How to Create a Beautiful Nursery on a Budget

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My friend, if you’re attempting to design a nursery on a budget, you’ve come to the right place! When it came to the birth of our second child, we were truly on a tight budget with no extra money to spend on putting a fancy nursery together.   I knew we would need to get creative to still make it a beautiful place that I WANTED to be in the middle of the night. 

The good news is, a beautiful nursery doesn’t have to cost a ton of money and most certainly doesn’t have to be made of up of all brand new things. With that being said, here is how I brought together a beautiful room for our son’s nursery with a little hard work and very little money. 

So let’s discuss our budget-friendly nursery ideas! 

I am all about re-purposing, finding great deals, and using what we already have to bring a space together. So I decided to try and bring our son’s nursery together by only using what we already owned or what we could DIY. Alternatively, you could look for items at thrift stores and search for on Marketplace if you don’t already own them. 

These are tips you can follow for your baby’s room regardless of your nursery theme. 


1. DIY Floating Shelves 

For our nursery shelves, we followed this tutorial by Shanty2Chic. We stained the wood with White Wash Pickling and Special Walnut, both minwax, for a light and natural finish. But Varathane would work just as well 🙂  

I think these are so perfect for a baby room. And the best part is that they are very affordable and easy to make. 

2. Thrift Store (or Re-Purposed) Shelf Decor

Shelf decor is one of those things that I always have my eye out for in the thrift store. I sprinkled in some random goodies with children’s books, a framed photo, and a plant in a basket. Minimal, beautiful, easy peasy!  Shopping for these things at thrift stores (or second hand in general)  is a great way to keep things budget-friendly. 

3. Print Your Own Wall Art instead of Buying

I kept the price down on our wall art by purchasing a large frame from Michael’s with a half off coupon. Michael’s honestly has so many affordable options in the frame department and is one of my favorite stores to check first. I created the artwork in photoshop and had it printed in poster form at Walgreens (again using a coupon).  I then created a faux matte for the print with photoshop, to give the illusion of a matted frame. 

Want the same print? I made the nursery printable into a free download! 

If you’d like to do something similar but not exactly this and don’t have photoshop, you can use for this. I have a tutorial for on adding faux matte to photos for another project here. 

budget friendly nursery ideas

4. DIY Blanket Ladder & Wooden Growth Chart 

Keeping blankets in the baby’s nursery is a great way to add a cozy element but also meet a practical need. I love grabbing one of these in the middle of the night when I’m in the rocking chair with our little one. We followed this $15 tutorial for the blanket ladder and found the wooden growth chart at Home Depot for just $10 while on sale. 

budget friendly nursery ideas

Both are stained with White Wash Pickling and Special Walnut

5. DIY Barstool as a Side Table 

Another great budget nursery idea is to use barstools as end tables. I found a few barstools at a thrift store a while back for $5 a piece. We sanded them down, trimmed the bottoms to make them shorter, and re-stained in special walnut to use as end tables. Perfect for adding in next to your nursery chair, and such an easy way to add warmth and practicality. We actually even used the other two as end tables in our living room! 

Shop facebook marketplace and your local thrift store frequently, and you can usually find these at a great price. 

6. Instead of new nursery furniture, use what you have! 

We turned an old wooden dresser that was in storage in our basement into a changing table and baby dresser – all in one! This is a GREAT option for keeping costs down while saving space in our baby’s bedroom. 

We  sanded it down and painted it in the color Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore (mixed at Home Depot). This is a gorgeous dark gray with green undertones. The color is a little different from room to room with how the light hits it, but I think it’s the perfect nursery accent color. 

We also replaced the hardware with gold drawer pulls from target. Another inexpensive way to give something new life! 

Add a padded changing pad and voila! Here is the link to the changing pad covers that we purchased.

7. Spray-Painted Sconce Light 

In our area, you can find outdated sconce lighting pretty frequently on FB Marketplace. I think these are such a cute way to fill up blank space and add soft lighting on nursery walls.  I stumbled upon a set of old sconces  – 3 for $10 – and gave them a refresh with Rustoleum Satin Bronze and Black spray paint. 

I used matte black spray paint for the light shade. I used Nesting With Grace’s magic light trick to make it functional, by adding puck lights inside the shade. 

The fresh coat of paint really brought this sconce to life! It’s really the small things that bring the most joy. 

8. Spray Painted or Thrifted Photo Frames for Wall Decor

I really wanted neutral, natural colors in his nursery with just a nod towards nature. I thought watercolor trees would be a perfect little addition. I found the print here on etsy and just printed it at home. 

Popped it in a 8×10 used frame that we already owned, and spray painted Satin Bronze to match the sconce light. I think it adds such a personal touch! 

9. Add wicker baskets for storage or soiled clothing. 

10. Purchase a secondhand crib or use one you already own!

We got lucky and had one already that we purchased for our first child. But don’t be afraid to shop online marketplaces for these.

11. Shop your home! 

Everything else pictured here are things we already owned. The crib, crib bedding, rugs, blankets, throw pillow, plants, baskets, etc.  We truly shopped our basement for this room, and I am so proud of how it all came together!

As for throw pillows, you honestly do not need very many for a baby nursery! I say invest in ONE beautiful throw pillow that matches your nursery theme if you do not already own one.

budget-friendly nursery ideas

I truly hope this post gives you some ideas and inspiration to bring together your own budget-friendly nursery.

Until next time,

budget friendly nursery ideas



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