Inexpensive baby room decorations

My Story: And Baby Makes Three

contributed by Natalie

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With a new baby comes new ways your bank account can read zero. In my sixth month of pregnancy, I decided to check out baby items like strollers, car seats, cribs, etc. Thankfully, my in-laws were more than happy to buy the big stuff and send heaps of baby clothes to me. My husband and I spent a Saturday afternoon getting the baby's room in order. We discovered we had all the important things, but the room looked bare.

Jesse, my husband, assured me we didn't need to decorate the room too much since the baby would spend his first months sleeping in our room. So, when my little boy turned four months and was sleeping through the night in his room, I went off to buy some baby decorations. I was so happy and very excited to decorate his room! However, when I saw the prices of baby decor, I felt defeated. I couldn't afford most of it, and what I could afford wasn't enough to dress up the room.

That's when I remembered how I decorated my first apartment. I didn't have any money, so I cut out various photos and pictures from magazines for a gorgeous wall mural. I took out everything my son didn't use, or wasn't going to use, for awhile. I had four different crib quilts that were sent to me. Initially, I had no use for them all; now I did. I used clear push-pins to tack them onto his walls. Nails make a mess, and when you rent a home, the last thing you need is an angry landlord complaining about nail holes everywhere.

Since each quilt was different, I found it easier to find things to match the color schemes. I then started sifting through a pile of magazines I had and cut out pictures carefully. I spent a few bucks on good transparent tape and started creating different murals in between each quilt. When I saw how well it turned out, I went a few steps further. I once again started cutting up magazines, but now I cut out various colors. For example, I wanted a big Winnie-the-Pooh tree going from the base of the wall up and across the ceiling. So I cut out everything brown and green. You don't have to use the same shades either. Different shades make the project look more interesting.

I used the brown pieces for the tree and some black for a little hole in the trunk. It was so easy! Now that my son is 16 months, I've been able to use his mobile pieces as wall art. I tacked his three play areas (the kind that the baby goes under and can kick at the toys above) up around his play area in the living room. To make things better for him, I bought a cubby hole base from Wal-Mart. It's the sort of thing that people use for shoes, only it is made of wood, is very durable, and has no sharp edges. He even has a little mini-couch in his area. He loves it! It's his personal space. It also helps to keep toys in one place, so they don't take over the living room.

I suggest that new moms and dads go for those parenting magazines because they often have good photos or pictures you can use for decor. I found the Sesame Street magazine to be the best. It has a pull out poster in every issue.

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it to

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