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Frugal Nursery Decorating Ideas?? Any1??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I want to change my DS old cream & blue snoopy nursery to a girl's theme but on a very tight (almost nothing) budget. I want to do a magical garden theme. Butterflies, humming birds and maybe fairies.

My idea was to go to a craft store and get faux daisy and various flowers (ideas of flower please??) remove the stems and adhere them to the wall. Then paint a stem on the wall from the baseboard to the flower and paint grass around the base of the room. That completes the bottom half of the wall.

But I don't know what to do for butterflies (I am far from an artist). Also the bedding can be really expensive (how do I save there), and I do not sew. A mom gave my the idea to use the crib bumper or the crib skirt as a valance for the window (since the skirt is not used my type of crib). I am clueless about the rest of the room(insert ideas here please). I am no where near a decorator (I'm awful at it) but I can vision and apply what I am instructed to do. Does that make sense??

Please ladies...there's gotta be away to achieve my dream nursery for little of nothing. IDEAS IDEAS IDEAS???

Or is it hopeless and I should just paint the room lavendar and let that be the end of it?
post #2 of 14
My dd's room has a butterfly/fairy border that I got at Home Depot. You could look for something like that or copy pictures from books, etc. and cut out the fairies and butterflies and use wallpaper paste to put them where you want. Stencils might work well too, especially for butterflies.
post #3 of 14
Originally Posted by Lil'M
My dd's room has a butterfly/fairy border that I got at Home Depot. You could look for something like that or copy pictures from books, etc. and cut out the fairies and butterflies and use wallpaper paste to put them where you want. Stencils might work well too, especially for butterflies.
Good thinking! I like the idea of kind of decoupaging the butterflies.

Or maybe cut a butterfly shape out of a sponge and "stamp" them on? Then you can go back and paint in the attenae freehand.

As for bedding, I would stick to plain bedding in solids or simple patterns - especially since you're planning to have so much detail on the walls. If your predominant colors end up being, say, yellow, pink and blue, look for ginghams, solids or stripes using those colors rather than a specialty designed print. KMart usually has simple bedding like this that's not unreasonable (used to be the Martha Stewart line, don't know if it still is). Plus, if you get a couple gingham sheets in different colors, it'll all still go together even if your bumper is a different color.

You can also find simple solid or basic print lampshades at discount stores. Topped onto a thrifted wooden lamp painted white, they can be charming (especially with more flowers hotglued on?). A thrifted bureau can be painted white and then have accents in the flower/butterfly colors painted on and so can bookshelves.

Sounds like a cute theme. Have fun and post a picture when you're done!
post #4 of 14
..I did some of what was described above for my daughter's room. I never saw the point of a nursery, since they are too little to appreciate, so we decorated her room when she was 18 months - since she slept exclusively with us before then.

I went to home depot, bought paint which inspired me, so I bought a pint of a darker shade, and a complementary colors in the same intensity and just bought some wall stencils. I used a little sponge dauber and put a whole bunch of designs up in these colors and then used the foam stencils to do little ones. The stencils probably did cost $20 altogether, but that isn't too bad and I love how it came out. Since I was using regular satin paint rather than stencil paint, the paint did bleed under the stencil slightly, but I could touch it up afterward - and I love that since its all done in the washable paint, no matter what she colors on, etc it will be able to be wiped off. We also painted a cheap wood kids table & chairs from IKEA in the same colors.

I did this first and then afterward realized how hard it was to find a comforter and other things that didn't clash with the colors I had chosen or look too overwhelming, so I went simple on the twin comforter and bought a purple gingham set that was on sale from lilian vernon including a custom embroidered bean bag chair w/my daughter's name. (That was my splurge - since her name is unusual how many things will she have with her name on it?)

Anyway, I am very happy with the result - I like the way the simple gingham fabric on the bean bag and bedding work with the fun playful walls.

I do recommend though that you pick out or find your fabrics first and match your paints to the fabrics rather than visa versa.
post #5 of 14
Look at your thrift stores for bedding. Even if it does not have butterflies on it- you could get one in a coordinating colors- it may take more time- but you can save a ton of money!
post #6 of 14
..I second Emilie and wanted to add - if you found something plain you could dress it up with iron on butterflies, or paint some butterflies on with fabric paint. If you have a color printer (or access to one), you could even print your own iron on transfers - they come out really nice.
post #7 of 14
How about a mobile, you could cut butterfly shapes from card or felt.

Cork tiles can be cut into almost any shape and glued onto the wall for pinboards (beware they are quite hard to remove though)

If you have a jigsaw you can make your own draw handles, just cut out the shape form plywood, glue a square of plywood onto the back (tho hold it away from the door ) and paint. I did some fish on a cupboard that I'd painted blue and it looked great.

You could make really nice butterfly wall hangings with scraps of fabric and some fabric paints, you could even do one with pockets on to store things in.

A flower shaped floor cushion or two. IKEA has some cute thinsg that might spark some ideas.

I find that childrens colouring pages usually have nice bold shapes that I can use as templates. There are quite a few sites with free ones.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Wow all the great ideas I will definitely post pics of this when I'm complete or if I get stuck and need more help.

So far here's what I have planned:

- Flowers on the wall (from mid wall to the floor) faux flower (from Michael's) and painted stems
- Grass (at the baseboard of the wall) or something similar
- Cut-out Butterflies, Humming birds and Fairies (from wallpaper border) these will be close to the flowers
- Plain pink or lavender sheets

Still need advice on:
- the background color (currently the wall is cream)
- the window (currently there is just a honeycomb cream blind)
- Should anything be on the top of the wall or ceiling???
- Should I change the dresser knobs or is that to extreme??
- Should do anything to the white closet bifold doors or white bedroom door??
- Also I found a lavender quilt and bumper set at the resale store for $15 (excellent condition) should I buy it and use the big bumper as a valance for the window?

