In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Monday, July 7, 2014

Twin Boy Nursery on a Budget

Today, I want to share with you our twin boy nursery. Over the next two weeks, I will be sharing individual projects that I completed for this space.  But in this post, I will be explaining how I stayed within a budget by sharing where I purchased items from for the space.

We found out our twins were boys at 16 weeks. I immediately wanted to get started on the nursery. For one, this was the fun part for me.  It was the creative part, and the part that made the fact that we were having these babies feel real to me. Secondly, I was getting big fast, and I knew I wanted to get the nursery finished while I still had the energy to work on it.

My husband and I have done a lot of little house projects here and there.  We learned that communication was key in home improvement projects. Turning the nursery from an empty room with white walls into a space that our babies could grow up in was no exception.

Basically, we agreed on a timeframe of when I expected this project to be completed. Thanksgiving, I wanted it done by Thanksgiving. We had family coming in for the holidays, and we were hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house. That gave us four weeks to turn the room from nothing to something.  Along with giving my husband a timeframe, I needed to give him a list of projects that I expected us to do over the course of that timeframe. I’ve learned he doesn’t like to be surprised with honey-do-lists. 

In return, he gave me a budget. He didn’t want to spend anymore than $1,000.  $1,000 is a lot of money, but when you think about all we had to buy, $1,000 was going to be a tight budget for me to work with ~ especially when the things that inspire me are out of the pages of a Pottery Barn magazine or a Carousel Designs catalog. We had to buy all of the essentials like two cribs, two sets of crib bedding, a glider, dressers, storage, paint, plus all of the creative details that turn a plain boring space into a space that is warm and inviting.  While shopping for the nusery, I found Amazon, Goodwill, Ikea, Home Goods and Hobby Lobby to be my go-to places for just about everything from furniture to supplies.

My timeframe was not what he would have chosen, and his budget was not what I would have chosen……BUT we accepted one another’s terms, and the nursery was almost complete on time and close to budget without any fighting or bickering between the two of us.  We ended up spending about $1,200 for everything. If we only had one baby, I definetly would have come in under budget, but the two cribs and crib bedding put me over the $1,000 mark.

Once we had a budget and a timeframe, we began work on the nursery.  One of the first things we bought the babies when we found out we were having two boys was sock monkey blankets.

I knew I wanted the sock monkey blankets in the room, but I didn’t want a “sock monkey themed nursery”. When I found some sock monkey wall art from Hobby Lobby, I thought they would give me just enough pop of red to the room, without over doing a sock monkey theme.


Finishing it off with an actual sock monkey from Home Goods was just the right touch.

When I saw navy blue chevron crib bedding from Carousel Designs, I fell in love with it.  I couldn’t afford $500 for each set of crib bedding, so I knew I would have to make my own.  The bedding from Carousel was definitely my inspiration for the colors and patterns of the nursery.

Once I had my inspiration for the nursery, the first thing I had to do was come up with a layout for the space of the room. I spent hours measuring and drawing a layout, so I knew what furniture I needed to buy for the space.

I really didn’t want the nursery to be too “babyish”. I wanted it to be a space that the boys could grow into.  My budget needed to stretch at least five years before we redo the boys room into more of a school-age room.

Once I had a basic layout, I needed to go though all of our “treasures” in the basement that I had been collecting over time, with the hopes of one day having a family.  Between garage sales and buying things off of my boss as her kids out grew out of things, I had a collection of baby toys, books, puzzles, and shelving units to utilize in the nursery. These things were not a part of our nursery budget, as we already had them. 

Dragging things up from the basement was the easy part. Spending hours researching the best deals on nursery furniture was the hard part.  The first thing we purchased were the cribs. Cribs can be pricy and we had to buy two of them. And then you have the crib bedding and the crib mattresses. An average crib is $300 each, an average crib mattress is $100 each and an average set of crib bedding from Wal-Mart or Target is $100 each. That right there would have been my $1,000, so I had to really do my research to find not only affordable cribs, but cribs that met all of our safety requirements as well. I had to read all of the reviews and all of the safety information I could find on the items I was researching.

I ended up getting our cribs off of Amazon (Nursery 101 Sidney Convertable Crib, White). They are basic cribs, not as fancy as I would have liked. But they were affordable, had great reviews, and according to my research were safe. An added bonus was they shipped within three days, and my husband said they were fairly easy to put together. We also found our mattresses on Amazon (Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress). They are nice and firm and fit the cribs perfectly, which were two of my biggest safety priorities.  I looked up all the safety information, and they met my approval.  

