How to: Nursery on a budget

One of my friends is expecting her first child later this year (HURRAY!). She was stuck when it came to getting the nursery together for her sweet babe on a budget. So, she asked me to chat cheap/resourceful decor with her. Of course I was flattered, but I wasn't quiet sure what kind of sage advice I could offer with me being sans baby or baby bump.

Then, of course, it hit me. My name is Amber and I am a blog stalker. All those wonderfully creative people of the web definitely had their clever tips to share. If there was a support group for blog stalking, I would be member. Whenever I change things up around the house Jeff will ask me "Did one of your blogs tell you to do that?". Sometimes I get to boast that the idea came from my very own pretty little head; but most of the time I explain that "Yes, I was inspired by a blog."

People are so resourceful and have such great ideas. I am glad they take to the internet to share all of their wonderful tips! All those great ideas for copying, I mean for inspiration. So, I stormed my brain and wrote a list of all those things I remember seeing on the great and expansive interweb which would work for completing a nursery on a budget. I thought I would share my list on my blog too. (Sharing my copy catting of blogs on my own blog, what a strange world?) This way if I ever am blessed to have my own little one on the way, I can just come back here and look at what I had to say. (I'm sure by that time I will have other things on my mind, like how could I be this lucky? And how do I have a safe a healthy pregnancy?)

First tip: PAINT

Paint can be cheap, and it can make one of the biggest impact on a room. If you don't want to splurge the $20-$30 bucks it would cost for a gallon of paint (to cover most rooms), why not go with a quart and see where it can get you?

(I just pinned this on pinterest and couldn't track the original source- kind of the point on pinterest- I know.)

You can paint strips on a ceiling or walls. There are even great tutorials for chevron strips or tracing from an overhead projector. Painting your child's initials, or even just one great big band across the room can make big difference.

Source found here

Side note: If painting a babies room, paint with low or no VOC paint. If the color you like doesn't come in no VOC, have Lowes color match it in a brand that does. Even with low VOC it is still suggested to paint the room well in advance of your babies arrival. Think a few weeks before you'll bring the little one home.


I know most people want everything to be nice, new and clean for their new little baby. And I don't blame them. However, you don't have to buy all their toys from Goodwill, maybe just select pieces of furniture. Find a good second hand store in your area. My favorite is a Salvation Army right by my work (in the ghetto, they usually have the best stuff). It may be scary but it has a great selection of furniture. Not to mention Craigslist, just make sure your hubby goes with you to pick the items up. Ladies who are preggo should not go to strangers homes alone!

Anywho, here is a list of my favorite items to pick up second hand:

1)Picture Frames- This may seem odd, but besides my gigantic picture frames from Ikea in my living room, I don't think that I have bought a new picture frame in YEARS. With a fresh coat of paint you'll never remember it was used. Just look for something sturdy and made well.

2)Rocking Chairs- I almost always see a rocking chair or two at Salvation Army. Spend the $20 on a chair and just recover it. Those old wood rockers have those easy to recover/ easy to replace cushions. Plus you can always paint the wood. (Or if you are pregnant I guess your hubby or friends will be doing all this painting I keep talking about. )

3) Dressers- Old antique dressers are built so much better than anything you could get for a similar price from a big box store. Plus they are usually smaller which would be great in a nursery. Throw a changing pad on top of that baby (the dresser, not your new child) and you can skip the changing table. Since you bought this dresser second hand I bet you wont even mind painting it, or attaching some hooks on the side of the dresser where you can hang baskets full of diaper changing goodness.

Source found here

4) Baskets- Honestly, why do people think that they can charge $20- $30 for a basket? I always get my baskets from Salvation Army. They are like $2. Seriously. And baskets are great for stashing diapers, toys, blankets, whatever you may need.

Okay, so are you still not feeling this second hand thing? Does it give you the heeby geebies? Look here and here for links on great ways to safely sanitize those second hand finds for your little one. And look here for more inspiration for what you can accomplish buying second hand.

Third tip: REUSE

I know- duh. But what I mean is re-use anything you can think of. For instance, I have a plastic bin in my garage full of all my old favorite toys. All those old favorites will be my kiddos first toys. If you are not a crazy hoarder like me, hijack some of your old toys from your parents house.

Go shopping in your garage and see what you can make. Look around your house and see if you can clear off that bookshelf a little and re-use some of the items in your babies nursery. Look at things in a new way. I am always doing this when I want to go buy something new. Before I hand over my credit card I go shopping in my house to see if I can find something else that would work. Usually, I can.

Sorry for the bad picture. (Have I mentioned that my summer goal is to be a better photographer?). But this is me and lil' sis' being resourceful when it came to equipping her with desk organization items when she went into middle school. We painted a sheet of metal and old empty cans of soup with chalkboard paint and wrapped the edges with ribbon for safety. The metal sheet was her now magnetic chalk board and the cups held pencils, rulers, or whatever else she wanted. We re-used an old tin gift card holder to house all of her chalk, and used craft paper and vase beads to make little magnets. Whatever you have around your house can usually handle two to three different jobs. Think outside the box.

. . . Okay. I am getting pretty word-y here but I still have a couple more tips. I will save them for my next post, be back soonish.



Have you seen this? The amazing blog Oh Happy Day is giving away a trip to Paris for 7 (yes I said 7) days. Wouldn't this be lovely! You all should try and win!

Pic found here


Amber's Choice

We are finally laying the flooring downstairs, which means I can try and finish what I started months ago - the office. Our old office was burnt orange, white and black, with yellow walls. Every time I went in there I felt like the room was screaming at me. Now with the cool grays and ample doses of white it feels much more serene. So serene it is a bit boring and I need to bring it up a notch.

My starting point is most definately this amazing quilt that my mum-in-law gave us for our wedding. It's black, white, and red - some of the colors we used at our wedding. It is such a nice gift, I want to make sure it has a secure home in the office where it will be safe, rarely used, and we'll still see it every week. I am not a huge fan of just using these three colors for the entire room as the whole color combo though. That reminds me of the 80's for some reason. I want to bring in another dominant color.

My first thought is one my all time favorit color combinations to go with the newly painted walls- Gray and Yellow. I even spotted this table cloth at Target that I would want to make some pillow covers with, or possibly make a slip cover for the office chair. For me there is just no happier color combo than yellow and gray.

Plus, yellow and gray were just ment to be bestfriends. Seriously, they are marvelous together

Picture can be found here.

But this color combo has me thinking- isn't yellow and red the color combo I just tried to get rid of by painting the old yellow walls and changing out my old redish desks? I thought I was going for a cool, relaxing work space. Maybe red and yellow aren't the best way to go.

So when I think of red (or more of a burnt orange is what I am trying to incorporate) what complimentary color comes to mind? None other than blue, my most favorite color. Now, that wouldn't be a bad idea! It would even help tie our downstairs blue living room with the upstairs. Make the flow of the house more cohesive.

After all, red and blue is a very traditional color combo. (The above picture can be found here
) Traditional, classic - Those are definately two styles that I am trying to incorporate into our decor. One of my 30X30 goals is to have our style grow up a bit. Maybe a traditional color combination would play well with the sleek, modern IKEA style we have going on in there so far. Plus I've always wanted to use yellow and gray in a nursery someday. But can I really turn my back on yellow and gray- it's just too cute? Hmmm. I just can't decide. what to do, what to do?