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Six Tips for Decorating A Toddler Room for Less

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toddler room with pinks and greys

At the start of her life, it was our plan to have my first daughter sleeping in her own bed from six weeks onward. Yeah. But then she was born, and we started co-sleeping and that plan went down the drain.

I transitioned my first daughter to her own room at 10 months but it wasn’t until around 20 months that she was sleeping in her room with any consistency. And when she did begin sleeping in her room with some consistency, it was then that I decided that it was time to redecorate.

Her baby nursery was full of the colors and images of animals that by 20 months no longer worked, so I needed to make some changes. I wanted to change the room’s colors. I wanted to add more design elements that fit her toddler personality, and, oh yeah, I didn’t have much money to waste. It was a tough task but I did it with the right amount of planning, creativity, and patience.

So, if you, too, have been tasked with decorating your toddler’s room and have very little money, check out my tips for getting the job done:

Tip #1. Plan first

Whether you have a lot of money to spare or very little money, planning is one of those things that you should get in the habit of doing to save yourself time in the long run, and, uh, stress. Yes. When planning, write down your ideas or join Pinterest to create boards of your design inspiration. When planning, remember to think long term.

Tip #2. Pick Color Themes or Pattern Themes

I’m sure my daughter would love a room fully decked out in all things Backyardigans, but my wallet doesn’t. So, when decorating her room, I went for a suitable theme of colors of bold pinks and orange colors and then worked her love for the Backyardigans in through accent pieces, or pillows and poster art. Along with saving me money now, I know that this plan of attack will save me money down the line when my toddler’s love for Backyardigans turns into her love for some next, great girl group.

nursery with yellow curtains and white accents

Tip #3. Buy used, accept quality hand-me-downs or go the Freecycle route.

Unless I really have to (i.e., for bedding items), I hardly ever buy anything at full price. I am a thrift store-a-holic. If I do buy new, I typically shop at Ikea or bargain, discount stores like Ross or Marshalls. I am also a member of a group called Freecycle. It’s a program, organized in cities, that allows members to exchange free stuff to each other.

Tip #4. Get crafty

I’ve never really considered myself a crafty person, but with my toddler’s room, I was forced to be crafty in order to create a beautiful and unique room on a small budget. So what are some great craft ideas for a toddler’s room? Well, for instance, take this great mural:

wall mural in a nursery

This mural can be easily made using some paint, stencils, and a ruler to measure to ensure straight application.

 Tip #5. Work with What You’ve Got

The lamp that was in my dining room is now in my toddler’s room. And it looks great there. When decorating your toddler’s room, be open to possible furniture, pillows, or art used elsewhere in your house. Oh, and if what you currently have doesn’t exactly fit, consider personalizing it to make it fit. So, for instance, if it’s a dresser that you have that doesn’t match your toddler’s room décor, consider repainting it, adding some fun knobs, and voila. It’s practically new.

 Tip #6. Splurge on One Item

With all the money you’ve saved, treat yourself to something big, like a fancy rug or piece of art work. You deserve it!

The point of this whole process is to encourage you to explore your creative side and to look for affordable alternatives that will make your toddler’s room look great.

 Parents on a budget: What budget saving tips would you share for those looking to decorate a toddler’s room?

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Monday 2nd of April 2012

Can you tell us where you got all the pieces in the picture and for how much? I love the bookshelf and the toddler bed. Thanks.

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