the color of that desk. it’s perfect.

  5. wow — those leaves look so cute up there! but mostly I’m thinking about how you painted the room with the mural there!! You are a saint to paint around it…must have been oh-so-much fun! ;) I’m also thinking you made a single post out of what would have filled a whole week for me…painted walls, paper flowers, paper desk and a printable!!! you are a machine!!

    • Aw thanks Cassie, yep it was a total pain to paint around those branches but she insisted on keeping it so I had to work around it!!!
      I saw you’re cute picture over at Megan’s place, hope you had fun!

  6. I love this room! Did you use an area rug? I’m looking for one in similar colors for my daughters’ room, but can’t find one. I would love to know what kind of rug you have in this room. Thanks!

    • Hi Sally, I’m looking around, there is a great gray herringbone rug at Urban Outfitters I like but I might go with a pale blue one too….

  7. Cute! I love how you just whip out these makeovers and give us the reveal! What a good pick of grey, too, which I find can be a challenging color to pick a shade. Also, I am in love with that tree!

  8. It turned out beautiful! The printables are adorable. My daughter has a few vinyl trees on the walls in her room. I wish I was brave enough to try painting a mural.

  9. The grey wall color is so fresh and peaceful. What a great backdrop for all of the colorful leaves. You have created a wonderful little retreat for your daughter.

  10. How adorable! I think maybe your Mom might have been a fan of the song “Lavender Blue”. I am not sure what year, but Burl Ives recorded a version of the song which won an Academy Award. Just a little trivia for ya…

  11. I painted a tree mural a few years ago for my kids. I love the idea of updating it with different colored leaved. I may try this today as we are inside for a few days waiting out Hurricane Sandy. It’s kinda crazy here today on the east coast.

  12. Beautiful Kate..just as I would expect from you..How lucky your kids are to have a talented Mom like you..Thanks for the prayers for all of us in the path of the is very scary outside and going to get worse..

  13. @Maude- To this day, Kate and I occasionally tease each other by singing that song. I almost did it as soon as I saw this post.
    And yes, Mom is a fan of Burl Ives.

  14. So beautiful!!! Where did you get the frame you have the printable in? I’m looking for some white frames/white mats to frame some of my daughter’s artwork in. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Leigh, I can’t recall where I got that one in particular, I’m thinking Michaels because it’s not IKEA or Aaron Brothers, the two other places I shop for frames!

  15. Lavenderblue has always been one of my favorites. Bedroom is periwinkle which looks blue or lavender depending on time of day. Also, had lavenderblue at my wedding 40+ years ago, so love your story. Cute things you’re doing in that room!

  16. I can just hear Burl Ives singing: “Lavender Blue, dilly dilly. . . lavender green. . . if I were king, dilly dilly. . . you’d be my queen. . . ”

    I think your grey walls are an excellent backdrop and just about any color will look good against them. The paper leaves are a wonderful 3D touch–and the printable is wonderful! Bless you for making a masculine and a feminine version!

  17. Mmm, I love lavender and blue! I must be a twelve year old in a 52 year old body- ha! :) I love the mix of patterns and colors on the leaves, so fresh and pretty. The printables you created are sweet and cute!

  18. Love that look and how timely of a post. My 9 year old wanted a purple room too and we also compromised with a grey/teal combo. I love the look of the desk. I will definitely keep this room as inspiration as I still piece everything together. So far, all we have is a painted room and a chalkboard/chevron door (which I’m super proud of) :) Trying to fill in the rest over time.

    Thanks for the printable!

  19. Hi Kate! 2 Q’s:
    – Did your wall get messed up when you pulled off the flowers that were hot glued?
    – What did you do to prep the desk for re-paint? Sand it? Or just paint right over it?

    Love the room! Love all of your projects! :)

    • Hi Ashlee, most of the flowers popped off easily but a few took small pieces of sheet rock with them, which is easily repaired with spackling. I used latex paint right over the existing latex paint after some deglossing on the top (with a deglosser product).

  20. Oh I love it! Great job, Kate. We painted a tree in Liv’s nursery, too and it’s neat to see how it can ‘grow’ with a child!

  21. The paper pattern is adorable, and the 3D fold is simply SPECTACULAR! I love how you also added the leaves to the base of the trunk .. wonderful! The pink faux flowers you added (posted in 2009) is so pretty as well, but I def LOVE THESE LEAVES!!!

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