How To Decorate A Nursery On A Budget

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How can you decorate a nursery on a budget? I think I probably mentioned in my “10 Newborn Baby Essentials You Can Actually Live Without” post that having a baby is pretty damn expensive. Forking out for a pram, moses basket, clothing, feeding equipment, nappies etc on it’s own costs enough, before you even think about decorating baby’s bedroom.

Of course there’s actually no urgency for baby to have their own room, in actual fact I think the putting together of a ‘nursery’ is more for parental satisfaction than necessity, but it was something I definitely wanted to do. Who doesn’t want a pretty little girls/boys room ready for their baby to sleep in when the time comes, and somewhere to store their teeny tiny clothing and all their books and toys. As long as they have somewhere warm and comfortable to sleep, baby isn’t going to care what their room looks like, it’s a pressure we put on ourselves. But still despite knowing that, I wanted it to look perfect.

And I absolutely LOVE our girls room. It’s a room fit for a princess without being over the top girly and pink. I am so happy and proud of how it all came together. It’s so unique and personal, and it didn’t cost us a fortune.

Nursery furniture sets alone can set you back hundreds. I have a friend, who I’m sure won’t mind me saying, whose little boy’s furniture cost in excess of £500.
Don’t get me wrong, his room is lovely. But we just didn’t have that kind of money, nor did we want to spend that much on furniture for a room that might not be used for months to come.

So how can you decorate a nursery on a budget and how did we decorate the nursery for under £400?


Bedroom Before



Bedroom After


We upcycled

Instead of buying a matching furniture suite, we bought a cheap pine bookcase and set of drawers from Facebook marketplace, my Dad gave us a wardrobe and we already had a chest of drawers we no longer used. I bought white chalk paint off ebay and painted the outside of the furniture, then using different shades of pink in Wilkos Tester Pots I painted the drawers and shelves in gradient colours. Finally to finish, I added elephant and zebra knobs which we bought from TK Maxx.


 Drawers Before

Finished Result

We used what we already had

The curtains in her room are our old ones (neutral coloured) and we hung our wedding bunting which is pastel coloured around the ceiling. We adapted the wardrobe to have double hanging space using fittings and a pole we already had. And I used baskets we received hamper gifts in to organise the changing table.

Bunting from our wedding

We bought some things second hand

The bookcase and drawers were secondhand. As was the changing table (a bargain £11).
However we did buy a new cot and mattress and though we could’ve stretched our savings further by buying the cot second hand as well (at the time I couldn’t find any white ones for sale, and didn’t want to paint something she’d be sleeping in) a new mattress was non negotiable.


Bookcase and Changing Table from Facebook Marketplace

We did it ourselves

I’m not going to lie, but I’m pretty awful at DIY. If you look closer you can see some areas of the paint job which are questionable, but overall it looks pretty good. We could’ve paid someone to do a better job but again it seemed an unnecessary expense.
The carpet we bought through a friend’s work and he came and fitted it for us with the assistance of hubby.

We added handmade, personal touches

The paper dollies which adorn the back of the door were from my baby shower and all uniquely designed and signed by friends and family. The artwork on the walls was drawn by me and one amazing picture drawn by my mother in law. The big, floral initial was also made by me using cardboard, fake flowers and a glue gun. All these little bits tie in nicely and are a lovely personal touch.


Jungle picture – hand drawn by MIL – Individual Animal Pictures – Drawn by me


We made use of vouchers

Each year, hubby’s Nan gives us a book of Love2Shop vouchers, and we never know where to spend them. This time we used them to buy all the paint supplies for the nursery – we bought all the paint, brushes, rollers, masking tape etc using vouchers, so didn’t have to pay for any of it.

Breakdown of Costs and Product Details:

Total Spend £398.73

I still love it, I don’t think the pictures quite do it justice. It’s a space I’m so proud of and because of the neutral walls and carpet, we won’t need to redecorate as she gets older and develops her own tastes and interests. We’ll be able to just switch up the soft furnishings and artwork, and it’ll be a new room.


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Hi! I'm Katie

I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!