Operation Nursery Makeover: Part 1

Well, the time has come to do SOMETHING (besides shop for clothing). I’m SOOO eager to set up the nursery and I figure you can never do it too early. Ok, maybe you can but I don’t think that’s possible with me. There’s a lot I’d like to try to do an since we’re on a pretty tight budget (and I’m a HUGE budget shopper) I’m trying to be wise and take my time.

I thought it would be fun to document this part of my journey once a week or so as I make progress on the room. This post is dedicated to the “BEFORE” and some things I’m currently working on.
Operation Nursery makeover is now in effect! We live in a 2 bedroom 2.5 bath town home. The bedrooms and full bathrooms are upstairs (as well as our laundry room thank goodness), but the main thing is the guestroom, now turning into Spawnie’s room.

We don’t have a ton of guests and though I imagine that will change a little once Spawnie gets here that doesn’t stop me from going all out for her room. Decorating a little girl’s nursery has been a dream of mine for a LONG time. A boy’s room… Not so much. But since Spawnie is a girl, I’m going to have fun with it, and there’s going to be lots of PINK in and around this crib! That’s the crib we have but we haven’t put it together yet. We CAN paint the walls but we’re not going to. So I’d like to put some kind of deoration around the wall, maybe wallpaper, or tack up some scrapbook paper or something.

We’re going to leave the queen bed in there for when we do have company, we’ll take Spawnie in our room. I’ll just have to get some new brown or white bedding to go on that bed… Just something to match her bedding slightly. It’ll also be nice to keep the bed in there so we can sleep in there sometimes if we want with her in the room with us (especially if we don’t get a bassinet).

Currently the room I sorta left up to my husband. His Tiger Woods pictures (which should have come down months ago) will be outta there! As well as the other sports hangings on the wall.

I want the crib to go against the wall across from the bed.

My husband thinks I’m joking when I tell him he needs to find a new place for this clothing. This just isn’t enough room for her things. He says she already has more outfits than him. And while I don’t think that’s quite true YET, it could very well be a good possibility in the near future, so we’ll need to get a dresser. I’d like to place it across from the foot of the bed if it’ll fit.

We don’t really have room for a diaper changer, but we don’t have one anyway. I think most kids don’t end up getting changed there for long anyway so I’m not heartbroken over that.

I’d LOVE to put something up where this ledge/ shelf thing is in the room. It’s high up there, and I’d have to use a chair to get things up and down but I think it would be a good place for some sort of decoration. Ideas?

There’s a balcony off the room, and a little spot over near that door. I’m thinking we may put a toy box or bookshelf there. We need a bookshelf to go somewhere so I think that’ll be the place. I’d also love to decorate outside on the balcony, but I doubt it’ll be nursery themed.

Ok, now want a sneak peek at what I’m working on? I’ll post tutorials as I finish them but here’s a peek for now:

I’m working on a butterfly mobile.

And I just ordered the 10″ wooden wall letters that I plan to decorate (matching her mobile) and hang on the wall above her crib. I’m hoping to do it something like this:

But I’m thinking brown ribbon, and more variation between letters. I also chose a font called “whimsical.” Oh yes, and that means we decided on a name! … No, the name above is not it.

Other than that, I’m currently searching for crib bedding. I saved my birthday and Christmas money for baby girl crib bedding (in case she was indeed a girl) and we got a free crib, so I figure I can splurge a little on bedding. I’m looking for something to this effect:

(Warning, rant ahead!) I KNOW everyone says not to spend a lot on the bedding yada yada yada, but really, I’m not going to settle for something that I sorta like just cause Spawnie may puke and pee on it a few times. I’m thinking I’ll make a blanket myself to match it, but the bumpers and bed skirt is what I’ll splurge on (no need to tell me how unsafe/safe bumpers are, I’ve read the facts, and plan to use an on/off method when necessary). I am HOPING the poop, puke and pee doesn’t make it down to the bed skirt that often. I’ll also buy some cheap simple pink and/or green sheets to go on the bed that can be changed often. So this may LOOK frilly to you, but I think it’s beautiful and I’m going about it a good way. If I end up hating it hater and regretting not settling for something semi-ugly later I’ll let you know, but as for now, the bedding is my “centerpiece.”

Also, I’m not planning on going crazy with the butterflies but I did buy these:And I have a friend paining me pictures on canvas of fairies with big butterfly wings. I think I’ll call the room “pink whimsical.” Crazy? Ugly? Adorable? Ok don’t tell me if you hate it, I’m very sensitive about this stuff!

I’m also teaming up with Artistic Sensations in the search for my room decor and baby bedding. I’m hoping and praying one of their designers can make bedding similar to what’s above! They have a HUGE selection on their site of artwork and things of that sort. And my friend Nicole, from Chic Cheap Nursery is an interior designer and she’s offered her services to me as well!

SO… I’m sure our three heads are better than my one (especially since I SUCK at decorating) but I also think that 100 heads are better than three and 1000 heads are better than 100. So if you have advice, tips, etc, PLEASE share, I’d love to hear it! Or, just tell me what you think so far!

