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How to Design Baby's nursery on a budget

I’m not sure if someone is trying to play a very mean prank on me, but right around the time I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, A Pottery Barn Baby catalog was delivered to my house.

I was instantly swooning over these delicious nurseries filled with plush pillows and toys, designer looking rocking chairs, sprawling area rugs that just begged you to lay down and roll on them and wall art that meticulously pulled it all together. Total price tag for the fantasy nursery: half a years mortgage payments.

But every baby deserves an adorable little nursery to come home to. so what’s a mama to do? I can’t bring myself to sell a kidney just to furnish a baby room. So I set out to create a nursery on a budget! Here’s some of the quick tips I’ve gathered and plan to use!

Don’t be afraid of DIY

on a scale of 1-10, my DIY skills are around a 4. I can do simple projects, but anything to complex usually lands in the fail pile. When I think DIY for a nursery, I usually think wall art and mobiles. I did a semi DIY project for Emmy’s room that I’m pretty proud of! I purchased the prints below from Etsy for $4 and had them printed on semi glossy paper at kinkos. I ordered 4 white frames from Amazon for $29 and created this wall art for above her crib. It was simple and somewhat one of a kind for a low price! I also like the idea that I can switch out the art work in the frames as her room changes in the coming years.

DIY Projects for Baby's Nursery on a Budget!

Here are a few other favorites when it comes to nursery DIY (all of them are level 4 or less in the easiness category).

Decorating Baby's Nursery on a Budget- Easy DIY Decor Projects

Hot Air Balloon Wall art from  724 South House

Decorating Baby's Nursery on a Budget- Easy DIY Decor Projects

Paper flowers from

Decorating Baby's Nursery on a Budget- Easy DIY Decor Projects

Easy Name Craft from

Embroidery Hoop Wall Art from Mom Machine.

Decorating Baby's Nursery on a Budget- Easy DIY Decor IdeasAlphabet Wall Art. Picture source unknown. I know Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Target and Joann’s all have a selection of letters that could be painted to suite your nursery theme. Most of those locations usually have pretty good coupons available so if you wait for the right time you could do this project for a small chunk of change!

Decorating Baby's Nursery on a Budget- Easy DIY Decor Ideas

One of my favorite DIY projects because no two will EVER be the same! A Shadow Box with all of baby’s birth keepsakes. First outfit, hospital bracelets, birth photo… there are so many options! I ordered this shadow box to make Emmy’s and I was able to fit a good amount of items inside. I do wish I would have gone just a bit bigger though. It was not large enough to fit her coming home onesie.

Re-purpose and Refurbish

In some cases, there is no need to go out and buy new furniture for baby’s room. A dresser or bookshelf could easily come from another room and be painted to fit the theme of the nursery. If you don’t have pieces, start searching garage sales and online sites for used items. You aren’t looking for the perfect items, you are looking for items with potential! Check out Spot of Tea Designs 1980’s dresser make over!  This was her husband’s childhood dresser that they had just lying around the house! There were no fancy tools used here! Just a can of primer, paint and sealer plus a can of spray paint to re-vamp the hardware! Even I could do that!

Decorating Baby's Nursery on a Budget- DIY Decor Ideas


Buy Used

In the case that you have written off any chance of you getting crafty for baby’s room, there is a HUGE selection out there of discounted baby furniture.

Craigslist, eBay, and local websites are a few places to start. . If you don’t see exactly what you are searching for, don’t be afraid to create a “wanted” post listing the materials you are looking for. Someone may have one lying around and had never thought of selling it!

Reach out to close family and friends too and let them know you are on the look out for great deals on baby furniture. They can be an extra set of eyes for you while shopping or may know someone looking to sell items.

My all time favorite place to buy used: Just Between Friends consignment sales. They have a franchise in just about every major city in the US. We have sales twice a year here in Houston and I just told Kay last week that we couldn’t go on a trip on a suggested weekend because that was the weekend of the sale. I seriously look forward to it all year-long! Here’s a link to search for a sale in your city: JBF Sale search.

Put Everything On a Registry (but not just ANY registry!)

Everything. Literally. Even if you plant o buy it yourself, put it on your baby registry.  A few of the big retailers (Babies R Us, Target) offer some awesome benefits with your registry. Here’s the breakdown of the benefits:

Amazon: I don’t know that there is a single store you could walk into that has the selection size that you will find on Amazon. Most major brands you would find in Target or Babies R’ Us is available on Amazon. They offer a 90 day FREE return policy. Here’s the icing on the baby registry cake: you receive 10% “completion bonus” for any items purchased within 30 days of your due date. So if you register and receive $2,000 worth of gifts, you would receive $200! That could easily pay for a crib, glider or décor. Plus it’s easy for family and friends to send you gifts- no driving around to different stores! It all ships right to you! Plus you literally have HUNDREDS if not thousands of vendors to choose from and the prices are almost ALWAYS cheaper than in store. Sign up for an Amazon Baby Registry HERE!

BONUS TIP: If you are not a member of Amazon Family, you should be! Your completion bonus jumps from 10% to 15% if you are. Plus it gives you the option to have diapers and wipes sent straight to your door every month which is a huge #MomWin! I receive 20% off my diapers and wipes each month by subscribing. You can try it for free for one month by signing up below:
Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial

Babies R Us: Babies R’ Us is probably the first place that pops into your mind when you think “baby registry”. Any store that is entirely dedicated to baby is bound to have a great selection of items! While the prices are usually a big higher than you might find on Amazon, it is nice to have a physical place you can go to look at the items you want to register for. You may want to see the finish of a crib in person or slip the diaper bag you’ve been eying over your shoulder to try on for size. 10 weeks after your due date, Babies R Us will give you a gift card with 5-10% cash back of the items purchased on your registry. (5% for the first $300 spent, 10% anything over $300). I personally had a small registry at Babies R Us and the gift card came at the perfect time! The cash back is for ANYTHING purchased on your registry, even if you buy it for yourself! The negatives to Babies R Us is the prices ALWAYS seem to be higher and I frequently have trouble finding exact items in store. They offer a 1 year return policy for your unwanted baby items. They also have a great points system that gives discounts and tracks your purchases in the case that a receipt is lost. UPDATE: RIP to Babies R Us. Your reward system will be missed 🙁

Target:  Moms love target. Target loves moms, too! They will give you 15% off anything LEFT on your registry 6 weeks before your due date. Just a heads up, you can’t add things 6 weeks before and then try to use the discount (tried it, doesn’t work!) so add EVERYTHING you think you might need from the get go. Downside is that the 15% off coupon does have to be used in 1 day. I have personally been disappointed by the baby selection in my local Target. Online is a different story, they have so much more! They usually have a minimum purchase amount to qualify for free shipping which can be a pain. I did a baby registry at Target with Emmy and do not plan on doing it again with baby #2.

I did some research into a few other stores (Walmart, BuyBuyBaby and Pottery Barn) but they either had prices that were way too high to list them on a money saving post or they did not offer any sort of completion savings.

Accept Hand Me Downs

If I had to guess, I would say 80% of the baby gear we have is hand me downs. Emmy’s crib belonged to my niece and she is now 10… you would never know it looking at the crib! It’s in great shape! Accept any hand me downs that are offered to save a bundle!

What tips would you offer to save money when it comes to building your baby’s nursery? Comment below and share! Be sure to read more articles like this one below!


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