How to Create a Stunning and Safe Nursery on a Budget


Expecting a baby can easily bring on a wide range of emotions, including the obvious…happiness. But let’s be honest for a minute, it can also bring on some anxiety because it will most definitely change your life, but I think I can speak for the majority of parents here in saying the change is well worth it. However, new parents-to-be might also feel a little anxious about finances, because kids do come with a price tag that seems to grow as they do. Not to scare you or anything, but it is reality. If you are a little apprehensive about finances right now, or simply prefer to put more money into their college fund (never too early to start), the tips I am about to share will help ease your mind.

A nursery doesn’t have to cost a million dollars to look and feel like it. Read on to learn how to create a safe, functional, and beautiful nursery for your future bundle of joy.

Skimp on Cost Not Safety

While it’s a great idea to save money on big ticket items, it’s obviously nobody’s intent to forgo safety when it comes to our little ones. The best advice I think I can give you would be to first look at safety guidelines for baby furniture before you even shop for style and design. You can do this by searching online.

Once you know what to look for, such as slats in the crib to be no further apart than 2 3/8 inches, then you can consider the appearance of the pieces. Check out clearance centers at your local stores and online for deals. A great piece of nursery furniture can be safe for your child, look great, and yet not cost a fortune.

You can save money on pieces that you won’t be placing the baby in or on, such as the dresser or armoire. However, make it safe by using wall anchors; these will attach the piece to the wall so it won’t topple over onto the child when they are pulling themselves up on everything.

Secondhand as an Option

You might want to consider buying secondhand furniture. If someone has furniture they want to give you, even on a loan, take advantage of it. If you don’t have to give the furniture back, you can do some wonderful things with secondhand pieces. I will talk about that in a bit. Take a look at the newspaper ads, Craigslist, eBay, and even garage sales. In fact, just as anything else, sometimes the other the piece is, the more valuable it is, even when it comes to safety.

Decorating on a Dime

Perhaps the most fun of creating a nursery is adding the personality, or decorating with color and character. You will want to decide if you want to go with a theme and full-blown decor such as a princess theme with Disney princess wall murals, or transportation theme with planes, trains, and automobiles, or something more sedate like a simple color theme.

Whatever you decide, you can cut costs with the following tips:

  • Framed photos. You can buy inexpensive frames and fill them with low or no-cost photos you can get online at royalty free image sites. You could also take your own photos or draw something to frame. Wall art does not have to cost a fortune. We had brightly colored walls in yellow, so I found some great black and white photos of babies and toddlers. The contrast was fun and it was inexpensive and easy.
  • Paint used furniture. Take a piece of used furniture, clean it up, and paint it a fun and bright color. By painting the dresser a colorful hue, it will become a piece of art. Or, leave the natural wood as the base and paint each drawer a different color.
  • Throw rugs. Use inexpensive and colorful throw rugs, rather than replacing old flooring. Just one or two can add a lot of character to a room.
  • Stenciling. If you want more pizazz in the room than paint has to offer, try some stenciling. You could stencil characters or a nice quote such as a familar and great one from Dr. Seuss, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
  • Removable decals. Decals that can be easily removed can add a great deal of color and fun to any wall. If you take care of them and remove them carefully, they can be reused or sold in a garage sale.

I just loved adding all the punches of color and personality, and I did it for a lot less than I had budgeted in the first place. One small thing that I did was to change out the plain knobs on the dresser and armoire to colorful ducks, to go with the duck theme we had. It seems minor, but it adds some fun to the room without a lot of cost.

The best thing you can do is to take your time and do some research. I know it’s tempting to do it all right away, but you have time. A little research and shopping can lead to a beautiful and safe place for your baby to lay their head.

This is a guest post by Kathy Barber, who drew inspiration for a series of articles on kid’s rooms from researching Disney Cars wall mural and art for her son’s room. Living in Michigan with her husband and son, she enjoys traveling, photography, cooking, and anything to do with mystery.

Photo by hadzik

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