The bedding displayed on the crib is pretty, but it doesn’t look practical to me. It looks like it has to be dry cleaned and ironed(especially with the satin trim).

I wouldn’t go hog wild over the bedding – as you’ll be washing it frequently, due to the various bodily fluids babies produce.

Buy extra sheets – that’s what get soiled most. You’ll need extra blankets that wash easily, too.

And for bedding changes in the middle of the night, you will probably want something a bit simpler (not so “frou frou”).

I thought this one was cute, and not ultra expensive: http://www.ourbabybedding.com/product/106580

Stephanie says:

I LOVE that bedding – so girly and gorgeous! You’re going to do a great job. and LUCKY YOU getting help from an interior designer!!!

Are you allowed to paint the walls? I didn’t know if you rented or owned – if so – what color? I’m guessing… PINK!

Ali says:

Looks great! Love the butterfly theme! Just to be clear, is that wooden thing her actual name, or are you not sharing with us until she’s born?? =)

You could put stuffed animals and maybe a few picture frames on that ledge.

What about a cute little chandelier? I plan on “princessifying” my future daughter(s?) room and I DEFINATELY have to have a cute little chandelier. I feel like you would appreciate that as well? Just an idea. Also, on the ledge, wouldn’t it be cute if you put little fairy, butterfly, whatever figurines, and then had a rope light behind it, to light up the ledge? My husband installed a rope light in our ledge a long time ago in our old apartment. It was really cool. Just an idea :).

Emmy says:

We never had a changing table with my first two and I did not miss it one bit. The one thing I got that I really liked, is this sort of puffy, plastic changing pad that has blow up sides from IKEA. It is perfect as they often make a mess while getting changed anyway and then it just wipes down but the sides keep everything from rolling off.

Angie says:

I have been thinking about the same thing! Boy’s nurseries are not as much fun- but still something to be excited about.
I love the crib picture you have on your blog- we are looking at the same one. I also love the butterflies!
What i’ve found is that bedding sets are SOO expensive! The cute ones that I have seen are $170-300 for a 4-6 piece set!
I went to Babies R Us today (overwhelming!!) and found that you can get cute bumper pads in solid colors for $20-30. I’m thinking I might make the nursery creative with paint on the walls, and decorations around the room and save some money on the bedding. The best inspiration I have seen in my hours of looking are the mountian range and abstract trees on Google’s homepage:)
It might be fun for you to put a vase of colorful fake flowers in a clear vase on that shelf. (Gerber Daisies are nice)
Thanks for posting about this!

Christa says:

I love the bedding! You should def go for it! As far as the ledge goes I think stuffed animals and picture frames would look great or even her future book collection! I got a changing table for Mason’s room (although we haven’t gotten it yet THANKS SNOW STORMS FROM HELL!) But I’m pretty sure we’re never going to use it. I got it more for the dresser aspect then anything else.

I did however get a pack and play that has a changing station attached and I LOVE It! We set it up in the living room and I use it pretty much every time I change him. The changer portion can easily be wiped down and it saves my back ( I didn’t realize how bad my back muscles would be after giving birth)! And I love that I can easily pack it for when I travel to NY where my entire family lives. And it also doubles as a bassinet. This is the one I got http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3763009. But Spawnie may like one of these http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3417592 OR http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3330190 OR http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2844619

I love the last one because of the storage underneath. I wish mine had that!

Chantel says:

I never had a changing table for my first son. He did, however, have a really sturdy, low dresser in his room that happened to have a decorative raised edge around the top of it. I just got a changing pad and VOILA..Changing table. I used to for middle of the night changes and after baths, that was it. We have a pack n play now that has a changing table attachment, and I used to all the time for my daughter, but I hardly use it at all now with my 3 month old. It’s not a big deal for me to pull out the changing pad and change him in the living room.

Decorating a nursery is so exciting. You have so many great plans for the room. Good luck with everything. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

I understand wanting to decorate for your very first child because it’s all new and all but I guess being a seasoned mom I would rather spend the money and efforts on diapers, wipes, formula (if necessary), basic clothing (onesies, socks, jackets, pants, etc.) and a rocker. Hahaha

What you’ve chosen is pretty but like one writer noted: you might want to get something that will be easier/less of a hassle to clean. I remember when I had my first, I was thinking about all the new pretty things as well but once the baby came and I had no time for cleaning house, getting a shower myself or let alone doing tons of “special needs” laundry, I got over that pretty quick. 🙂

But it’s your first and if this makes you happy – go for it girl! Have fun. 🙂

Natalie says:

i sux at decorating too so i’m no help. i’m very happy about all the research u have put into this because when my turn rolls around i’ll have some resources ; ) thanks so much! and good luck!

This comment has been removed by the author.

