Cheap ways to decorate a baby's room

So you need to decorate the nursery ready for a new baby? What great news. Decorating a baby's room can be a lot of fun. And if it needs to be done on a budget, so much the better. There will be that much more satisfaction and pleasure in creating a little haven without spending a fortune.

Provided baby is surrounded by love, fed and changed regularly, it will be of no consequence that some of the items are not brand new. New babies bring lots of expenses and if you can save some dollars at the beginning there will be plenty to spend those dollars on a little further down the track.

Before you start decorating baby's room, try to plan ahead a little. It is helpful to go window-shopping, browse magazines and actively look for decorating ideas and products. Take notice of colour schemes and products. Try to decide on colours you can live with. Knowing (or not knowing) the sex of your baby will have a bearing on the colours you wish to use.

Baby CradleCredit: Wikimedia

Take some paint chips home to try in the room. Buy sample pots if you are really having trouble visualising a new colour but they are expensive particularly in quantity. In general, a base colour should be chosen and accents added by having a feature wall. Splashes of colour can also be added in a bedspread, painted furniture or artwork. A bright carpet square will also brighten up a pastel room.

Bunchkin Baby Blanket w/ Plush Toy (Blue)
Amazon Price: $24.95 $10.40 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 24, 2013)
These baby blanket gift sets complete
with a plush toy will be gratefully
received by new mothers.

It isn't difficult to paint four walls. Give yourself room to work by emptying the room of as much furniture as possible, cover the rest if you want to and get painting. Newspaper laid on the floor around the edges will catch drips and can be replaced as needed. If you use a cloth covering on the floor, be careful not to tread on any spills. Otherwise you'll be transferring paint everywhere you walk. If you want to add extra decorations to the walls and feel you are not artistic, use stencils or stick-on decorations. Don't create a 'fussy' room. Little is more sometimes.

Once your room is painted, you can coordinate other items to match. Window treatments can be added. Simple curtains are not difficult to make or you may have a friend or relative who will run some up for you. Barter a home-cooked cake, a meal or offer to clean while she is busy with your sewing. If you choose baby-themed window treatments, they may need to be updated in a few years. You may want to buy or make complementary bedding or crib sets.

Although the budget may be tight, don't scrimp on a safe crib and a new mattress. A crib should last for a few years and a good quality item can be sold or handed on. The crib bars need to be 45 to 65mm apart for safety reasons and finishings should be non toxic and free of lead. You may want to consider a crib which will convert to a bed for a toddler when the time arrives. For health reasons, purchase a new mattress. Look for a fire retardant label. Watch for sales, do some research on the internet, read some reviews and work out the best brand for the money you have available.

Delta Play Time Jungle Rocking Bassinet
Amazon Price: $79.99 $69.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 24, 2013)
This great rocking bassinet has retractable/
locking swivel castors and a large mesh
basket for storage. Mattress pad, sheet
and bassinet skirt are all included. Variable
speed vibration, adjustable sound and
night light make this the ultimate in
babies' bassinets.

When it comes to items of furniture, buying second-hand, accepting hand-me-downs and borrowing items are all ways to save money. In a few years (or less), you can sell, lend or give the items away. A safe, sturdy cot can be passed round several families of young parents over, perhaps, quite a few years. While it is nice for a new baby to have brand new items, baby won't know the difference and in these harder economic times and in the interests of recycling it makes sense to borrow or buy second hand.

You may wish to draw a scale plan of baby's room and work out where your items of furniture will go. This is often helpful and will prevent you buying that great wardrobe with umpteen drawers and nooks that won't actually fit except across the window. Templates of the furniture can be cut and placed on the plan to ensure the furniture arrangement will work in the space available.

Steer clear of gadgets. Search through thrift shops, garage sales, online sites for items which can be cleaned up and given a new lease of life with, maybe, new handles and a coat of paint or varnish.

At the end, you will have a clean, fresh room decorated with love. What more could a tiny baby need?