Creating a Gender Neutral Nursery

For some crazy reason, I felt like I couldn’t be a good mom until I had created the perfect nursery.  I spent hours on Pinterest, in Home Depot, and Ikea just to find the right colors and furniture.  Of course, I was thrifty in my endeavors and am excited to share with you how you can create your own cute nursery without paying a hefty price.

Selecting Nursery Colors

This was by far the hardest part!  There are so many great colors to chose from.  Knowing the baby’s gender is the most helpful when making your selection.  I knew I was having a boy, but I wanted colors that would be neutral enough that they could be used if I ended up having a girl later.  If you want to keep it neutral, I recommend avoiding pink, purple, and brown.  Most other colors can be used for boys or girls.  I wanted something really bright.  I went to home depot and looked at paint swatches until I found the combination I wanted: aqua/turquoise/ orange/ and black.  I kept the swatches in my purse so when I went shopping for things for the room, I could match it to my exact colors.

Creating Removable Wall Decals for the Nursery

After I selected my colors, I had a problem–I live in an apartment.  We are not allowed to paint unless we paint it back to the original color before we move out.  I hate moving as it is and I was not about to add an extra paint job to that process.  Because of this, I did some research and found out that you can use contact paper to decorate your walls.  Contact paper is usually used to line drawers.  It is mildly sticky, easy to cut, and paint-able.  I was inspired by the Curbly blog.  She gives a complete tutorial on how to create these aspen trees I made.  I printed some leaf stencils, and after painting the contact paper blue, I traced the stencils onto the back and had my students cut them out during read aloud to earn some class money.  Then I stuck some blue tacky to the back to play around with where I wanted them on the wall.  Once I was ready, I removed the back and stuck the contact paper to the wall.  It has been a year, and they are still sticking just fine.  If I ever want to remove them, they peel off easily and leave no residue.  That’s a renter’s dream!

Making the Most of a Large Window in a Nursey

We live in a great apartment, but it is seriously lacking on storage.  Because of the huge window in the nursery, there weren’t very many options for placing furniture or adding additional storage.  I finally was inspired by Ikea to put an expedit shelf under the window.  I got the shelf for $50 and it was so easy to build I did it myself.  I also got lucky and was able to find the storage boxes for $2.50 each in the clearance section of Ikea.  Waiting for a deal definitely paid off!  To make it feel more homey, I bought some fabric (matching it to my swatches) and sewed a bench pad.  I used a simple tutorial to learn how to sew the bench.  I also bought the curtains from Ikea for $19.  They came with an iron strip that allows you to shorten the length without sewing.  I shortened the curtains, and then added orange ribbon to the bottom to make them pop.  The expedit shelf sat on a vent, so I hot glued some wooden molding from Home Depot to raise it off the ground.
ideas for a boy nursery
Tissue paper $3 from Dollar Store.  Tutorial on how to make tissue poms.
ideas for a baby nursery
I used a tutorial to learn how to make the simple tissue buds.  I used the remaining tissue paper from the dollar store, I also used a dollar vase, which I lined with scrapbooking paper.  I glued hemp around the top with a hot glue gun, and added peacock feathers from my wedding bouquet.
nursery decorating ideas
I bought this handmade frame from a charity auction for $25.  It was all white, but my husband and I used modpodge to add orange scrapbooking paper on the outside of the frame.
cheap nursery decorations
This shelf was $3 from a garage sale.
nursery decorations
Frames painted from dollar store.  Plant tower from Deseret Industries, $5.

Finding Nursery Furniture for a Good Price

Everyone was once a baby, which means there is a ton of baby furniture in the world.  If you take your time, and you probably have like 9 months, you can find great deals on the things you need.  I’m not huge on hoarding furniture so I didn’t get things like a changing table or a rocking chair.  I just used his crib and a large office chair instead.  I was able to get my crib for free from my husband’s aunt ( I did sand and paint it black).  It is a great idea to email family members when you are pregnant to see if anyone is getting rid of anything.  Garage sales are also great.  I got the small white shelf for $3 at a garage sale.  The lamp and the plant tower were purchased from the second hand store, Deseret Industries, for $7 total.  The frames on the plant tower were from the dollar store and I painted them to match the room.  The vase with the tissue flowers was also from the dollar store.  The only thing that was a little pricey was the black dresser that my husband purchased for us when we were first married.  We got the dresser from Walmart for $169.

Overall Advice for Decorating a Nursery on a Budget

  • Check out thrift stores and garage sales.
  • Use paint swatches to ensure you buy the correct colors and that they match.
  • Find simple crafts that can add a lot of flair.
  • Be patient in your purchases, you will find a deal if you wait!
  • Be brave! You can refurnish that crib or create that wall decal.
  • Make it a date!  My husband and I had a lot of fun doing stuff together, plus more minds equal more creativity and more hands equal less work.
  • Don’t worry about buying expensive bedding.  I just bought crib bumpers from Ikea for $20 and got a bed sheet from Michael’s aunt.  Babies will poop, spit up, and throw up on their bedding.  I just use normal blankets on Camden and he is just fine.  When he was smaller, I used the extra fabric from the curtains to make the bedskirt.  Really, don’t waist a ton of money on the bedding.
Just for reference, this is my BEFORE picture.  If I can do it, you can too!

Good luck!