7 Practical Ways to Decorate a Nursery on a Budget

Babies are expensive. From wipes to diapers, clothes to toys, there’s an endless stream of money going out that’s necessary to take care of your baby – and that’s not even including the cost of a nursery.

Don’t panic if you’re dreaming of a beautiful or cool nursery for your brand new little one, but you’re low on funds. There are many ways you can decorate a nursery on a budget and make it look like you spent hundreds (or even thousands).

What are the best ways to decorate a nursery on a budget?

One Big Purchase: Convertible Crib

You came here for practical ways to decorate a nursery on a budget. But hear me out. A convertible crib will stay with your child for years. You won’t have to worry about buying a toddler bed or a standard-sized bed (in some cases). Regardless, this one-time big buy can last from babyhood to childhood with ease.

If you can’t swing it, don’t panic. You can still go the regular crib route. Never buy brand new, though. If you look on websites such as Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp, you will find plenty of options for cribs at half price (or less).

I’ll be honest – some babies don’t end up using their crib or using them very little. That said, “used” cribs are still just as good as new ones. Even babies that actually used their cribs likely haven’t done much more damage than a few teeth marks. Not a big deal!

Decorate Using Paint

Painting is a great way to decorate nursery on a budget

When it comes to decorating your nursery on a budget, painting will be your best friend. Paint is relatively cheap, yet it transforms a room in seconds. You can stick to a single color such as baby blue, light pink, or go neutral with yellows or another fave color. 

You can also spruce things up a bit. If you’re a bonafide artist, don’t hesitate to draw animals, stars, or anything else you’d prefer. For those without the artistic gene, consider something simpler like drawing stripes or polka dots.

Not a fan of paint? Wallpaper can also transform a room in seconds, and there are plenty of baby-friendly choices.

DIY Some Decor

Do-it-yourself is a great way to decorate your nursery

Are you a DIY-loving parent? Then take your craftiness into the nursery. DIY nursery decorations are great because they look fabulous while adding a touch of personalization to the room. Nothing quite says “I love you” like something made by hand.

There are a lot of options when it comes to DIY nursery decor. You can make garlands, mobiles, or monogrammed letters. You can take it a step further by transforming old furniture, like dresses, or crafting a full-fledged toy box.

Did you know you can even DIY a rug? A rug is a quick and easy way to add a splash of color and excitement to the nursery. Sure, it will take a little extra fancy needlework to accomplish, but it will be well worth it. (Don’t worry – if you’re not a savvy DIYer, you can find cheap rugs to purchase instead).

Hang Some Pictures

Hanging pictures in nursery is a great way to decorate nursery on a budget

If there is one thing that really brings a nursery to life, it’s wall art. Any “high-end” nursery you see will be riddled with charming and baby-friendly wall art, whether it’s a picture of an elephant, a princess, a monkey, or the ABCs.

The nursery wall art you find in the stores can easily be over $20. Depending on the size, they can be up to $100. This could easily add up.

Instead, look for downloadable nursery decor. Print out the page and find a picture frame at the local dollar store. You can spray-paint the picture frame to match your theme better if you want. Spray paint is typically only a dollar or two at big box stores; you’re still way under budget for wall art.

Buy Used Nursery Decor Items

Nursery Used Furniture

There is nothing wrong with buying used. I repeat, there is nothing wrong with buying used. Trying to find dressers, decorations, cribs, rocking chairs, and everything else can be impossibly expensive when purchasing brand new. Used items can be just as great – if not better.

Check out your local thrift store, look online for local sales, hit up yard sales, and ask your parent friends if they have everything they’re looking to get rid of (for free or cheap). You can find some amazing deals that fit right into your budget.

Don’t forget that you can repurpose old items, too. For example, a rocking chair can be reupholstered for cheap. You can transform a vintage dresser into one that’s perfect for your new bundle of joy.

Go Minimal With the Nursery Bedding

Nursery Bedding

Sure, extravagant bedding looks great. But it’s entirely not necessary. In fact, having too thick of bedding and “extras” in the crib can pose a choking hazard. Needless to say, no parent wants to fear this for their new baby.

With that in mind, keep bedding to a minimum. All you really need is a firm mattress, a mattress protector, and a tightly fitted sheet on top. After all, babies almost always have accidents, whether they spit up or spill outside of their diaper. Don’t ruin that mattress!

Don’t Buy a Changing Table

Don't buy a changing table and save money on nursery decor

You might’ve raised your eyebrow at this suggestion. No changing table? How and where am I going to change my precious angel’s diaper? While there is essentially nothing wrong with buying a changing table, it’s entirely unnecessary. In fact, plenty of parents find them to be a hassle and ditch them soon after the baby is born anyway. 

What should you do instead? Consider a changing pad. A very cheap changing pad can be used on any existing dresser if it’s low enough. If you have a high dresser or don’t feel comfortable with this, place the pad on your bed and change the baby from there. This will make life much easier and less expensive in the long run.

Final Words

Decorating a nursery on a budget is achievable. The best thing to do is to stick to buying gently used items and repurposing them if desired. You can also DIY some items, add cheap wall decor, and transform a room using paints and wallpapers. One thing is clear – thinking about and creating a nursery is one of the exciting things as you are expecting your newborn. Also, if you don’t have enough space to decorate your nursery, don’t worry, check out our guide on how to maximize space.

How will you decorate your child’s room?

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