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Creating a Nursery on a Budget

You can decorate a nursery for a baby that’s both beautiful and affordable with these cheap and easy ideas.

The process of setting up your baby’s nursery can be fascinating – but it can also be expensive. A crib, changing table, and glider can cost a pretty penny, and even minor things like décor and crib sheets can add up in the end.

You can create a cheap (and gorgeous) nursery for your little one with these thrifty ideas, below!

You Can Save on Big-ticket Nursery Items

Some nursery necessities such as cribs, can be costly but there are ways to make them more affordable:

You can borrow the non-essentials

It is common for some parents to purchase many items in their nursery, brand new. It can be a great idea to borrow some extras from friends and family who have grown out of them: especially clothes, décor, and storage solutions like baskets. (Be sure that any hand-me-downs are up to the latest safety standards, contain all original parts, and have not been recalled)

Buy second-hand furniture

Shop at yard sales, online websites that sell second-hand items, or thrift stores to find dressers and gliders. An old dresser can be made to look brand new with a good cleaning or a new coat of paint. It would be best if you always anchored any dresser you buy to the wall to prevent tipping and any potential accidents.

Convertible cribs are an excellent investment

Even though cribs can be pricey, accepting a hand-me-down crib can be risky as it might not meet current safety standards. Rather than buying a used crib, consider a convertible crib for your child. These cribs convert into toddler beds and can grow with your child over the years, saving you money in the long run.

Cheap Alternatives in the Nursery

It can be challenging to find affordable alternatives to popular, pricey items when it comes to buying nursery items. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can do it:

Don’t waste your money on diaper pails

Since diapers don’t smell too bad until babies start eating solid foods, you may be able to use an inexpensive trash can, at least initially. Choosing one with a foot pedal will allow you to throw away a dirty diaper without having to remove your hand from your baby (even if they are strapped in).

Get rid of the dresser

As a substitute, use open bins or baskets to line a simple bookshelf. Aside from being an inexpensive alternative, it also makes it easy to get items like binkies, blankets, diapers, and burp cloths when your baby is in your arms and you cannot open a dresser with one hand.

You can make a sound machine of your own

Lulling a fussy baby to sleep with a baby sound machine can help ease her stress. You can save money by installing a white noise app on an old iPod instead of buying one of these pricey gadgets.

Decorate the Nursery with Creative, Low-Cost Items

You don’t have to break the bank to decorate your baby’s nursery, here’s how:

Wall art is a fun way to express yourself

You can display vintage children’s books, scrapbook paper, cheap prints found online, or sweet drawings from older siblings by purchasing inexpensive picture frames from discounted home good stores.

Make some DIY decorations

Walls can be decorated with stencils, decals (cheap and can be removed once your child has outgrown them), or even keepsake handprints.

Display attractive toys on bare shelves

Show off their cute toys on an empty shelf, décor and storage? Sounds like a winning combination.

Skip the non-essentials

Shopping for a baby can be a little overwhelming, but remember that while some items are essential (like a car seat), others can be skipped.

  • It’s unnecessary to have a wipe warmer- you can cross it off your list if you’re trying to save.
  • Even though you may find it easier to stumble into feeding with a night light, newborns aren’t usually scared of the dark.
  • Although a diaper caddy may look pretty, you can save some money by keeping the extras in your diaper bag rather than on an open shelf.


Most likely, you already own furniture that can be converted into nursery furniture. An inexpensive low dresser with a changing pad on top makes a simple changing table, quickly convert to a dresser for storage as the child grows. You might need to paint a hand-me-down rocking chair, bookcase, or bench to match the nursery’s décor.

Maximize your storage space

You can maximize your nursery storage space by keeping baby’s things in mind. Cover the crib view with a crib skirt, and keep low plastic bins under it. Utilize every closet space by installing extra shelving, bins, and over-the-door shoe holders. And try using dollar store bins or food storage containers to organize small items in larger drawers.

Separate wants from needs

Establishing what items are needed versus those you wouldn’t mind having when planning is key to achieving a successful nursery on a budget. Organize your nursery list according to needs and wants. Please focus on the essential items first, and use some of our previous suggestions to save money on them!