A Dreamy DIY Nursery on a Budget

4 years ago
With a little DIY and some repurposing, I built a nursery for our second little girl. With our existing furniture and paint color, plus a few key accessories John's "Yankee Room" was transformed (not without a few manly tears...)
funky, colorful nursery, baby girl, DIY, eclectic. colorful

After spending a good amount of money on all the trimmings for my oldest daughter, Violet's nursery 3 years ago, I realized a few things this time around- for one thing, all-in-one crib sets are not cheap. I didn't want to reuse Violet's bedding because I felt strongly that both girls rooms should have their own "feel." Maybe that's just my way of justifying the fact that my taste and color mood has completely changed. I guess I just wanted to flex my interior decorating muscles and put to use some of the amazing things I've seen on Pinterest. It was barely off the ground when Violet was born and if you're a Pinterest lover like me, you know how the inspiration to be had in just a 10 minute peruse of that site is pretty intense, nevermind 9+ months of planning. Basically, there was no need to buy everything all over again, so I started this Pinterest board to help inspire a direction for what I was hoping would be a comfy, eclectic feel for our second daughter, Ruby.

Here are a few of the things I came up with...

Palette, Silhouette, bird, wood, distressed, DIY
DIY #1: Palette Silhouette
Theme-wise I was thinking hot air balloons, but the more pregnant I got and the more research I did, somehow it ended up being birds. They both fly, so they're kind of the same, right? Not really, but in the end I just couldn't figure out how I was going to easily make all the hot air balloon accessories and I couldn't really find the vintage-style balloons that I was looking for. Anyhow, I made this palette piece a long time ago and it was just sitting around waiting for the perfect place to be put on display. Here's the link to the DIY I previously posted: Bird Silhouette on Palette. It's now quite comfy above the changing table.
      DIY #2:
DIY, crochet bumpers, nursery, tree decals, bird theme nursery
Crib bumpers are pricey and to be honest, all the articles I've read about them being a suffocation hazard kept me up nights with my nose pressed against the video monitor screen to make sure Violet hadn't squished hers against the fluffy, fabric ones that came with her crib set. We eventually bought the mesh breathable bumpers that became so popular, but they were a plain, old brown and I mourned the loss of the pretty colors and fabric that added so much style to her bed. This time around I assumed 3 years later there would be more options for this mesh-style bumper, but despite my research I didn't find anything in the stores other than some polka-dots and stripes. Naturally, my next stop was Google and Etsy. When I searched breathable bumpers I found the image below.
 DIY nursery, crochet bumpers, girls nursery

 "All Things Granny" on Etsy sells lots of cute, crochet stuff and at one time was crafting these bumpers made by joining granny squares together. Of course, I'm always up for some DIY, so I decided to start crocheting me some squares! My crochet skills are decent at most, and granny squares are pretty basic, so I started by following this tutorial and decided to go with 5 alternating colors (black, gray, peach, mint, and coral) ending in white each time for a total of 6 rounds/colors. I made about 25 of them just to be safe, but only really needed about 20 after they were joined together and edged with the peach. There are lots of ways to join granny squares, but I like this one that I found at Carina's Craft Blog. Once they were all joined, I edged the entire thing with peach to widen it a bit, and then trimmed it once more around with a white, single crochet stitch. It was easy to add some ribbon to tie them on, but make sure to buy a few spools because they are bit more floppy than the traditional bumpers and need to be fastened to the crib in a few more spots.

bird theme nursery, girl nursery
DIY #3: Fabric Birds
Aaand so goes the bird theme. Not the most original, but I blame it on these adorable fabric birds. I don't remember how I came across this mobile and  fabric bird pattern, but when I did the whole plan for the room just sort of came together. I had hoped to make the mobile with actual branches and all, but I had been eyeing up those filament bulb string lights at Target for a while and really wanted to do some sort of light effect in the room since I did something like that above Violet's crib (below.)

The goal was to make the lights look like they were strung on the birch trees which are decals I purchased at Nursery Decals N More on Etsy. They went up really easily- I managed to do it myself 7 months pregnant! Each tree was 2 pieces and the branches, leaves, and birds (you pick the color) are separate. Anyway, back to the birds...I've included some pictures below of a bit of the process. Along with the directions as laid out on the pattern (follow the link above) and a bit of hand stitching you can probably complete one in about 40 minutes. With a sewing machine I'd imagine the time would be cut in half. I unfortunately have less than average sewing skills (did I ever mention that my mom is a Home Economics teacher? Yeah, I don't cook either...) so I opted to do a simple basting stitch all the way around. I even tried to do it with hot glue instead...(HUGE fan of the glue gun...make sure to stay tuned for a future post detailing the no-sew trim I made to spice up the black roman shades in Ruby's room.)


Eventually I made about 6 birds and started crossing projects off my list that I knew I just wouldn't get to- including the actual incorporation of the mobile with branches for the birdies to perch on. SO, that's when I decided to attach them to the lights with some wire, and I think I made the right choice.

The fun doesn't stop there...
Thus is the beginning of my detailing all the DIY fun I had decorating Ruby's room. Granted I did spend about $200 on supplies and some decor (Home Goods anyone?? Don't even get me started. I could spend an hour in the pillow aisle alone...) but overall the whole thing was done by reusing, repurposing and crafting- and there's more! The next few posts will cover an EASY 10 minute makeover on a cheap particle board bookshelf (preview below!) Also, the fabric "R" for Rue's door I made to match the Violet's "V" I purchased at Anthropologie, but could no longer find on sale anywhere, as well as the trim I mentioned for the existing roman shades, and the burlap "Ruby" banner.

**Update: DIYs #4 and #5 posted and ready for your viewing pleasure:
John's "Yankee Room" man cave is no more, all that's left is the "Don Mattingly Dr .sign above the door that was too high for me to reach without a ladder. We've since decided it's a cute reminder of the room's evolution though- a little bit of Yankee love doesn't hurt, and though he misses his space, we both know there are many memories to be made there that will far surpass even the love of a devoted fan.

And look how comfy she is! 
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