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Budget Decorating Ideas for the Nursery

Updated on January 14, 2016

Decisions, Decisions . . . Decorating a Baby's Room

Having or adopting a baby is a wonderful change in life that precipitates lots of decision-making. One of the most fun decisions for me was how to decorate the nursery. Cost of certain items like the crib set or the glider and marching ottoman can hamper your fun a little, though. Here are some suggestions for keeping the cost down while making everything as cute as it can be for your little person on the way.

(Photo mine)

Tips for Decorating the Nursery on a Budget

1. A little bit of theme can go a long way. If you pick out the matching crib set, curtains, rug, lamp, etc, then any other item not related to the theme could look out-of-place. Choose a few large-impact items to carry off your theme, and it will leave room for you to add items later that you like but are not related.

2. Take care when choosing a theme. It's always fun to browse through Pottery Barn Kids and look at the nursery sets and matching furniture. But think ahead. Is this a theme that can be carried over into toddlerhood? And beyond? You certainly want your baby's room to look like, well, a baby's room. But if your theme is too baby-ish, a complete re-do might be necessary 2-3 years down the road. Your toddler might surprise you one day by saying, "Caterpillars are for babies." Then everything must go and all new things must replace it. I chose a sea life theme for my son's room. Over time, friendly little smiling creatures can give way to sportfish and sailboats. Something that transitions as the child ages saves you money in the long run.

3. An old chest of drawers will make a fine changing table. Don't give in to the myth that you have to walk into Babies R Us and "buy the whole room." Cribs are recalled almost every day, so buying an up-to-date crib is a must. But finding a gently used glider at a garage sale or on Craigslist can save you a couple of hundred dollars or more. Furniture can always be painted to match the walls if it's a different wood from the crib. The same applies to the changing table. We converted an old chest of drawers that we weren't using anymore. We painted it to match the room and put the changing pad on top of it.

4. A fresh coat of paint is a great way to give the whole room a facelift. Do the painting yourself, and you can save hundreds of dollars. If you have artistic tendencies, consider painting a mural. Stenciling is an option, too, if you don't know how to draw. Stencilling supplies are available at stores like Michael's, AC Moore, or Hobby Lobby. Watch out for fumes if you are the preggo mommy, though! Low-voc paint may be okay in some cases, but it's safest to get another family member to do this.

5. Don't forget to check Ebay and local consignment sales for your essentials. Almost anything can be washed and sanitized, as long as it is in good repair and has not been recalled.

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Know how to sew? - If not, still keep reading!

I bet you can do even better than I did! I call this the "lazy man's curtain." That's because I only made one big panel that can be swept back to one side instead of sewing two panels (one for each side). Only one drapery tie-back/hook is needed. I lined this fabric with blackout liner, which is available at fabric stores. At the very end, I needed to put away my sewing machine and table because we had company coming. Instead of sewing a rod pocket, I ended up ironing one on with iron-on hem tape. Actually, the whole curtain can be made like this if the fabric is not too heavy. Check Pinterest for ideas on how to do this.

Boy's Room

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Girl's Room

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Unisex Room

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Wall decals and other suggestions

Wall decals are an economical way to decorate, of course, but the other great thing about them is that they are temporary! You can move them around, if you like, and we have done that once or twice with the recent set of Lightning McQueen decals in my son's room. We also have Thomas the Tank Engine decals in the playroom, around and near the train table. Not only are they a marvelous way to carry a theme around the room, but they can also be removed lickety-split when your child tires of the theme.

If you are handy with a sewing machine, don't forget about sewing curtains and bed sets. You can make pillow shams, duvet covers, and dust ruffles. Sometimes, finding the right fabric on sale and making things yourself is the best way to go. Saving money this way is great, but it's also a good way to get exactly the look and the colors you want without settling.

Win a crib set on eBay

Find a crib set for less!

Do you have tips for decorating a nursery on a budget?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This lens is really out of this world. Thanks for sharing!