Inexpensive nursery decoration
While creating your baby registry and perusing through baby stores, you are going to be oo-ing and aah-ing over all of the adorable decorations available for your little one’s nursery. I’m here to tell you NOT to do that. Yes, it is easy to walk into Babies R Us, find the perfectly sectioned out furnishings, fill your cart to the brim, and know you have a flawlessly coordinated theme that is uber adorable, but you will be spending way more money than you need to be.
As a single mom, with a single income, who is about to go on a three month maternity leave, forking out $500+ on decorations wasn’t an option. Here’s how I decorated my son’s nursery with a nautical theme for under $250 (and I still made the mistake of shopping at the major baby stores).
1. USE YOUR RESOURCES – Cost: $0
MY WAY: My grandmother passed away a few years ago and we hadn’t yet discarded a lot of her belongings, including her home decorations. I was able to reuse paintings (painted by my great uncle), lamps, wall decor and table-top trinkets that would have otherwise been donated to Goodwill. I specifically chose the nautical theme because I knew I had these items to choose from. I originally wanted a jungle animal theme, but soon realized that was going to add up the dollars quickly and so I adjusted based on my resources.
YOUR WAY: Ask your friends, family and neighbors if they are redecorating or have any knick-knacks that they want to get rid of. Find out what themes and color schemes are available to you and develop your nursery from those options.
2. GET CRAFTY – Cost: $25-$50
MY WAY: Because I live in an apartment, painting a mural on the walls, like I one day hope to be able to do, wasn’t an option. I instead painted the frame of an old mirror to match the nursery’s colors. I bought $0.99 wooden letters from a local craft store and painted them as well to hang on the wall. I also found some old rope to pull back the drapes with to give it a more nautical feel.
YOUR WAY: There are so many ways to decorate your baby’s room in a crafty fashion. Wooden letters are a fantastic way to add character and personalization at an extremely inexpensive cost. You can also buy blank canvas to paint; find a template matching your theme online and print it out. You can cutout the spaces and use that as a stencil on your canvas, or you can just use it as inspiration for your own unique design. I’m a big advocate for Pinterest, and Pinterest loves crafts and babies. Follow Mommy My Way on Pinterest for more DIY nursery decorating ideas.
3. THRIFT SHOP – Cost: $75-$125
MY WAY: I did not thrift shop for nursery items (as of yet!) but I wish that I had. You can find some really beautiful pieces for really cheap in second-hand shops, so don’t rule them out.
YOUR WAY: If there is a wealthy neighborhood near you, I suggest scouting the thrift stores and consignment shops there first. You can find high-quality items at insanely good prices. As I said, second-hand doesn’t mean torn or ratty, Most consignments have strict rules that they follow whenever they take in a new piece; it has to be of a certain quality and not appear too worn. I would stay away from stuffed animals and linens though just because bacteria and pathogens can be hard to get out of these items.
4. ADD IT TO YOUR REGISTRY – Cost: $0
MY WAY: Everything I wanted in my nursery or for my baby was added to my registry (see why HERE) and this includes decorations. I received a hamper, a few linens and light switch covers that all matched my nautical theme and didn’t cost me a penny. In fact, I actually made money through my registry rewards dollars!
YOUR WAY: Remember when I said the baby stores have adorable, coordinated themes? Well, they still do. Adding these items to your registry let’s your guests be the gifters of adorableness. You get a few items that match your theme without spending an arm and a leg.
5. BUY WHAT’S LEFT – $100-$150
MY WAY: After I completed all of the above steps, it was time to finalize my little man’s nursery decor. I needed one panel of drapes, a rug and a lot more crib sheets and changing pad covers. It was time to spend some money. I hit the baby stores, and I paid for it.
YOUR WAY: Don’t make the same mistake I did. Walmart, Target, Zulily, diapers.com and other sites have the basic nursery items at much cheaper prices than the major department stores.
TOTAL COST: $240
– $50 Drapes: I spent way too much on these because I was blinded by the baby store decor options. One panel was $45! Luckily a friend bought the second panel off my registry for me. If I were to do this again, I would go to Walmart or even the fabric store and get / make my drapes for much much less.
– $10 Wooden letters: Just so you can see a comparison, one white wooden letter from Babies R Us is $4.99. I bought 6 unpainted letters for less than $10 from Micheals.
– $15 Paint / Paint Brushes: Even though I didn’t paint the walls, I still needed to paint the letters and the mirror. If you plan on painting the entire room or simple a mural, anticipate spending a little more on this.
– $40 Rug: I found the perfect rug at Target. Sometimes, when you find something you love, you just have to get it. It was just the right size and included all of my nursery’s colors (grey, navy and white) so when I saw it, I knew I had to have it.
– $125 Sheets / Linens: These items are necessities and they aren’t the cheapest. I shopped at the baby stores and paid $10-$20 per sheet / mattress pad cover. You need enough to last you between laundry loads; and they are out in the open so colors and patterns matter. Like I said before, try sites like Zulily or diapers.com. Zulily is a free membership site with different deals every day and diapers.com is like the amazon of baby stuff and they also have really good deals.