Mum gives her bathroom a dinosaur-inspired makeover on a budget to help toilet train her toddler – & it 'worked a treat'

TOILET training is a tricky task for most, so anything that'll help your little one use the loo is very much welcomed.

Wanting to bypass the potty altogether, and desperate to stop changing nappies, Dawn Sheppard, 42, tried a different approach which she said "worked a treat".

The mum-of-three, who works as a nurse, got to work on creating an incredible dinosaur-themed bathroom so her son, who's almost three, would want to use it.

And luckily for her, the hard work paid off because the youngster loved it so much that he was desperate to give it a whirl.

Dawn, whose kids are aged five months, three and seven, told money-saving community "We moved to our forever home in July 2020 and it required a lot of work.

"At that point I was pregnant with our third child and realised I didn't want to be changing nappies on two little people.

"So I decided to decorate our downstairs toilet with a dinosaur theme to help our little boy potty train.

"We are a dinosaur loving family so I knew exactly what the theme would be!"

The first step was to source supplies and Dawn managed to do so cheaply with bargains from online stores, B&Q and Facebook Marketplace.

At B&Q, she picked up green metal and wood paint for £15, followed by some emerald green metro tiles for £30 – which she used on the walls.

She then benefited from a 20% off sale in the hardware store, picking up a toilet for £47 and a vanity unit with a basin sink for £67.

Next up, Dawn nabbed some tile effect vinyl flooring for £50 from Best 4 Flooring, before picking up the main attraction – the dinosaur wallpaper.

Dawn, from Oxford, picked up two rolls for £12.49 each from World of Wallpaper, before heading to Facebook Marketplace and getting her best bargain – a brand new radiator cover originally priced at £95 for £30.

"In total, the supplies were £264," she said.

She got started on painted the pipes which tied in nicely with the jungle theme.

She also painted the door frame in the same green hue – which looks super cool against the chosen wallpaper.

The wallpaper was applied along the top half of the bathroom walls, with lush green tiles covering the bottom half.

"I’ve done both wallpapering and painting many times over the last 20 years, so this part was easy," she said.

As for the tiling, Dawn said: "I watched YouTube for the tiling and grouting techniques."

"It was literally a labour of love, as I was heavily pregnant having to squeeze into the small space.

"My husband installed the sink and toilet, as he learned these skills from watching his dad over the years and asking family members for advice."

At this point, it was time to add the radiator cover. "It was a bit of a pain to get it to fit as it required cutting down, but it really finished the room off to hide the hideous radiator and pipes!"

To complete the transformation, Dawn turned the light switch pull into a fake ivy vine and made use of dinosaur ornaments she purchased from TK Maxx previously.

There's also a lime green dinosaur which sits on the windowsill, while a mint green one sits on top of the radiator cover -and another cream one which sits above the loo.

"They have pot pourri inside, so the bathroom is the perfect place for them," she added.

Extra touches include a matching green liquid soap dispenser, a green towel and little bunches of fake ivy scattered around – which all tie into the fun and vibrant theme.

Once the project was finished, Dawn’s middle child was obsessed – and her plan had actually worked.

"He loved it. He saw it as his toilet and we needed to get his permission to use it! With gentle encouragement, getting him to use the toilet worked a treat.

"He went straight from nappies to the toilet aged two and a half!"

Tom Church, Co-Founder of, said: "This transformation is rawwsome! No wonder Dawn’s son is reluctant to let people in there – it’s a room to be proud of.

"The temptation to ‘play it safe’ with home decor can lead to us having neutral colours we get bored with, so it’s great that this family has stuck to what they love and ensured their house reflects their tastes."

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