Designing Your Budget Nursery: 10 Simple Tips to Help You Save

Are you decorating a nursery on a budget? You don’t necessarily have to compromise beauty for savings. Check out these 10 budget nursery ideas, written by moms just like you!


Close up of baby’s room. 3d rendering.

Do you feel like designing a beautiful nursery on a budget is next to impossible?

I totally get it. When I started planning my daughter’s nursery, it felt like I was working with a budget of $1. My tastes were certainly bigger than the size of my wallet…which always seemed to shrink every time I received a new prenatal visit bill.

Creating a beautiful space for my daughter took some creativity and compromises, but we made it work! In fact, that little room became the coziest place in the house. Even with limited funds.

If you’re looking for ways to create a beautiful nursery on a budget, I think you’re going to love this article. I’ve partnered with 9 fantastic women who have shared their best nursery ideas on a budget. From finding the best deals to DIYing it, these tips can help you save money and bring the joy back into designing your baby’s room.

A nursery represents an important milestone for your baby and you. Let’s make it a fun one!


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This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions.

What is the Cost of a Nursery?

Before we dive into some genius budget nursery ideas, let’s talk cost. How much does it cost to set up a nursery? In most cases, about $1500-$2000.

The crib is going to be your largest expense. That’ll run anywhere between $175-$700. New gliders or rocking chairs are between $175-$600. You can find a decent, name-brand crib mattress for around $100 (This Sealy mattress is $90 and it’s Greenguard Gold Certified). Bedding sets, sheets, and mattresses pads will run you around $100 total. Finally, consider the “optional” furniture, like dressers and diaper changing tables. Both of which you can get for as little as $70 or as expensive as you’d like to go. 

Spending $2000 on a single room when you’re already juggling medical bills and other baby essentials can be intimidating. So, the goal of this post is to share creative ideas to whittle those costs down

Tips for Decorating a Nursery on a Budget

Make Your Own Wall Art

“My husband designed my daughter’s nursery from scratch. He is the best carpenter I know. He installed board and batten walls, painted the room, and customized her closet to store baby items. My best tip for designing a baby nursery on a budget is to do as much as you can by yourself. No need to hire someone.

Brooke | Bump To Busy Mama

This tip is inspirational! It feels so good to stand in a room of your own making. But what if you don’t have a crafty husband?

Youtube can transform even the least skilled craftswoman into an accomplished DIYer! Check out this DIY board and batten tutorial. This mama (who was 28 weeks when she filmed) rocked this project. The end result is as stunning as the actual cost of the project.

If DIYing it is still a little overwhelming, why not try peel and stick wallpaper? This new product elevates your budget nursery to a whole new level and doesn’t break the bank.

Of course, you can always try painting your own own nursery room art, like the mama below.

“When I was pregnant for the first time, my hormones made me draw something on my daughters’ room walls. As I couldn’t afford a professional and didn’t want wallpapers, the only choice I had was to draw something myself. 

I had no experience and was clueless about what I wanted, so I started googling baby nursery wall ideas. I ended up drawing mountains and the sun three weeks before the due date. It turned out I didn’t need to be an artist or have the experience to make this low-budget art on my kids’ wall! A little bit of math, and patience will do. Trust me. 

My baby’s nursery turned out beautifully. And just the fact I did it with my own hands made it even more precious!” 

Marina | A Mum to Mum

Find Cheap Nursery Furniture

Budget Nursery Ideas - Inexpensive Furniture (1)

When you’re trying to set up a nursery on a budget, you naturally become an expert at finding great deals. A huge portion of your nursery budget will be spent on furniture. However, if you can cut those costs, you will have more money to spare on décor!

If you’re looking for new furniture, Amazon.com, Home Goods, and Rebelstork.com are great places to start. You should also check out the clearance section of your local furniture dealers.

“You do not need to spend money on designer nursery furniture. There are many brands available on Amazon and at Target with furniture that will last for many years. I do advise doing your research though. Read reviews before purchasing to ensure you are getting nursery items of good quality. Additionally, you can search Facebook Marketplace, Buy Nothing groups, and consignment shops for dressers and other nursery furniture you need.

Jeanne Visser | Have Twins First

Save Big on the More Expensive Furniture

If the furniture pieces you love are far from “inexpensive,” don’t despair. There are still plenty of ways you can get them for a great price.

My biggest tip is to add large furniture items to your Amazon Gift Registry or your Target Gift Registry. Chances are, no one is going to buy a crib for your baby shower. However, after your baby shower date, Amazon gives you up to 15% off on all qualifying items still remaining on your list. Including cribs. 

“If you find your dream nursery furniture set or individual piece of furniture at an online retailer or physical store, then you should start scouting out their upcoming sales. The easiest way to do this is to sign up for an email list or newsletter.

This way whenever they are having a sale or special offer you will be notified. Then you can decide if that sale or offer is the best deal for your furniture.

Another way to scout out prices at multiple stores for the same furniture piece, is to set up google price alerts. Setting up a price alert on a specific product is really easy and will let you know whenever the price goes up or goes down.

You can also check out my article for other info and tips too!”

Jen | LowDoughFamily

Shop Second-Hand for Furniture or Accept Gifts

When you’re designing a nursery on a budget, consignment shops and resale events will be your best friends! 

