Wednesday, 18 March 2015

DIY - Nursery Artwork

Back in September, we did a Mommy Money Matters post about decorating a nursery on a budget (see it here) by planning ahead, concentrating on must-haves, starting early,  and  making the most impact with pieces that offer function and style. The nursery space has an important emotional appeal when preparing for a baby, but it can be difficult to justify certain expenses above and beyond the essential furniture and fabrics.

Wall colour is the first big decision, but once you've painted, you may feel overwhelmed by the empty vertical space. Large, bare walls can make a room feel incomplete. You’ll most likely be spending a lot of time in the nursery for multiple daily dressings, feedings, and diaper changes, so consider adding some artwork to the walls to set a relaxing or fun tone to the room. It’ll be nice to have something to look at from the rocking chair at 3am while baby eats (or cries).

Artwork is a non-essential, though, isn't it? Prefabricated art - whether stretched canvas, poster, framed print, or other - can be expensive and the bigger the scale the bigger the price tag. I suggest making your own nursery artwork. You get the the double bonus of saving money and having a one of a kind space. Here are some suggestions for adding those finishing touches without going into debt. (As a bonus, you don't even need to be particularly crafty to pull these off!)

If you want to make a big visual impact it logically follows that you need to hang something big. Including one large piece can really anchor a room, but they can easily cost you hundreds of dollars to buy. An inexpensive alternative, that still packs the same visual punch, is to stretch a bold printed fabric over a canvas. Fabric is sold by the yard, so the price will vary based on which pattern/material you choose, and how big you decide to go. Something like this, this, this, or this, would look really sharp on a nursery wall, for a fraction of the cost of a large print or canvas.

Book Illustrations
You can pick up a beautifully illustrated classic or modern children's book for under $10 at a used book store and select three or four of your favourite images to put in frames from the dollar store or Walmart. You'll easily find artwork to complement any theme, and to set any tone from peaceful to silly. Try a modern space or underwater theme, or go for a classic Beatrix Potter or Winnie the Pooh theme.

Scrapbook paper
Just like fabric, scrapbook paper comes in an abundance of patterns and textures and you can pick up multiple 12x12 sheets for cheap. Michael's often has 3 for a dollar sales, and they have a selection of colours to choose from. I used two different kinds of scrapbook paper, and six $2 frames from the dollar store to  spell my daughter's name above her crib. Cheap (under $20) and easy! You can use it in other ways, too, though. Buy a stencil of your choice and paint it in the centre of a sheet of scrapbook paper, or frame and hang a bold print on it's own.

Adding the finishing touches to complete the nursery doesn't have to put you over budget. If you have a little extra money, a little time, and a little bit of vision, you can have a nursery you'll be itching to show off. (If you can keep it clean once baby comes!)

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