How to Design a Beautiful Nursery on a Budget

8 Money-Saving Tips for a Budget-Friendly Nursery

Expectant couple assembling crib together
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A beautiful nursery doesn’t need to cost a fortune. With a little know-how and a healthy dose of creativity, you can create a budget-friendly space for your little one that’s as chic as it is cheap! Not sure where to start? Check out these 8 money-saving tips for designing a nursery on a budget.

Buy a Convertible Crib. 

A convertible crib may cost more than some regular models, but these talented transformers are well worth the initial investment. With a few relatively simple adjustments, a convertible crib becomes a charming, toddler-friendly day bed. Add a few spare parts, and what was once a crib transforms into a full-size adult bed, taking your little one from cradle to college and well beyond.

While some manufacturers will include all the hardware and accessories necessary for conversion, others will require you to buy additional pieces separately, so be sure to factor in any extra costs up front. If you do need to purchase parts, buy them as soon as possible. It may be tempting to save your money until baby is ready for an upgrade, but it’s hard to say whether or not the parts you need will be available in the future. Don't sabotage an otherwise budget-savvy investment!

Resist the Urge to Buy Baby Bedding. 

Crib bedding is the biggest racket in the baby business with some sets costing upward of $200. (That’s enough to buy a whole crib!) And while these pricy sets may be beautiful, many are actually very dangerous.

Despite their popularity and widespread availability, crib blankets, bumpers and pillows pose a risk of suffocation and should never be used in a crib. Even alternative bumpers and other so-called "safety products", like sleep positioners and wedges, can put your little one’s life at risk.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all baby needs is a firm, well-fitting mattress, a thin, waterproof mattress cover and a few changes of sheets. Worried about cold weather? A safety-approved sleep sack or swaddle wrap is more than enough to keep your little dreamer warm and cozy. 

Skip the Changing Table.

While a place to change your little wiggle monster is a must have, a changing table is definitely not. Changing tables quickly outgrow their usefulness - if used at all. Most babies bunk in with mom and dad for the first couple of months anyway, and once your baby can roll, you’ll likely feel more comfortable changing them on the floor.

Want to make those nursery dollars stretch? Check out these space-saving, budget-friendly alternatives to traditional changing tables.

Be Resourceful.

Before you hit the aisles of your local baby-mart, consider what you already have and what you can get on the cheap. A fresh coat of paint and some custom drawer pulls can completely transform an old, beat-up dresser. Add a padded changing mat and a few wicker baskets for storing diapers and other necessities, and you’ll have everything you’ll need to create a temporary changing station.

If you don’t have any spare furniture lying around, find a good second-hand shop and keep an open mind. A shapely, old armchair could make a dramatic statement recovered in a fun, kid-friendly fabric. Even an otherwise out-of-place accessory, like a large mirror with an overly ornate frame, can seem whimsical if painted with an unexpected color. Think outside of the box. You’ll save a bundle on nursery décor and end up with a personal, one-of-a-kind design.

Do “Eclectic” Well.

Cobbling your nursery together piece by piece? Great! Eclectic designs have tons of character, and picking up unique, second-hand pieces is a great way to save money. That said, it's important to establish a sense of continuity and flow. Need help creating a cohesive design? Just follow these 3 rules for mixing and matching furniture

Get Creative With Paint.

Easily updated and relatively inexpensive, paint makes a great alternative to costly wall treatments, especially when used in fun and unexpected ways. Add drama to your design by painting the ceiling. Introduce color by painting the inside of your window frames or bookshelves. You can even create elaborate patterns using masking tape and stencils. It may be hard work, but the results are well worth the effort - not to mention the money.

Be Crafty.

Accessories make a nursery special, but all those charming details can add up quickly. Running low on funds? With a touch of creativity—and a few helpful tips—you can make your own stunning accessories for a fraction of the cost of store-bought décor. Feeling creative? Why not give one of these DIY gems a try!

Keep it Simple.

A simple nursery can be simply beautiful! From modern minimalism and Nordic-influenced décor to the new Boho chic, sleek white nurseries are a growing trend. Need some understated decorating ideas? These 19 Sweet and Simple Nursery Designs will inspire you to do more with less!