10 Tips to Create the Perfect Nursery on a Budget

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by on January 19, 2013

Baby room

Your baby’s nursery should be a calm, yet stimulating room where your little one can grow, learn and explore. As an expecting parent, it’s tempting to buy that beautifully detailed changing table or the crib you saw last week in the window of an upscale boutique. However, by rethinking your purchases and decorating methods, you can create an affordable nursery without sacrificing quality or cuteness.

A Convertible Crib

In just two or three years, your baby will be ready for a bigger bed. While you don’t need to spend a lot on your crib, choosing good quality will ensure it lasts longer. Curtail your future furniture expenses by purchasing a well-made convertible crib.

  • Convertible cribs have a detachable side that lets you to convert it into a toddler bed, and some even disassemble completely to form the footboard and headboard of full-sized twin bed.
  • Many secondhand sites and consignment stores sell expensive, barely-used baby convertible cribs for a fraction of the cost compared to a department store or boutique.

Use a Dresser as a Changing Table

Changing tables are expensive, and the reality is they’re not very practical once your child is out of diapers.

  • Create your own changing station by placing the cloth-covered changing pad on top of a dresser.
  • Secure Velcro tabs on the back of the changing pad and on the surface of the dresser to hold the pad in place.
  • When your child outgrows diapers you can continue using the dresser for her clothing.

Reupholster Second-Hand Furniture

The woodwork doesn’t need to match exactly, instead choose pieces based on price and function.

  • Buy a dated, smooth-gliding rocker at a garage sale for next to nothing and customize it with several yards of fabric and a staple gun.
  • Give that set of sturdy, bright orange bookshelves new life with several coats of white paint.

Roller Shades

Thick, easy-to-maneuver shades are essential for creating a dark space during naptime. Like cribs, shades are worth getting in good quality.

  • Roller shades come in several varieties in different colors and the right size to cover the entire window area and can even block out most light to keep the room dark for naptime.
  • These cordless shades are safe for your toddler.
  • The high-quality material and hardware ensure they’ll still be in excellent condition when your child enters middle school.

Hang Picture Frames

You don’t want the walls of your baby’s room to be bare and bland, but car-themed or animal-themed wallpaper could prove wasteful when your toddler shows no interest in either, and instead prefers outer space or sports. Your child’s interests will change quickly, so choose wall decor that can accommodate these constantly changing passions.

  • Cover his or her walls with framed images and cloth wall-hangings. Start out with basic shapes and patterns, since these are images all babies can appreciate.
  • If he or she is really into animals when he’s one year old, replace the previous baby images with ones of animals.
  • Hang the frames at different levels to give the room depth.

Foam, Not Carpet

Plush, fuzzy carpets are comfortable, but a good-quality one can cost thousands, not to mention the fact that it will probably bear stains of most bodily functions in two years.

  • Instead, cover your baby’s nursery floor with a connected set of colorful foam puzzle squares.
  • Not only will these foam squares cushion your baby’s fall when he starts walking, but washing them is as simply as a wet wipe or a garden hose.

Strip Away and Refinish

Strip away the exterior of a second-hand dresser and apply a new coat of varnish. Correct the cracks and clunking of the drawers by installing new gliding hardware inside the drawers so they roll smoothly.

Creative Storage Baskets

A set of cute, matching canvas storage squares is nice to look at, but ultimately, it’s kind of a waste for something that’s going to hold diapers, wipes and diaper cream.

  • Buy several wicker baskets a craft store and sew a few loose sacks out of your favorite fabric that you can use to line the baskets.

Order Last Year’s Themes

Buying that cute, nautical-themed bedding, towels and stuffed lobster from a department store ensures you’ll pay top dollar.

  • Instead, go online or to an outlet and purchase last year’s prints at a reduced cost.

Choose Changeable Wall Images

Sticky, but paint-friendly, animal scenes and princess castles are much easier and less expensive to apply than having an artist paint a character scene.

  • Stencils are another great choice, because they’re inexpensive and easy to paint over, without repainting the entire wall.


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