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Creating the Perfect Nursery on a Budget

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Things are a little crazy around here lately, because we’re moving soon! Which means I’ve had O’s new nursery on my mind.

Do I create the same nursery as his old one? Do I try something new? Do I make it gender neutral in case a future (currently nonexistent) baby sibling uses it?

Oofta, that’s a lot of questions. (I really do use oofta, way too much if you ask my husband, can you tell I’m a Minnesotan?).

One things for sure, I’d love to keep creating O’s nursery on a budget

This week I’m going to cover IKEA nursery hacks and how to create your dream nursery on a budget.

Let’s talk our current nursery first and how you can use the same steps to help create your dream nursery on a budget. 


Making Gender Neutral Not = Boring

When I was pregnant, I knew I need a gender neutral nursery.

We wanted to be surprised when our little one was born, and have the BIG “it’s a boy!” or “it’s a girl!” moment.

However – the decision made creating a nursery a little bit more challenging. Gender neutral nurseries don’t have to be boring.

They can be beautiful and you can always add a pop of more “gender specific” color after your little one is born if you’d like.

Creating that perfect {budget friendly} nursery.

Step 1: Pin, pin, pin

Snoop around Pinterest or feel free to check out my Baby Nursery Board. I suggest searches like “gender neutral nursery”, “boy nursery”, or “girl nursery” if you have no idea where to start.

If you know your theme, search that! Pin the ideas you love and create a group board with your loved ones if you want some extra input!

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Step 2: Choose your nursery theme

After you’ve been pinning, look at your board. Is there a theme that’s started to emerge? Or maybe a couple themes that you want to combine?

Your themes can be specific like zoo animals, nautical, space, woodland, or girly and elegant.

Or you might choose a more simple theme like: pink, glitzy, blue, or neutrals.

I fell in love with the mountains and adventure themes – so I chose to combine them! 

In truth, I was a little nervous about my theme choice in case we had a girl. But my plan was to add some pink pillows and accents to “girl it up” a little if needed. Hey, girls can love adventures too.

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Step 3: Look for a few “stand out” features you really want to have.

I loved the look of a wall of mountains and also fell in love with the idea of a hot air balloon mobile. All of my other nursery items would be centered around these two items.

Choose a couple items you can’t live without and make those the focal point of your nursery. You don’t want the room to feel overwhelming. 

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Step 4: Buy or Create

Here’s where you can get frugal if you’d like. Remember the mountains on the wall? I definitely could have had a professional come in and paint those, but I grabbed some 3M painters tape and tried my hand at it.

We had used most of the paint colors previously, so the only thing I needed to buy was the painters tape, and a sample of the yellow paint (since I needed such a small amount). My total was less than $5 and it took me less than an afternoon to finish the project!

However, be warned if you’re an emotional pregnant woman – I only asked my husband 5 times that day if it looked okay. 

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baby nurseryPin

As far as the hot air balloon mobile – I think I’ll be forever in love.

I created them on my own while pregnant following a tutorial online. I couldn’t find the exact pattern so I had to create my own – it was from craftschmaft.com originally, but the pattern was no longer available! I am definitely not a professional sewer, but I have a little experience in sewing basic things (thanks mom and middle school FACS!).

If you have some idea what you’re doing, give it a try! You just might surprise yourself.

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Step 5: Find new ways to utilize other furniture

Buying furniture will be one of the most expensive parts of your nursery.

Our baby’s changing table used to be in my parent’s entryway. I’m not kidding. I originally planned to repaint it, but found the neutral color was just what we were looking for! We attached a changing pad to the top and – voila! It was the perfect baby dresser/changing station.

To stay within your budget, check out secondhand stores or see if you or your family have furniture you can refinish. It’s pretty amazing what a little paint and some free DIY tutorials can do.

Also, you’ll save mega bucks by reusing something you already have. 

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Step 6: Reuse, reuse, reuse!

My sister threw me the cutest woodland themed baby shower. She created a few special pieces to decorate for the shower that she had created using her Cricut and her insanely crafty brain (and a little Pinterest).

We used all three pieces in the nursery to add some cute decor to tie the room together. 


  • The branch with paper “leaves” over the closet door (photos 1 & 2)
  • The baby bear sign (seen above in the nursery and in the 1st photo below)
  • The “BABY” garland (last photo). We removed the letters and draped in from one side of O’s window frame to the other.
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Tips to Remember if You Have A Nursery On A Budget

  • Reuse old furniture or decorations – paint goes a long way for a small price!
  • Do it yourself. There’s a lot of things that are just “easier” to let someone else do. If you’re willing to put in an afternoon, you might surprise yourself on how crafty you are and on how much money you can save!
  • Shop the deals (both the sites below have specific “baby deal” sections)
  • Add nursery ideas to your baby registry

Enjoy designing your nursery! It’s completely doable to create your dream nursery on a budget. If you have a nursery idea or theme you love – share it with me! I’d love to hear about it or see it!

Stay tuned – later this week I’m covering my favorite Ikea Nursery hacks! You don’t want to miss these adorable ideas.

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The featured photo, and photos 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9 are from the extremely talented Sabrina Benning.

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