Budget Baby Nursery: Tips and tricks to create a lovely nursery on a budget

budget baby nursery showing cot, arm chair, ottoman, four chests of drawers, three tier trolley
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When it comes to babies, costs can easily add up. If you are asking questions like, how do I build a budget nursery, or if you are after tips on decorating a nursery on a budget, you have come to the right place. Logan, from Oh Hey Mom, and a 40 year old mum to a newborn girl and two-year-old boy, shares her budget baby nursery and nursery on a budget tips.

Budget Baby Nursery

So you’re having a baby — congratulations! Perhaps it’s your first tiny arrival, or maybe it’s been a few years since your last, but either way, you still have a lot of planning and preparation on your plate in the months ahead. Somewhere at the top of that list of to-do items is most likely to plan and create the perfect nursery that is just right for your baby; a tucked away, safe haven far away from the rest of the busy world.

The possibilities for setting up a baby’s room are endless. But many new parents-to-be face not only the time crunch of impending birth, but also the reality that must watch their wallet even while designing together something as precious as their little one’s nursery.

With willingness to get creative and be open to possibility, putting together a stunning nursery that works well functionally while still pleasing aesthetically can be done relatively inexpensively. Two years ago, I was a new mom for the first time, clueless about almost anything and everything having to do with infants. Yet I managed to cobble together a nursery that has been a wonderful space for my now two-year old as he’s grown. In due time, he’ll move to a big boy room down the hall, and the space will be taken over by his soon-to-be baby sister.

There have been many things in the wonderful, wacky, and sometimes challenging world of motherhood that I’ve had to learn, and it’s not always easy. But a cute, inexpensive, practical nursery is something you can knock out before your bundle of joy even arrives.

Read on for my best tips and tricks to creating a lovely nursery on a budget that will have you feeling like phenomenal parent and a savvy shopper.

How do I build a budget nursery? Tips for decorating a nursery on a budget?

budget baby nursery showing cot, arm chair, ottoman, four chests of drawers, three tier trolley
Image credit: Oh Hey Mom

Preparation: Baby Steps

If you have no idea how to start planning, decide whether the nursery will remain a baby’s room for any future children, or will grow with your child. This will help determine what types of furnishings to use and what the space might look like. It can be tempting to go for sweet baby-themed pieces and décor. But if your child will keep the room as a toddler, think about styles that will allow you to hold on to the same furniture for years rather than having to buy new things down the road.

Consider what colours you want for the nursery and choose a theme if you wish to have one. Neutrals may be a good idea if your toddler will stay in the room as he or she grows. Once you have a colour palette in mind, you’re ready to begin creating. Remember that everything doesn’t have to match – different shades of a color can blend well together rather than having lots of matching sets, and mismatch patterns and combos can be quite chic.
Some inspiration for your imagination: HGTV Nursery Ideas and Gender Neutral Nursery Themes.

Ask For Freebies

Spread the word with no shame — you’re having a baby, decorating on a budget, and open to donations! You’ll be surprised how many friends and family have excess baby items, nursery décor and even furniture that they’re not using and would be glad to see go to a new home.

Once we announced our first pregnancy, we ended up with a rocking chair, tons of décor, baskets, books, wall art, stuffed animals and more. It may not all work with your theme and colours, but you’ll have more to choose from.
One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given by others during motherhood is the generosity of others, and I try to pass it on as much as possible.

Repurpose, Re-use and Re-invent

Image credit: Oh Hey Mom

What do you already have around the house, or better yet, stored away or in an attic, that could work well in a nursey? Repurposing unused items is the name of the game when it comes to maximizing your budget.

In our nursery, we laid a tall IKEA cubby from my husband’s bachelor days on its side inside a closet. The square openings work fantastically for extra storage with a few extra pull-out baskets we added (also from IKEA). A swivel neck lamp behind a glider was one that had been sitting in storage, and a round tray table next to it that we painted belonged to my great-grandmother. A small corner shelf with spindle detailing used to hold small books and trinkets for decoration I had used in a bathroom in a former house.

Many people these days opt to forego a formal changing table in favour of placing a simple changing pad on top of a dresser, and we did the same. Both dressers in our nursery were repurposed — a taller dresser was my husband’s as a child, and another (with a mirror) belonged to my grandfather and had been used in my previous apartment. My husband refinished both with chalk paint. Dresser décor such as porcelain ducks and a music box were from my own childhood.

Don’t Be Afraid To DIY

Speaking of re-finishing furniture, take it a step further by thinking about what else in your baby’s room you can do or make yourself. If furniture is too much for you, start with painting or re-finishing frames.

You can also get creative with wall décor and not spend hundreds on art. I’m not an artist by any means, but I freehand drew and painted a couple of woodland animals on inexpensive canvas with acrylic paint. I put them in secondhand frames spray-painted white. No high-end art pieces there, but they work in the room, and once my second baby is finished with the nursery, I’ll probably pass them on to someone else. If drawing or original art is not your thing, look up free nursery printables online…you’ll be amazed by how much is out there for free.

Here are more DIY ideas if you need inspiration: 7 Easy and Affordable DIY Nursery Art Ideas, and 16 Ways to DIY Your Nursery on a Budget.

Secondhand Saves The Day

Image credit: Oh Hey Mom

Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, yard sales, consignment sales, thrift stores, and other secondhand apps or sites can be jackpots for inexpensive nursery items, if you have the patience to look. Many times, people post barely used and even new baby furniture and décor items that they have no use for (or other household items you can repurpose for baby’s room).

If searching online or an app, set up alerts or use the search feature for specific items. Also search for random phrases people use when posting. Some posters will use listing titles such as “tons of baby stuff” or “baby girl nursery set, must go”. You never know what these listings might turn up, and they’re worth checking out.

Don’t be afraid to make an offer if you want the item for even less (but remember that no one likes lowballing, either!)

Go Thrifty

You may want some never-before-used items, and that’s of course totally okay. Visit the websites for your favorite stores and brands and sign up for their email lists and follow them on social media. Many send periodic coupons by mail and post sales online. Some also offer pop-up discounts on their sites for first time buyers (use multiple email addresses to score the deal more than once). I’ve mentioned IKEA before, and they’re a great resource in general for less expensive, functional furniture that can be used for many purposes.

Don’t forget to periodically stop into discount or budget-friendly stores for accessories. Many of these stores don’t offer inventory online, and you never know what you might be able to dig up on a random shopping trip.

Final Frugal 411

In the end, remember that it’s just a bedroom and nothing to stress over. As long as it’s safe and comfortable for your baby, your nursery doesn’t need to meet anyone’s expectations other than your own. It can be as stylish or as simple as you want, and you can always add to it later on. Happy deal hunting!

Author Bio
Logan is mom to a two-year-old boy who lives in North Carolina (U.S.A.) and will welcome a little girl just after she turns 40. She blogs at Oh Hey Mom about the challenges and joys of becoming a later-life-mum, as well as her experiences as a working mum.

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