When we set out to decorate the nursery for our first little one, I went to town. We spared no expense (well, within reason) for her sweet, shabby chic room. We searched for deals and found some great ones, but I wasn’t about to settle when decorating the bedroom of my first, miracle child and baby GIRL! She had to have the best. My parents blessed us with beautiful furniture fit for a princess and I filled the room with every sweet, little thing I could find. It was perfect. This time around (and not just because we were having a boy) we decided to tackle the room a bit more economically. Actually, I’m not even sure it was a conscious decision but more so a tendency born out of necessity. We no longer have the double income we had when Hope arrived. I was excited for the challenge to create a great room for our baby boy using a lot of what we had, some of what others blessed us with and a few great finds. I admit both my husband and I are super proud of this room which we put together for under $400!
We spent a big chunk of our budget on curtains but I still feel like we got a deal on four, brown velvet panels and hardware for a little over $100.
The next item we spent a chunk of the budget on was bedding. We chose Skip Hop’s Mod Dot bedding which retails for around $200 at most boutique’s and online retailers. I had noticed it online and thought it might be the best pick for the look we wanted but I was unsure until I walked into a local retail outlet here in Nashville and saw the bedding for $65! Knowing I could get it for such a deal confirmed that it was the one!
The canvas art you see on the wall above the bookcase is something we commissioned my good friend Jenny to create, based off a print we had seen. The piece incorporates the polka dots from the bedding but includes a city scape which expresses the feel of community and mobilization we wanted in Joshua’s room. His name and life verse are all about being strong and courageous. . .going out and knowing that the Lord will be with him wherever he goes. Community is very important to our family and we want Joshua to go wherever the Lord leads so that his life can be a blessing and example to all he encounters.
We were blessed to be able to borrow some of the major furniture pieces from my husband’s sister. They were not currently using their crib and changing table and they were the perfect style and color for the room. Remember to ask around to friends and family that might be in between little ones. You may be surprised at their willingness to simply let you borrow an item. When you think about the short time you will use these items, it makes sense to borrow them and invest in furniture when your child is a bit older. If you cannot find items to borrow, check out local garage and consignment sales to get deals on baby furniture.
Our Nursery Budget:
- Crib – borrowed
- Changing Table – borrowed
- Rocking Chair – on hand from baby #1
- Bookcase – on hand
- Lighting – $30
- Curtains and Hardware – $100
- Bedding – $65
- Paint and Supplies – $35
- Painting – $50
- Hand Made Projects – $35
- Toys and Accessories – $50
We had several items on hand already which helped keep our budget down. Of course, this is because Joshua is our second child. If you are building a nursery for your first child, you may not have as much on hand so try to borrow as much as you can. When purchasing items for your first baby, keep in mind your second (if there is to be a second) may be a different gender so try to keep large items neutral (as we did with our rocker). Many of the items we had on hand were not necessarily baby items. The rug and some of the baskets were things I had purchased and were using elsewhere that I could easily re-purpose for his room. Go through your home and pull out items that can be used in baby’s room. You might be surprised by how much you find!
We decided to tackle a few craft projects to make the room very personal for Joshua. I found these great letters at Hobby Lobby for a steal ($1.50 each). When I showed them to my husband, he came up with this great way to make a name plaque. Because we didn’t want to try to hang the letters separately and risk them being crooked or worse, having to nail tons of holes in the wall to get it right. . .Dave created a cool, industrial looking plaque using spare wood and silver screws. The piece is heavy but it’s screwed into the wall so it’s not coming off. Much safer for over baby’s bed.
I looked and looked for a mobile that I liked and that matched the colors in our decor. I didn’t find much and what I did find was around $50. To me, that was way too much to spend on a mobile. I stumbled across a photo of a homemade mobile online and set out to create one myself. One of our local libraries has a curriculum room with die cut shapes. I spent about an hour one day cutting out cars and houses and circles to use on my mobiles. Use of the die cuts is free so my only expenses were paper, string and a couple of cross stitch rings. I created both of these mobiles for around $10! We hung one above the crib and one above the changing table in empty corners of the room.
Our last project was more about function than anything else. I realized I was used to having extra space on our changing table as Hope’s was a long dresser. Feeling the need for a place to put items I could easily grab, we looked for a shelf solution. The shelf you see here was one we found at the same retail outlet that had our bedding. It was on sale for $7! Below the shelf were hooks that slid back and forth. We knew this would not be safe for baby, especially when he became more active so we removed the hooks and replaced them with little car cut outs left over from the mobile project. Now the shelf is not only functional but also a fun toy Joshua can interact with when we are changing him. This small tweak also incorporates the piece into the rest of our decor. . .all for under $10!
More than anything this process showed us that we could be really creative to achieve a unique and meaningful space on a budget. Both Dave and I got to contribute something crafty to the room (and I promise you, neither of us is usually crafty). In the end, we put together a cute and functional room that Joshua is sure to love for years to come.
The keys we found to build a baby’s room on a budget are:
1} Borrowing anything and everything you can. 2} Reusing items you have around, even if it’s your first baby. 3} Shopping outlets and consignment sales. 4} Keeping it simple. 5} Hand-making meaningful decorative items.
We’d love to hear your ideas on how to create a great nursery on a budget. What tricks or finds have you used in your space?