I should probably start with a disclaimer. I’m no expert crafter. But I am resourceful! My inspiration usually comes from things I see and like, but don’t necessarily want to buy. So while one hand pinches pennies, the other grabs the scissors and glue with a Hey-I-can-do-that attitude.
My latest project is the nursery of my soon to arrive baby girl. I set out with a few rules before I got started. First, NO pink! My oldest daughter already has a monopoly on that color. I can’t say she even had a choice about it either . . . pink just finds a way of seeping into every crevice of your home when folks find out you’re having your first baby girl. My second rule was that EVERYTHING in the room had to be movable. That was for a couple reasons — 1.) Nurseries are more about what parents like, truth be told. So I wanted a room that could be easily changed without a whole lot of fuss to fit the developing likes and style of my latest little lovie.
2.) I think I might have shed a small tear (or possibly two!) when we had to pack up our NY house to move to Tampa . . . and say goodbye to our mural masterpiece we worked on with an artist friend for my first daughter’s room. Completely frivolous? Yes, I know there are far more grave things to cry over! In retrospect, putting that much thought and effort into something that we couldn’t pack up with us seems silly to me.
For this baby girl’s room, I started by choosing a crib and bedding. I wanted something pretty and feminine without being too themish. I opted for interesting colors and patterns over characters or motifs. My husband, Eli, gets full credit for making the awesome find of a tiffany blue, vintage style crib. We threw in some ultra-girly bedding in shades of purple and lavender, and VOILA! . . . I not only had my color palette, by my inspiration for the whole room! Next I decided on a soft, neutral gray for the walls. This nursery will also need to double as a guest room, so I didn’t want to go with anything to babyish. Also, since I was bringing in so many vibrant colors for the furniture and accessories, I needed a backdrop color that would tone things down a bit.
Ok, so here’s where we go DIY. I needed accessories — things to fill the walls and make the room personalized and special for our littlest girl. I came across this piece on etsy.com. But at $210, I didn’t love the price. So I got to work figuring out how I could make my own. I pulled a canvas print that I already had and wasn’t using from the back of my closet. With about $35, I purchased the rest of my supplies — 10 sheets of blue ombre scrapbooking paper, a 12oz bottle of decoupage glue from my local craft store, a small sponge brush, elmer’s glue and about 150 dye-cut butterflies from etsy.com in different sizes and shades of purple. I ripped about 2″ scraps of the blue paper to decoupage the old canvas. Once the canvas was covered, I made a cut-out of a heart and mount the butterflies around it with elmer’s glue. Once the butterflies were securely attached, I removed the heart cut-out to reveal the decoupage canvas underneath.
Another way I thought I might add some fun and color to the room was to suspend a cluster of vibrant lanterns from the ceiling. I found a pretty large variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns at the Paper Lantern Store website. I used leftover paper butterflies from my first project to trick out my largest lantern for a little added whimsy.
For my last project, I wanted to add some life and personalization to the room with family photos. A couple weeks ago, my neighborhood had a yard sale day. One of my neighbors, a local photographer, just happened to be selling vintage window panes to display photos. I nabbed the only purple one there was just as he started packing away his goods for the day. Ebay.com lists a large selection of window panes in lots of different shabby chic finishes, colors, or raw wood depending on your preference. With a few magnets, I filled the one for my nursery up with maternity pictures, an ultrasound photo, and a crayon masterpiece from Big Sis . . . and of course left some space for our little lady’s debuting pics.
What I love most about the end results is that I was able to create something special to celebrate my little one’s arrival that will be uniquely hers — a physical space to remind her as she grows, that in her mommy’s heart, she will always be welcomed and loved.