Having to put together a nursery has given me an excuse to get myself crafting. I see a lot of online tutorials for all sorts of things, and while some are attainable, a lot of them require tools or skills that actually bring the difficulty of the project beyond an amateur level. Much of the decorating in the nursery was inspired by tutorials I found online, and I’ve sifted through a bit in order to present to you the projects that I, a completely unqualified non-expert, was able complete with success.
1. Wall Pattern
This idea came to me inspired by a fabric I found. For this I used no online tutorials because I couldn’t find anything quite like it. I have to admit, of all the things in the nursery, this wall is what I love most and am most proud of. I wrote a post about it if you want to see the instructions I put up or watch a time-lapse video of the wall coming together.
If painting an intricate pattern gives you agita, but you’re still looking to punch up one wall in your nursery, take a look at this post from apartment therapy. It features wall decals that can be applied to a wall to mimic the effect of wall paper and will save you time, anxiety, and perhaps even money when compared to painting a wall pattern.
I sewed white curtains to balance out the business created by the colorful wall. It was so straight forward that it did not require a tutorial. I just measured, cut, and sewed the edges to create two panels, which I hung using clips. It barely required basic sewing skills. I used a sewing machine, but it could have just as easily been done using stitch witchery if that’s what you’re into.
If you find yourself in need of a tutorial, design sponge has a simple, clear post about sewing basic panels.
3. & 4. Crib Skirt & Afghan
To find inspiration for the crib skirt was not hard – there are a TON of tutorials. But this one I found on pinterest from View Along The Way claiming to be the easiest ever was pretty easy. Of course, the fabric I used wasn’t wide enough, so I had to sew together two pieces and add a pleat in order to get it to work. Also, ties nor binder clips could fasten the fabric, so I had to purchase some velcro. But it all worked out, and any changes I had to make in order to adapt the project to my needs were obvious.
I really wanted to crochet a zigzag blanket for this baby, despite having absolutely zero crocheting experience. I went through a LOT of tutorials to figure out how to crochet. After getting the basic stitch under my fingers, a youtube tutorial from New Stitch A Day was the one I kept coming back to in order to put the zigzag to work for me.
5. Changing Pad Cover
As with crib skirts, there is no shortage of DIY changing pad cover tutorials. After doing a little research, two tutorials interested me. A Small Snippet had a tutorial so easy that it seemed too good to be true. My gray changing pad cover was made using this tutorial. It came out nice and was super easy! I see myself whipping these up for friends & family who are expecting a child.
6. Night Light
I was on the hunt for some sort of night light when I came across this tutorial from Tiptoe Through. It’s cute and it cost me around $8 total. Instead of painting, I chose to stain the birdhouse with a stain we already had in the house. Because those little birdhouses from Michael’s are not famous for their fine craftsmanship, staining revealed some exposed glue, which of course did not stain. If you’re the type to think that the imperfection adds to it’s charm, then I think staining the birdhouse is a nice way to go.
7. & 8. Rocking Chair & Pillow
I don’t know if you’ve had to look into it lately, but rocking chairs and gliders are expensive. Really expensive. I loved the look of upholstered rockers, but couldn’t justify the $1,000 price tag that came with them. And the chairs without the upholstery just looked SO UGLY to me. Thank goodness Interiors by Kens had the solution I was in search of. A tutorial that converted a $300 IKEA Strandmon into a rocker. We followed the tutorial down to the letter, buying all of the exact same supplies. We were able to put together a wingback rocker for less than $400, so I’m satisfied. This was probably the biggest money saving DIY, but it was also the most advanced. Steer clear if you’re not comfortable with power tools.
As far as the pillow is concerned, I’ve been sewing basic pillows since I can remember, so I did not require a tutorial for this. I used a pillow form and made an envelope cover. I think that this tutorial from Instructables sums it up nicely.
9. Switch Plate Cover
I had made some of these a while back, and actually had a spare orange plate from when I was experimenting with using RIT dye to color the switch plate covers in the kitchen. I wrote a post about it, which you can check out here.
Art is expensive! So I stole some. Sort of. Not really. Duplicated. I found some artwork that I liked on Etsy, downloaded a 30-day trial of Adobe Illustrator and went to town recreating the work of others. They are blatant knock-offs. LittleDesignHaus on Etsy sells a raindrop and fox graphic print as well as a whole bunch of other really cute stuff. I encourage you to check it out!
I ended up also downloading “iDraw” for my mac (part of the “iLife” suite) for around $30. This was MUCH cheaper than purchasing a subscription to an Adobe program, and it would have been very capable of producing the artwork that I made using Illustrator.
If computer illustration is not for you, fret not. There are an abundance of tutorials for artwork on the internet. It doesn’t even have to be “art” in the strictest sense. Anything from spelling a baby’s name over the crib, to hanging baby clothes, vintage book pages, or sheet music of a lullaby can be a great way to “DIY” something to put up in baby’s room without having any skill for crafting whatsoever.
11. Boppy Cover
I was anxious about making a Boppy cover because it required a zipper, which I’d never sewn before. But it was WAY easier than I thought that it would be. The cost of a stylish cover, to me, is prohibitive and can run around $30. Depending on the fabric you choose, DIY-ing costs about half that and it’s probably pretty quick to make if you have any sewing skills whatsoever. (It took me about an hour to make soup-to-nuts, and I’m a C+ seamstress at best). The tutorial & pattern I used are from vanilla joy. Depending on how much I ultimately end up using pillow, I could see myself making more of these.
You do not have to be a DIY know-it-all or some kind of pinterest-happy, etsy shop owner to be able to add your own style to your nursery (or any other room. Anything you can do yourself inherently expresses your care and personal tastes. The projects above are simple enough that even if your version turns out less than perfect, it can still achieve that goal. Happy DIYing!