To find the best resale events, check out Facebook. Look up Children’s Consignment Sales. Just Between Friends and Rhea Lana are very popular consignment sales hosted nationwide. Basically, a bunch of moms get together and sell all their gently-used children’s items (including car seats, cribs, swings, and toys) for steeply discounted prices.

You might also check out consignment shops like Once Upon a Child. I found a couple completely new (and heavily discounted) baby swings at my local shop.

Then, there’s always your friends…

“Before buying anything you should ask your family and friends if they have any nursery products or decor that they are willing to give away. Most people tend to throw them out after having their baby because they don’t need them anymore. Throwing away things that are still in good condition is a huge waste. You can ask if you can take some of the things before they throw them out because you can repurpose them. Why spend money when you can get them for free, right?”

Cindy | Ordinary Asian Girl

Safety Note: Experts recommend always purchasing new crib mattresses. Second-hand crib mattresses have been associated with an increase in SIDS.

Repurpose Existing Furniture

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Don’t feel pressured into buying your baby completely new furniture. Take stock of the furniture in your home. Is there anything you can use?

If you’re an IKEA fan, check out this post about repurposing IKEA furniture for nursery essentials

“I would suggest starting with what we already have in the house. Who said that we need a changing table that is an actual changing table and a rocking chair specifically made for a nursery? 

I had one for my first baby and it was very uncomfortable. I ended up using an Ikea Poang chair from the living room for my other kids and leaving it there. The rocking chair in the bedroom is cute but I never actually used it, it was much more practical in the living room.

 Taking those items from around the house, from thrift shops, donated or from big box store (as long as it’s sturdy) and customizing them with paint or vinyl decal is also a great way to add personality affordably and it’s easy to change when the kids have their own tastes and want to choose their decor themselves. If something lasts long it will be a better investment then if we need to change it often.” 

Anouk Briere-Godbout | Family Moments

Reuse Furniture from the Firstborn

Confession time: I didn’t buy a single piece of furniture for my second child. She didn’t complain, and it fills my mama heart with joy seeing both of my girls grow into their nursery. 

“If you are having baby number two, try to reuse the furniture you bought for your firstborn. For example, we will be moving the rocking chair into our second child’s room. The curtain rods, end table, and some of the decor in my daughter’s nursery were actually in my room when I was a little girl. This is another great way to save money.”

Brooke | Bump To Busy Mama

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Don’t Buy “All the Things”

There were several nursery “essentials” that I nixxed. Here’s a few items you may want to consider substituting or forgetting altogether:

  • Diaper changing table
  • Crib bedding
  • Dresser (more on that in a minute)
  • Diaper Pail (I actually did use a diaper pail and loved it, but you can probably substitute one for an airtight trash can.)

“Adopt the phrase ‘make do.’  Babies go through stages so quickly and only use certain items for a few months tops!  Bassinets, swings, jumpers – can you “make do” without something, or simply borrow one for a little while?  By not buying everything new (and then having to store it, ooof), you’ll save yourself money AND space!

Noreen | Our Two Family

Skip the Dresser

My oldest daughter is five and I have yet to buy a dresser. We use a system of cube storage and closet space to organize all of her clothes. It works great for us!

For the closet, we used shoe racks to organize her baby clothes. 

You can apply this same idea to organizing your baby’s hygiene essentials and breastfeeding supplies.

“Use a craft cart from Ikea next to your nursing chair. This will be not only affordable but it is a great hack for holding everything from your water, breast pads, creams, burp cloth, and pump parts right next to you when you need it most.”

Lacy Reason | Early Motherhood Guide

Focus on Inexpensive Decorations 

Budget Nursery Ideas - DIY Decor (1)

When you’re decorating a nursery on a budget, Pottery Barn might not be an option. Instead, check out wholesalers and discount stores for decorations. My favorite place to buy childhood decor is Hobby Lobby. They regularly host ridiculously good sales on nursery décor. 

Aside from wall art, you can easily elevate your nursery by adding a plant or two, a rug (my favorite place to buy those is Amazon), or framed memorabilia. 

Pinterest is also a fantastic resource for finding DIY nursery décor projects.

“Decorate your baby’s nursery on a budget by thrifting and crafting decor yourself! There are great tutorials online of decorations you can sew and craft for cheap that will add personal touches to the room. For example you can sew matching sheets, pillows, and curtains, make a decorative mobile, or DIY wall art.” 

Rachel Nelson | Seam Whisperer

Spread Out the Costs

Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy everything all at once. Evaluate which nursery items take priority. Will your little one be sleeping in a bassinet for the first couple months? Maybe you can hold off purchasing the crib for a while. Or, instead of buying a diaper changing table right away, trying use a portable changing pad until your little guy is bigger.

Final Thoughts on Designing Your Budget Nursery

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    When you’re starting with a blank room, decorating a nursery on a budget can be a little intimidating. It’ll be okay. Sitting down and creating a budget for yourself, seeing how much you have to spend, is the best first step you can make. Download a nursery essential checklist to keep track of all the items you need.

    I’ve also created an e-course to help new parents prepare for the cost of having a baby, as well as how to save big on all things pregnancy and baby. You can learn more about that here. 

    I hope this article helped you find some new ideas on how to design a nursery on a budget! I’m sure you’ve picked up some tips along the way. Let me know some of yours in the comments below!

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