Monday, March 4, 2013

$0 Nursery Reveal

Because I never actually posted everything I did for the nursery all together, here it is!  I also discovered that there isn't a single before picture of the nursery.  Darn it!  Just imagine a bare room with completely white walls and that'll be about right.  Before I get to the pictures I will give a brief recap on why the nursery is what it is.  Or you can read about the different parts more in-depth by clicking on the links below.  I'll put the same links in the descriptions of the pieces.

Bedding fabric
Finished bedding
Paint (including a picture of uberpregnant me)
Diaper stacker

After!  Kind of anti-climactic without a before.
We moved into our new house two and a half months before I was due to have a baby.  I was so excited to have a place where I could design a nursery.  There were grand plans and a lot of excitement for a Star Wars nursery until I looked at our budget.  It turns out I had exactly $0 to spend on making a nursery.  I was heartbroken.  Free is not easily done when it comes to nurseries.  Then I decided to stop being heartbroken and be creative instead.  When life gives you lemons and all...  Anyway, I looked through my fabric stash (slim pickings) and then asked my mom and grandma if I could plunder their stashes.  They graciously agreed.  Between the three of us I found enough fabric to make a bedding set.  The trick was to design something I liked with the varying amounts of fabric I had.  Some of it was just leftovers from previous projects of my mom and grandma, which added to the challenge.  Game on.
Before cutting.  That blue is striped on the reverse.  I didn't think I'd use another print.
For the bedding I referenced the measurements from the crib set I'd made for my daughter, Blue Eyes (Simplicity 3795), with some measurements taken from the crib bedding in Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones.  Other than that the design is all mine.  The creativity is most often in the embellishment.  The addition of the darker yellow picots is really what made the set something I like to look at instead of something that I figure just has to be good enough.  They made me think both of jungle animal teeth and of a circus tent when placed against the blue fabric.  I love the look more than I ever thought I would when I was still sad I couldn't go with my original plan.
I also like the sliver of jungle fabric peeking out from between the skirt panels.
Next came the valance.  There was no hope of enough fabric for actual curtains and I even preferred the idea of a valance.  I repeated the bedding pattern with modifications (shorter fabric panels and smaller picots) to make it fit the size I wanted.
Look!  A white wall!  Does this count as my before picture?  Also, those strong and hairy arms belong to the Hubs, not me.
After the bedding and valance were done I went about painting the room.  I was owed a free can of paint and chose to get a color for the nursery.  It's a warm green rather than a cool green like a usually prefer but it goes with the bedding.  I really do like it a whole bunch.
The monkey blanket was a Christmas gift from my brother and his girlfriend.
The next addition to the room was not free, but it also did not come out of our family budget.  I did a little job for someone and used that money to pay for it all.  So that still fits the $0 budget, right?  Right?  I think so too.  Elephants on the Wall was featured on and I snatched up this DIY mural for $40.  Most of the mural would have been covered up if I'd painted it around the door, so it went around the window with a minimum of effort in modification.  And I turned the leopard on the bottom right into a tiger to match the fabric.  That's about as artsy as I can manage.  The paints I used were 50% off at Walmart and I had fun matching the wall animals' colors to the ones on the fabric.  The mural took three days worth of my kids' nap time and after bed time to trace and paint.  It makes me smile.  I'll be doing one for the girls' room in a beach theme.
View from the hall
A bit closer
After Q-ball was born the only addition I made was making a couple of peepee teepees from fabric remnants for those pesky baby boy diaper changes.  He promptly stopped squirting at me as soon as I'd finished them.  I suppose it gave me the same result as if they'd actually been necessary.
The peepee teepee is that orange thing next to the lion.
For many months that was good enough.  I had cut out the body of a laundry bag, also from Little Stitches for Little Ones, and never finished it.  Too boring and by then I'd had the baby.  When I saw that this year's Sew-vivor competition was starting I decided I wanted to enter the nursery set.  It was missing something.  That something was the laundry bag that I really wished was a diaper stacker.  The less-than-plentiful fabric had already been cut so there was no going back to cut it differently.  I made it a diaper stacker anyway.  It just took a lot, LOT,  LOT of tweaking (mitered bottom, contrast fabric panels, picots, longer opening for diapers, ribbon ties rather than drawstring, and pattern modification to the monkey) to make it work how I wanted and to look interesting.  The result is priceless and finishes the room off rather nicely.

Just what this wall needed to give it extra life...and cover ink pen drawings on the change table, courtesy of the Pink Blur.
A monkey for my monkey

Fully stocked with 80 diapers in size 2
So here's the cost breakdown:

Furniture:  FREE from a family, friends, and our own collection
Paint:  FREE from Kwal
Picot and monkey body fabrics ribbon:  FREE from my stash
Animal prints and pale yellow fabric:  FREE from my mom's stash
Blue and orange fabrics:  FREE from my grandma's stash
Mural:  About $50 for mural and for paints

That's how my $0 nursery came to be.  Technically, there was a cost for the mural, but that money came separate from our family budget and I'm calling it good.  Either way, $50 is SUPER cheap for a complete nursery.  Success?  I think so.  Q-ball certainly likes it.  He's coming up on a year old now.  Time is cruel.

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