Next, I needed to find a glider or a rocker. The ones I really liked were around $800.  I wanted it to look more like an actual chair with an ottoman, but I still wanted it to glide.  The cheapest I could find one was $300, and there just wasn’t room in the budget for a $300 chair.  Again, we turned to Amazon (Stock Craft Hoop Glider and Ottoman, White/Green Chenille).  I like that our glider is not too big. It doesn’t take up too much space in the room, and when I am done using it in the nursery it will work well out in our loft as extra seating. The color is a lovely green, but a bit lighter than the picture online. The texture is soft and comfy. I like that the wood is white and goes with the rest of our furniture. It shipped within a week, and my husband said it was fairly easy to put together. Most importantly, I think it’s pretty comfortable.  Although, neither my husband nor I are big people. Taller or larger framed people might want to consider a larger glider.

Cribs and rocker check! Next I needed storage. Like I said I had a few shelves in the basement for books and puzzles, but I needed to buy storage for toys and storage for basic baby essentials. I did spend a pretty good chunk of the budget on storage (probably around $120), but I love the character that the bins and baskets add to the space. 

The toy bins and the elephant bin were purchased from Home Goods. I use the elephant bin at the changing station for wipes, powder, diaper creams etc.

….and these adorable automobile storage baskets were also Home Goods finds. I use them for pacifiers, teethers and diapers. 

Let’s talk DIY.  Obviously we had to paint the room.  We purposefully waited to paint until Sherwin Williams had there paint sale for 35% off of all paints.  And we have found that it is usually cheaper to buy a couple of the samples instead of a gallon of paint, when painting our smaller rooms. 

My husband used his talents to put up a lovely wall treatment.  Fortunately for us, we had just enough supplies left over from our wainscoting project downstairs to do one wall in the nursery, so that didn't cost us anything. 

Both dressers were Goodwill finds, and I refinished them with leftover paint from the navy blue accent wall and added Hardware from Lowes. 

The wall art above the cribs was also a DIY project from things in my craft closet.

The shelves on the wall and the three frames above the changing station were a steal from Ikea. In the pictures, the three frames are empty, but they now have the baby's newborn pictures in them. The rest of the frames were from the Dollar Store.  All frames were filled with pictures I had printed from Wal-Mart.
All of the writing on the wall (scripture verses and Dr. Sues quotes) are wal decals from Amazon.

I made the "twins" banner using twine, flannel fabric and iron-on-letters. 

The “prayed for one, blessed with two” sign was a Goodwill find that we originally used as a photo prop in one of our maternity sessions.

The owls were half off from Hobby Lobby.

Next we have textiles. Most of this part of the budget went to the crib bedding. The cost breaks down as follows. 4 yards of polka dot fabric from Ebay for $3 a yard, 3 yards of navy chevron fabric from hobby lobby for $4 a yard after my coupon, 4 spools of ribbon for $2 a piece on sale, 3 packs of the thin navy fabric for the ties at $3 a piece, 2 bumper inserts half off for $15 each. 

The blankets were made by my mother-in-law. I saw them on Etsy and fell in love with them. To have them made for us would have cost about $80 per blanket, so we asked my MIL to make them for a fraction of the cost.

I only had one window in the room, so the curtain was easy. I made it with the same fabric as the crib bumpers that I purchased with my coupon from Hobby Lobby.
The bench in front of the window was ordered off of Amazon (RiverRidge Bench with Three Cubbies, White), and I purchased the cloth bins from Target. I made the cushion using extra foam from a previous project and one yard of fabric from Hobby Lobby. 

The area rug was from Ikea.  I really wanted a navy striped rug. I couldn’t find one for less than $300. The Ikea rug was a steal. It wouldn’t have been my first choice if I had an unlimited budget, but it works well in the room and worked even better with my budget.

Let’s talk lighting. Both of my lamps and shades were from Goodwill.  I’m still looking for the perfect overhead light, but for now that will have to wait.

Lastly, we have the bathroom. The shower curtain was from Target. The rugs were from Wal-Mart. The duck accessories were from the Dollar Tree.  The anchor sign I already had. The red bucket was half off at Hobby Lobby. The mirror was on sale at Kirkland’s. The light fixture was from Goodwill. The towel racks and hardware were from Wal-Mart. 

And that's how we created a space for our twin boys on a budget!