I never thought it would be so difficult to decide on a theme for my first child's nursery! I wasn't thrilled with any of the "bedrooms in bag" and I about passed out when i saw the cost of nursery furniture... so with a tight budget in mind and a somewhat modern/simple/clean/fun nursery as the goal, I decided to see what I could do on my own -- and by on my own, I mean with the help of my incredibly sweet and talented group of family and friends! It's still a work in progress, but overall, I love what we have created.
After hours of searching online I found Alexander Henry's 2d zoo print - it was the first print I found that I didn't hate and over time I really started to like it and could imagine how to incorporate the animals into the room. After learning the gender I settled on the 2d zoo in Holly print. It had just the right amount of pink, blue, green and brown that felt girly without being too over the top for my taste. The print guided the rest of the decisions from wall color to furniture.
I am very lucky to have a talented family, mainly my mother, who spent a weekend with me sewing the bumper and crib skirt, pillows and a stuffed elephant that is a twin to one my sister and I had growing up. We also made the mobile by hand from felt -- now this really was fairly simple (and cost around $12 to make) but after the amount of time it took, I understand why people charge $80 for them on Etsy! The crib is a Graco Lauren that I found at Walmart. It wasn't my top choice, but it worked well for the room and was just the right price! The dresser, shelf, bookcase and chair were all picked up after a fun filled day at Ikea. We also stocked up on baskets, curtains and crib sheets for a great price. My only warning to anyone who is not purchasing a set of furniture is the color -- although the Ikea dresser says "white" it turned out to be much more of an eggshell color when we actually saw it in person. We loved the dresser because of the size (we plan to double it as a changing table) and we knew it could grow with our daughter -- so we actually choose to purchase the dresser in a natural wood stain/color and after a few coats of paint we were very happy! Did I mention that I have amazing family and friends!? My girlfriends spent an entire Saturday helping to paint all of the animals (Genny the Giraffe, Helen the Hippo, Barbara the Bird, and Tina the Turtle.) They also helped with another arts and craft project -- for $5 at Lowes I was had them cut down 6 8"x8" squares. A few coats of paint, scrapbook paper and ribbon later we had created a set of great wall art.
I have two. The first would be Duf, seen here in the chair next to our homemade pillow.) He was my childhood stuffed animal who dried every tear, played every game and went absolutely everywhere with me! I love that he is still around and that I can pass him on to Mackenzie. The second would be the framed picture of my mother, sister and I. I was just days old when it was taken and seeing the three of us together gives me the inspiration I need to welcome my little girl into this crazy world. The saying that is framed below the picture is one my mom said to us...Remember who you are, where you came from and where you want to go. If I can be half the mom she was to us - Mackenzie should be just fine :)
Know that you don't have to spend an arm and leg to create a great nursery, DIY is amazing and with the help of patterns, time, research and friends you really can do a lot on your own.