Thanks Ladies!
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
What about these curtains for a canopy around the crib or window treatment??

If yes, now what type of bedding???

I don't have an Ikea around here but my BIL does and said that whatever I want from there he'll get for me (he gets so kind of discount there). So the price is not a issue.
post #10 of 14
Your question reminded me of a great bedroom redo I saw on Decorating Cents. I went and found the Web page:


As you can see, she took a plain old bedspread and stitched on the cutest fringe.

Also, see what she did above the windows. This might work for your daughters room. If you can't find any cute umbrellas maybe you could use something like the nets that are used to catch butterflies?

Let us know how it turns out.
post #11 of 14
I know you are looking for ideas on other things, but I have a very cheap butterfly idea for you. You could make these and apply them to the bi-fold doors and not have to change anything about them.

I made butterflies to put on by friend's engagement party cake by usig decorator frosting, butterfly pictures (for outlines) and tulle, which is very cheap. I think the same idea would work with hot glue instead of decorator frosting. Here is how I would do it:

-print up some butterflies (flat, not with folded wings or anything)
-buy some tissue paper in a color you want to make the outline of the butterflies
-buy some tulle- this will make the inside of the wing, so whateer color you want for that
-get or borrow a hot glue gun

Do they sell colored glue for glue guns? If they do, you could use that and dispense with the tissue paper altogether. Or, if you want to splurge a little, you could get some gold leaf instead of tissue paper.

Get a piece of clear plastic that will withstand the heat of the glue (use a low-temp gun.) A milk jug may even be see-through enough for this, depending on how dark your butterfly pattern is. Put the butterfly outline under it. Place tulle on top of this, and use tape to hold it taut. Using glue gun, carefully outline the butterfly and any webbing you want (what would normally be the black parts of the butterfly.) For added stability, you miht want to make some of these parts extra thick. If you can't find colored glue sticks, cover the glue part with gold leaf or bits of tissue paper. Pull off the plastic and cut out carefully. You should be able to put the wings in any position you want.

I might try this just for fun to see how well it works. It was really cute on the cake- I striped the frosting and decorated with faux daisies and butterflies.
post #12 of 14
Great thread and great ideas from everyone!

I have decorated my DS' room on a bare-bones budget. Planning to do the same for DD due in May.

With DS, when we moved in to our new house, the walls were peach. We left as is. I wanted it to be a bit less PEACHY so I bought very inexpensive light blue valances for the windows. They were on sale for about $5 apiece. I already had solid colors for his crib bedding that went with pretty much everything, so that was all set.

He loved balloons when he was a year old (still does) so I found inexpensive but very nice balloon borders in muted multi-colors on ebay and we put that up. The border made a HUGE difference! I also bought cloud wallies on ebay and put those up around the room too. So there is a nice celestial theme going on.

We had some nice prints that were already framed in coordinating colors--some were gifts, some I did myself.

By focusing on a theme (balloons) and tying everything together with light blue, the room is really nice.

It will be time to move him to a real bed soon, and I suspect the bedding will be Thomas the Tank Engine...good thing he's blue!

I probably spent less than $50 on the room, maybe a total of $100 once the Thomas bedding is purchased. That's not counting the bed, of course.

For DD, her room is freshly painted a rich, russet shade of pumpkin. (This was DH's choice for his office--but now it will be her room!) Since it is fresh paint, we're not changing it. I will buy a border in a coordinating color--I'm thinking a zoo or animal theme that has some rust or pumpkin in it. She will eventually sleep in DS' crib when he is ready to vacate it and we're ready to transition her.

There is a bookcase already in there that my dad made. I have an old bureau from years back that my brother is going to refinish. We have a gift cert that we can use to buy another glider rocker, or maybe I will just use DS' rocker and buy him a beanbag chair.

Either way, I'll be spending very little money on the new room. We don't need to buy much of anything...With the border and a few animal prints on the walls, it will be done. I have plenty of sheets from DS in a variety of solids that will match nicely. (pale yellow, sage green, cream, etc.) There are cream cotton curtains in there from the previous owner that do very nicely for now.

I agree with one of the PP who said don't worry TOO much about going all out on an infant room. I figure when the kids are around 5 that is when they are really going to want a certain theme or look and we can redecorate somewhat then.

I really am a huge fan of borders b/c they can change the look of a room so much, add so much color and come in every possible theme you can think of! They are relatively inexpensive and easy to put up.

Good luck, your theme sounds adorable. P.S. I'll be that they have wallies in a fairy or flower theme--they are even less expensive than borders!

P.S. forgot to add that my dad found a very sturdy, tall old desk at a tag sale and gave it to me...that will be our changing table. I'll just attach a pad to the top. It's finish is scratched but I figure, who cares, it's a changing table! In two years it will be obsolete anyway, and we can refinish it or get rid of it.

I'm also a big fan of tag sales!!
post #13 of 14
Lots of ideas here have got me thinking. Do you think if I made a large felt board that I could hang it as a picture. Would the felt shapes stay attached well enough?

We don't have anywhere to store a large board but I like the idea of having one for DD
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by LaughingHyena
Lots of ideas here have got me thinking. Do you think if I made a large felt board that I could hang it as a picture. Would the felt shapes stay attached well enough?

We don't have anywhere to store a large board but I like the idea of having one for DD
They should...could you use velcro too?

One other thing I did was cover a large corkboard that was already hanging in the room with fabric in a coordinating color. We pin up photos and other pictures that DS likes. That cost about $3 to do. It adds a nice splash of color to the room.
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