In this article, I share the DIY crafts I created to give my son an adventure themed nursery on a budget! Be sure to pin this post to your favorite Pinterest Board as a reference!
It all started with a Pinterest search
When I reached about 20 weeks pregnant I started planning my nursery. However, I’m also a frugal… OK, cheap… person and we were living on a very strict budget at the time.
I found so many awesome things on Etsy but everything was so expensive! So, I got out my craft box and hit hobby lobby with my 40% off coupons.
The first thing anyone does when planning a nursery is pick a theme. I chose adventure because my husband and I were so busy that we never had time to take vacations but we would go on little “day” or “overnight” trips. We always talked about how we wanted to take our kids on adventures.
Adventure turned out to be a great theme for our son because in his first 2 months of life he had been to Texas, Maine, Vermont, NY, and Mississippi and rode on 8 different planes (and did great!). Anyway, I’m going to talk a little about how I decorated my nursery on a budget with DIY projects.
Some of the projects were on the more difficult and time consuming side and some were super easy. I wanted a nice display over the changing table where I could hang a DIY mobile. So, I started with that.
#1. DIY Art for Shelf Display
One of the DIY art pieces I created was a map letter. This project was very easy. I used was a wooden letter, a map, and modge podge. Apply modge podge, cut out map and smooth it around all the edges. Top with more modge podge to give a nice finished, shiny look. Easy.
#2. DIY Mobile
I was a bit worried about hanging something over the crib so I decided to mount my DIY mobile under the display shelf that was located over the changing area.
This project was also very easy! The top circle is the inside part of a cross stitch loop, which you can get at any craft store, walmart, or amazon.
I’ve heard of people using paint samples that you can get at lowes for free for the strings that hang down. I had peel-and-stick colored paper so I used a circle cutout and stuck two circles back to back so that you can’t see the kite string.
However, they ended up not sticking very well so I used hot glue to secure the circles together around the string.
#3. DIY Arrows
I found these online for over $40. I made them for about $10.
Feathers, string, wooden dowels, pencil eraser, and hot glue (I looooove hot glue). I simply used the hot glue to attach the feathers to one end and the eraser to the other end, then wrapped the dowels with different color string.
My shelf was pretty much done. I added a DIY star garland decoration which i made with kite string, the peel-and-stick paper with a star cutout. Same process as the mobile. I also bought a metal airplane from hobby lobby and a clock from target. You can see the finished product above under the “DIY Mobile” section.
#4. DIY Teepee
Next was the teepee. I remember telling my husband I wanted to build a teepee. He gave me a puzzled look and said “you want to BUILD a teepee?” When it was done, he was pretty excited about it.
I used [this] tutorial and adjusted it. I wanted to add some nice trim which I got at a local fabric store and sewed on.
#5. Hot Air Balloons
You probably noticed in the photo above, the hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling. This was another situation where I found ones I LOVED on Etsy but they were SO expensive!! So, DIY solution to the rescue!
The hot air balloons were a bit time consuming. I started with paper lanterns and painted them so they resembled hot air balloons.
The clouds were quicker- just two pieces of white felt cut out to the shape I wanted- filled with stuffing and hand sewed with a blanket stitch. They were hung with kite line and hooks.
#6. Stenciled Ceiling Decor: Compass
I didn’t have it in the budget to replace this builder-grade light fixture so I dressed it up instead!
The compass was made with a wall decal. I cut the design in half and cut out the middle so that it would fit around the light.
The toughest part about this is standing on a chair, pregnant, with my arms above my head rubbing the decal so that it sticks… definitely thought my arm was going to fall off!
#7. DIY Knitted Pouf
The hardest part of the pouf was that I didn’t know how to knit and I couldn’t find one at the store for under $80. So, I hopped on youtube, searched “how to knit” and taught myself.
I used [this] tutorial however, I found that it did not come together at the ends as well as the tutorial described, so I knitted a little square that I sewed into the open areas. If I had to do it again, I would have knitted a “magic circle” (you might have to crochet that) because it would have fit better in the circular opening.
I was not even a week away from my due date and my husband was gone to Texas with the military at this point, so I kinda just wanted to be done with it.
#8. Flag Garland
I loved all of those flag garlands I saw at hobby lobby but none of them seemed long enough to go across my sons entire back wall. I decided making my own would be the most budget-friendly route with a little felt paper, some string, and hot glue.
#9. Reading Nook File Boxes
This wasn’t really a true DIY because I didn’t build them myself.
However, during one of my hobby lobby trips, these bad boys were 50% off so I grabbed two and hung them on the wall as a quick and easy way to grab some books.
Decorating a nursery doesn’t have to break the bank!
My biggest issue was that 99% of the things I WANTED for my sons nursery were not things that were functional. They weren’t *needed* and because of that, I couldn’t justify spending absurd amounts of money on them.
That being said, it was my first baby after many years of trying and I was so excited to decorate a nursery! Countless hours of pinning ideas on Pinterest had me so excited I couldn’t contain myself! DIY to the rescue!
I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful, happy diy-ing!