When it comes to preparing for the arrival of a little bundle of joy, our urge to give our offspring the best of everything is hard to fight. Also, baby stuff is so damn cute! And those two things together mean that decorating your little love’s nursery can become ridiculously expensive.
But with a little bit of work, some craft supplies, detailed online tutorials—and assuming the gods of Pinterest smile down upon you—you can make the DIY nursery of your dreams. From little touches to major pieces, check these ideas out!
Pom Pom Garland: Pom poms didn’t really come into fashion until after my daughter was born, so I’m putting a garland in her “big girl” room. This is such a simple craft to execute. I love that it’s customizable to your particular color scheme and that it’s inexpensive, so you don’t have to feel bad when you get the urge to freshen up the nursery by changing it out for new colors or changing the garland out seasonally. Plus, when you’re ready to retire your nursery garland, it can be repurposed into another room!
Mobile: Mobiles are a great way to add a touch of whimsy or a spot of color in the nursery. They’re also great DIY options because, with so many styles, there’s bound to be one that meets you where your crafting skills are. Felt pom poms and a couple of sticks make for a super-simple option. You could also try your hand at a modern, abstract design that would be equally at home in a nursery or as art in another room. Brightly colored ribbon is sure to provide lots of movement for baby to watch. And felt isn’t just for pom poms! It’s also fun in a layered design or when used to make a three-dimensional raincloud.
Designer Switch Plates: This is such a simple way to personalize the nursery and it’s so inexpensive. For my daughter’s nursery, I used the store’s online image of the quilt we planned her nursery around to cover her outlets and switch plates. I shrunk the image down and repeated it until it filled a full page of sticker paper. Print, cut to size, and stick—voila! You can also try decoupage and use any of the infinite beautiful, bold, cute, striking, fancy, and fun paper or fabric options out there.
Wooden Baby Gym: While I understand that bright, contrasting colors are visually stimulating for infants, they tend to be rather unappealing when used in molded plastic toys that have to double as home decor. This gorgeous DIY wooden baby gym splits the difference with a simple design that fits any décor combined with visually stimulating toys. In addition to the gym’s good looks, it has the added advantage of allowing you to rotate toys—and the tutorial includes instructions for turning the gym into a tent when your baby outgrows it!
Rocking Chair: Wait just a minute. Did I just suggest you DIY a rocking chair?! Yes. Yes, I did. But I don’t mean you should DIY the whole thing. This, my friends, is an IKEA hack.
Window Bench: Speaking of seating, why not try your hand at DIYing a window seat with storage? (Another IKEA hack, natch.) A dual-purpose piece of furniture that provides seating and storage, this is another fantastic grow-with-them piece that can be repurposed in a big-kid room, a playroom, or another room in the house.
Changing Table: There is some debate about whether a changing table is really necessary. I’m solidly in the “no” camp and found that a mat in the crib or on the floor worked just fine. And it prevented any worry about the baby rolling off the table, too. For those of you who say enthusiastically that, yes, a changing table is a necessity, you can add some individuality to your nursery by making your own! I found tutorials for a charming rustic design, a changing table that converts into a bookcase by way of its removable top, a changing table made from a tool cart (so bright and fun!), and a space-saving fold-away version.
Crib: Yes, you can DIY the crib. This is probably a project best left to those of us with some woodworking/building experience (or our skilled family members, hint, hint), but the results are awesome and unique. The first DIY crib I came across was a beautiful farmhouse design. I also found a baseball bat crib, and a crib that would be at home in a clean, modern nursery.
Happy, DIYing to all you expecting parents out there!