By Maisie Knowles
Cribs, rockers, changing tables, wall décor: oh, the excitement of creating a cozy haven for your little one! It’s a fun project to take on and to fill time while you wait for your new baby to arrive. However, before you start shelling out serious cash for your nursery, take some time and get creative with these money-saving tips.
1. Browse and Create
Take your time and look at ideas online for the look and feel of your nursery. Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) is my all-time favorite resource for home decor and creative ways to repurpose items. Create your own Pinterest board and start collecting pictures of nurseries that you love, and you’ll see a recurring theme of design styles that you are drawn too. Once you’ve narrowed down your style and theme, look specifically for ideas that will bring them to life.
2. Shop Online
Start building your nursery by finding those big furniture items first. I suggest starting with a crib; buy it new to ensure it meets all current safety requirements. Don’t limit yourself to just what you see in the big-box stores or baby boutiques, either. Instead, head online to sites like Hayneedle.com, where shipping is free on most items. You can also check FreeShipping.org for a list of online stores that offer free shipping on baby essentials. Grab a coupon code to save even more on your purchase.
3. Shop Vintage
For items like a rocker or changing table, hit up your local flea market or antique mall. You can repurpose a low dresser and use it as a changing table just by adding a changing pad. If you find a vintage wooden rocker, you can refinish and repaint it to reflect your own style. You may be able to find a small, cushioned lounge chair for your nursery that you can reupholster or even paint.
4. Beg and Borrow
You likely know friends or family that have had babies within the last year or so. Ask around to borrow items they may have in storage while they’re between babies, or items they’re just trying to get rid of. If the item is something like a crib or a baby swing, check the age and condition of the item before you commit to it. Safety is first when it comes to such items..
5. Get Free Samples
As a new mom, I really wasn’t sure which products would work best for my babies, despite the advice I received from other moms. Since every child is different, it’s helpful to load up your nursery with samples of wipes, diapers and formula so you don’t spend a bundle on a product that ultimately doesn’t work. You can ask your doctor or pediatrician for available samples, or, better yet, find free baby stuff online at MrFreeStuff.com.
6. DIY Decor
There’s really no need to buy the latest PB Baby artwork to go along with your nursery. Wall decor can easily be made if you’re willing to take some time and get creative. Canvas artwork is easy to make and can be customized for your baby and nursery. For a mere $12, I made a custom piece with her birthdate for my daughter’s room.
Maisie Knowles is a working mother of two with – several years’ experience writing on parenting and partner issues. She received a B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado and co-founded FreeShipping.org with her husband. Maisie currently spends most of her time at home with her two young girls.