Let's Grow Together: Nursery Decorating 101

Posted by: Justine Benstead

garbage pail baby - graphic for nursery decoratingMy columns on iCraft typically center around decorating and DIY, but there is one major component to today’s feature that I knew little about before writing this article: babies, or nurseries to be specific.

I don’t have any children (although I plan to later in life), and I have not spent too much time in nurseries beyond the occasional visit with friends who have small kids. So, since I like to learn, I thought we could grow together.

I recalled things I’ve seen online, and turned to Twitter, Facebook, and friends for thoughts on nursery decorating. Here are a few tips and quips I picked up for the new mom set to tackle nursery decorating 101. As long as you don't wind up with a garbage pail baby (adorable as he may be), you're doing okay.

Don’t shell out for designer

With stories in the news about Beyonce’s blinged-out nursery for baby Blue Ivy and over-privileged parties for toddlers, local Tampa moms on Twitter offer a savvier shopping approach.

 @tampamama is a ‘Busy Tampa mama of 3’ who ‘loves healthy, fit kids.’ She writes, “This will be my 4th baby. Money is wasted in high end design.”

Wise words, since children grow even faster than trends change. Focus on personality, not design.

@CourtneyCP, whose Twitter account says that she is ‘mom to a toddler boy who keeps me laughing and working on my Lego skills,’ agrees. She suggests, “@JustineinTampa Don't obsess over crib bedding because they're out of it before you know it. Also, get thee to Ikea!”wall decor for nursery decorating  - wooden name wall hanging

And of course, I had to ask my own mom for her two cents based on raising me and my ten-year-old brother.

Her advice on nursery decorating? "Avoid borders, because they're hard to incorporate into other designs as they grow older. If you're going to paint, use primary colors so they can still work with their interests as they get older."

Dive in to DIY

Another way to avoid the trap of high-cost design elements for nursery decorating is, of course, to DIY – do it yourself. Local Tampa mom of two children under three, Kim C., uses her craftiness to turn her children’s rooms into mini masterpieces.  Pictured above is a project she created to help a friend with nursery decorating.

wall hanging for nursery decorating - girls name wooden lettersYou love your child’s name, right? That’s why you picked it. So head to a local craft store and grab the supplies to create a personalized nameplate for the wall.

Things you’ll need:

- Large wooden alphabet letters, hooks, paint of your choice, and paintbrushes. Use stencils or freehand to bring the letters to the next level. Bonus: if you use neutral enough colors, this piece might last a lot longer than other elements of your nursery.

- As an alternative to hanging the letters flat against the wall, you can use cool rope or pretty wire hanging to suspend the letters from hooks, as pictured to the left.

Here’s another one-of-a-kind way to bring DIY to your nursery decorating:

- Did your child have a christening or baptism? Commemorate the occasion by folding the gown into a shadow box with a card or other unique elements to the event, and hang the shadow box in baby’s nursery.

Easy fixes for the busy mom

Not every new mother has the time, energy, or inclination to craft a creation for the nursery wall. Not a problem! Try one of these tricks to bring a unique personality to your nursery decorating:

- I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Decals are the way to go. Planning to move, redecorate, or just not interested in springing for a custom paint job? Use removable decals from online craft shops like Design with Vinyl, where you can find the wall decal pictured below, or visit many major retailers online or in store. Decals are eco-friendly, too.

wall decal - "A mothers heart is a special place where her children are always home." - Alternatively, if baby has a birthday coming up, buy a large wall hanging photo frame with a white mat, and bring the mat and some colorful pens to the party.

After everyone signs a special message, enclose one of your favorite photos from the party in the mat and frame, and hang near your rocking chair. After all, you spend as much time in your nursery as the baby does.

One or two other general things to consider: Even though I’m advocating for thriftiness, you still want to make sure all of the furniture and bedding you purchase for nursery decorating is of quality build and fabric.

And invest in a comfortable rocking chair and ottoman – I’m told it’s absolutely worth it.

Happy decorating, new moms!

Are you or someone you know in the process of nursery decorating? Do you have any tips or tricks to offer? Things to avoid? Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments section below!

Photo credits:
Garbage pail baby, Layton, and Angelina letters by Bluebird Photography
A mother's heart Wall Decal by Design With Vinyl 

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Feb 19, 2012 | Posted by: Kim Cortes

Another fun thing to display in a nursery would be the signature mat from the baby shower. I feel like they are a huge trend right now and I know mine worked out oh so cutely in my lady's room with a picture of our loved ones from the day of the shower tucked inside it's kind words.

Submitted by:

Justine Benstead
Tampa, FL, US

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