Nursery on a Budget

I recently designed a nursery for a military family on a tight budget.  Their first addition to the family (a little girl) will be arriving in February. The biggest challenge by far on this project was the budget. We had just under $700 to work with. The first thing that we had to establish was a theme. She knew that she wanted a soft relaxing nursery that had somewhat of a nature theme to it. The colors she decided to go with were light pinks with tan color accents. Once we had established the theme, it was time to fill this nursery with some furniture. We got busy looking for the largest pieces: the crib, rocking chair and dresser.  It took about 3 weeks, a little patience, and we finally found just what we were looking for: an antique Basset Furniture Industries dresser for $80 in awesome shape, and an IKEA Gulliver Crib in white for $90, that was almost brand new and worked perfect. Both of these pieces were found on Craigslist.org.  She had a white rocking chair, but the colors were all wrong on the cushions, so I took it and recovered them to coordinate with the nursery. Voila! Just like that and less than $200 later, we’ve got all the big pieces. It was now time to focus on the little details.

I’m sure you, like everyone else is wondering what the heck is on the walls? Well, since the Stampley home is a rental, we couldn’t paint the walls, and didn’t think it’d be a good idea to wallpaper.  So, I cut out corrugated cardboard tiles, painted them pink, and hung on the walls for a very cool, textured, wallpaper effect. Hint: spray paint the tiles white first, with a cheap spray paint then cover in pink. It will take a lot less spray paint. We attached them to the walls with tiny sticky Velcro-type fasteners, for easy removal later. Card board: $27; paint: $30; fasteners: $15

Next, I started designing the bedding. The total cost for all the fabric including the bumper , bed skirt, and quilt was $140. If you sew or know someone who does, you can really cut down on  bedding cost by making it yourself. I didn’t use a pattern for any of it, but you can buy patterns at any local fabric store. This allows you to cut bedding cost almost in half, depending on quality of fabric, and you get exactly what you want.  My client chose a crepe back satin which is a little pricier, but has a beautiful texture and look, and it turned out perfect.

The total cost for recovering the cushions on the rocking chair as well as making a coordinating pillow was $52.

The art: $32 for a canvas from a local art supply store and some galvanized wire I had on hand to give it more dimension. This was a simple piece to paint, but it adds so much character to the room. Paintings like this can be done inexpensively, but they can really add a nice touch to any room, while bringing together some of your key colors.

The mobile: $10 for fishing string, card stock paper, and beads. This piece is one of our New Mom’s favorites. It brings such personality into the nursery and really gives it a nature feel. I enlisted my husband for the making of the origami cranes. I think he did a beautiful job. Here’s a great link on how to make them.

Throw blanket: $18 from TJ Maxx. I love their selection of accessories, and you can usually find them at a much lower price than you can at Macy’s, Nordstrom, or other stores.

Curtains: IKEA $30. If they’re too white, do what I did; dye them with some hot tea to give them more of a creamy color. A cheap and easy fix!  I just took about 5 earl grey tea bags, heated them up in hot water and dumped the hot water into the washing machine along with curtains and full washtub of hot water.  I let them set for about 15-30 min before letting the washing machine take over.  (Note: Do NOT put the tea bags in the washing machine… it will mostly likely cause an ugly mess.  Speaking from experiment.)  It doesn’t change the color a lot, but just enough to take away the blinding white.

Tree: $50 Once again, painting the walls was not an option, so we used a vinyl wall decal to add character to the nursery wall. Decals like this bring so much depth and creativity into a room, and they peel off quite easily when you’re done with them.

Shelves: $20 for both brackets at IKEA plus $10 for wood bought at the local hardware shop. This allows you to cut them to whatever size you need, and paint them to fit the nursery.

Lamp: $30 JC Penny

Books:  These books were all gifts from friends and family who wanted to start a little nursery library for the new baby. Each person sent one of their favorite childhood books (some new, but mostly were used) and wrote a message to the baby. That’s a lot of hours of bedtime stories, and a lot of very special books!

 

 

*We spent an additional $60 in random other supplies for the room*

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