Saturday, May 17, 2014

How to Decorate Your Baby Nursery... On a Budget!

When you find out you're pregnant, one of the biggest upfront expenses is the nursery.  You could easily spend thousands on one, but most of us really don't have thousands to pay for the nursery!

While I was pregnant with our first baby, we were trying to get out of debt.  One week after we got fully out of debt (including car payments), I got laid off (at about 38 weeks pregnant) -- which sounds horrible, but it was such a blessing to be out of debt before getting laid off!  

Needless to say, we were on a very tight budget to do her nursery.  I love interior design, so I was a little bummed, but once everything was all together (keeping in our very tight budget) I was in love with our nursery!  I loved the challenge of keeping in budget, which forced me to be more creative than I would have been, and which also lead to having a more unique & meaningful nursery.

When all was said and done, I only spent less than $50 on our nursery!!  
(including furniture!)

Really good ideas for how to decorate your baby's nursery on a really tight budget... even I could do these!

Doing a nursery on a budget is one of the smartest things you could do when preparing for a baby.

Take Your Time
My theory for saving money on anything is to take your time and do your research (see below).  The more time you have to shop for something, the more likely you'll find what you really want for a really good price.  You can't just walk into WalMart one time & expect to find everything you want for dirt cheap.  Now I know, this can be frustrating, but nothing in life comes free, right?  If it's really important to you to save money, then you need to put the time into it.  And time is money.  :)  

Do Your Research
Doing your research and taking your time go hand in hand.  If you take your time & do your research, you'll save a ton of money!  Just like you probably researched your nursery theme on Pinterest (no? that was just me?), you can research the individual products.  Once you do your research, you'll know if you need to buy new, buy used or DIY for each item. 

There are so many amazing bloggers who take on 'do it yourself' projects so often they could do them in their sleep (me? not so much).  You can also do your research from these bloggers to find out the easiest way to do that project.  Besides, if you put a little sweat and arm grease into the projects in your nursery (no matter how crafty you are), I guarantee you it will mean more & you'll love it!
You can view all of my DIY Nursery projects for Paige's bird themed nursery here.

Buy/Use Secondhand
Take your time & look online.  Craigslist is one of the many great places to look for secondhand items.  Don't forget to check out their "free" section!  Thrift stores are also a great place to look, but don't forget, you can't just go once... the more often you go there (as opposed to a big-box or department store), the more you'll save.  If you see something you kind of like (but not love), don't forget, you can always DIY it up a bit and make it your own!  Don't forget about asking friends if you can buy any of their nursery items they are done with... chances are you'll both benefit from this! 
hint: if and when bartering, ALWAYS use the phrase, "is that the lowest you can go?" with a kind-hearted smile... that way you'll get the best deal possible. 

These are some great ideas on how to save money on everything by shopping Target's clearance sections!

Visit the Clearance Racks... Over and Over Again
Okay, it's confession time.  I'm the queen of Target's clearance rack (only they forgot to get me my crown...).  I cannot go to Target without checking out at least 2 of their Clearance sections.  Here are the best ways to get THE BEST deal on clearance racks (especially at Target).
  • First, you need to check often - like once a week.  This is key!  Target updates their clearance once a week usually, so if you go that often, you won't miss a thing.  
hint: ask the Target staff which day they lay out their clearance for that section (home decor, baby, etc.), then go on that day to get the best options!
  • If there's a lot of the same item that you want, chances are that they will still be there for the next mark down.
For example, if I saw a picture frame that was 15% off, but there were 15 of them, I'd wait and check that spot each week as I check back in.  Chances are in a couple of weeks they would be marked down again to 30% off, and then again to 50%, and eventually down to 75% off (with a couple of weeks in between each mark down).  Although, if there are only 3 frames left at 50% off, I wouldn't risk it, I'd grab it and feel good about the money I saved instead of waiting until it will be marked down to 75% off.  My only exception to this rule is if the clearance sticker says 'online item'.  That means it's already been drastically reduced, so I snatch those up!

(all of the above ideas work for saving money on anything at Target!)

Once again, we're taking a lot of time to do all of this, but I promise it will be worth it if you're on a tight budget! 

Use What You Have
I personally like more adult feeling nurseries -- ones that use adult furniture as much as possible.  Since you're nesting anyway, go through your closets and storage rooms to find things you aren't using, or things that could be utilized better in the nursery.  I had several fabric covered storage bins in my closet, so I found new homes for all of the junk inside of them & re-used them in our nursery... something that kept it SO much more organized than if I hadn't used them!  I still use them today in Lindsey's nursery to hold diapers and wipes.

So, there you have it.  My secrets to saving money on your baby's nursery!

I want to know... how have you saved money on your baby's nursery?
Tell me in the comments below!

This is part of the Ultimate Guide to Baby's First Year series with 40 other bloggers.  View more posts on baby spaces here.

I'm participating in the All Things Baby Blog Hop, so all week long I'll be bringing you posts about baby's first year!  Be sure to check out the main #ultimatebaby page to see lots of other great articles, check out our Pinterest board & enter our HUGE giveaway (below)!!

Today's posts are all on baby's spaces.


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  1. Your nursery deco is so adorable! The felt birds in the hoops are so cute! I'm not in USA but your tips can be transfered to another country as well. Thanks

    When my first baby was born, we were in a 24 sqm flat... so no nursery! We moved in a bigger flat when he was 6 months old. he had a bedroom for himself, and the colors were: brown, green, white and wood (pale wood not ebene). A bit of nature with green leaves stickers and frames, teddy bears on the tapestry, brown carpet like the earth, etc. My daughter shared my son's bedroom, so she had the same decoration. Now that we have moved in Germany, they still share the same room but the colors are green/white/blue for Gabriel and white/pink/wood for Sophie. Not too much deco (we would like to find a house asap) but they like it that way...

  2. We were fortunate to receive *many* well-loved hand-me-downs before our first's arrival... being that his cousins had outgrown furniture, clothing, and toys. It was really a plessing.

    I love what you did to decorate the space!

    Displaying Baby Photos In Your Home:

  3. With TWINS as our first we definitely spent WAY too much money on all things nursery. We could've done things a lot less expensively, but oh how we didn't know. I, fortunately, am not one for decorating much, so it really did prove to be bare necessities for the most part, but I added my own personal artwork to the walls.


I actually really love it when you comment! ;)

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