So jealous, it looks great and I agree this is your first baby the only one you normally get to go all out on so go for it. I cannot wait until I know what my little one is I am dying to decorate already and get other small things that are gender specific. Who cares about practical it is supposed to be fun. I have already registered for a one bedding set that is my practical one so I can alternate when needed. But for baby number one I say skies the limit. Have a blast.

its going to look great! =)

Team Peeps says:

Butterflies are cute, I also like the wooden letters. My son’s Godmother made his and they still hang in his room. As for bedding, from my personal experience, we got the whole set and only used the bumper and crib skirt. So I think your plan is good if you can buy each piece separately. He never used the comforter b/c he has a special blankie he sleeps with so that was pretty much a waste. Definitely think about materials (for bumper etc) that will not get ruined in the wash or is resistant to use. Functionality is key when they get older and can move around, which for us was at 4 months he was sitting up and pulling at everything in his crib. We also put up wall stickers (brown and blue dots) for decoration which looked great and really pulled the room together with out painting. Now they have a ton of cute stickers out there!

sarah says:

I found you on SITS, and I totally enjoyed readind! I have a son, and would have loved decorating for a girl! You simply just cannot get enough pink and frill!!

As for the ledge… that’s a tough one… maybe a little beaded trim of some sort?

Adrienne says:

You sound so excited. I love it. I kinda agree with your husband. He shouldn’t have to move his clothes. But I’m not girlie so I don’t need alot of room. This would confuse me too. lol.

Found you through the SITS

robbie says:

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Krystal says:

Regarding no room for a changing table:

we didn’t have room either. I had a Pack n Play permanently set up in a corner of our living room from the times when I had to put the baby down for a couple minutes. (had to potty, grab the mail, throw in laundry, whatever) and the Pack N Play I got had an easily-removable changing pad that sat on the top of it, so that became my changing table, and then whenever I needed to put the baby in there, I’d just take the changing pad off and put the baby in. It was very simple and very convenient.

just an idea from a mom who;s been there-twice!

April says:

Beautiful stuff, girls are so much fun! As another poster mentioned, a dresser with a changing pad attached (they come with screws to attach that attach to the back of the dresser) is a great way to have a changing table without taking up more space. We keep the diapers, wipes and other “diaper changing stuff” in the top drawer. It’s nice to have that stuff out of sight but easily accessible for changes. I still change my 14 month old on that table at least 3x/day. They have really pretty/soft changing pad covers. I have two so I can easily take one off if it gets dirty and replace it with a fresh one. Anyway, I know a lot of people said they don’t use them, but I wanted to let you know that some people find them really useful. If I remember, I’ll send you a picture:)

Someone else posted that they used a dresser for a changing table-we did the exact same thing and it worked wonders. Just popped a pad on there and we were good to go. My son is 18 month’s and I still change him on it. I would suggest getting something at least-otherwise you’ll end up with a poopy mess on your furniture!

Aw you have some great ideas already! I love the crib you have. I love dark wood. I think the shelf above could be used for the big stuffed animals she’ll end up getting. It’ll be a nice way to display them until she can play with them.

I totally agree with using the dresser for changing table. The dressers we got for our girls were too high, but MY dresser (low and wide) was perfect. SO don’t forget to consider how the furniture you already have might work too.

PS I love the pink. And even tho we co-slept both times, I still had fun making up a nursery that was rarely (if ever) used.

We have that same crib and I love it! It is very sturdy and works great as a toddler bed too. I also like that is DOESN’T have one of those scary moving sides that so many of the recalled designs have.

Megan says:

I love your ideas for the nursery..so elegant and girly. I can totally relate to your splurging on the bedding. I did the same thing, and I had a boy. I can only imagine the excitment in decorating for a girl. I didn’t do the changing table either, ran out of room and money. As for the ledge, you can fill it with decorative keepsakes for the baby and stuff that you don’t want broken. I got lots of figurines,frames, piggy banks, and souvenirs when my son was born. I ended up having to buy a bookshelf to house them all. At least the ledge is out of her reach. My son tries to get things down and I’m constantly having to cram stuff on the top two shelves that are out of his reach. LOL

I say go for whatever makes YOU happy. This is YOUR daughter and this is YOUR special time so enjoy it. I don’t have kids yet, but when I do it will be up to me and me alone (well my husband also) to determine what we want. If we want to splurge on something then so be it. Everyone is different and that’s what makes us special. Enjoy this time and have fun!!

Kathryn says:

Great ideas!! Wow! Unfortunately I am having a boy so it is not as fun, but we are going to do a travel theme, like cares, trucks, airplanes, and do the colors red ad blue. Can’t wait to see your pics when the nursery is finished! 🙂

That crib is beautiful. Does it turn into a headboard and footboard for a regular bed? And the bedding, Love it!! You go Mama

Jess~ca says:

Hey Jen,

I have read a few comments that people have written saying that the bumper and the bed skirt will get a lot of “Bodily Fluids” on them..

I have NEVER had to wash/change Shane’s crib bumper or skirt. He has never gotten anything on it! He has peed a few times and I’ve had to change the crib sheet, but that is IT!… SO you get as FRILLY and FROU FROU as you want!!!!!!!!

If you are going to be putting a dresser in there for her, you can buy a changing pad that you can put on top of a dresser. That is what I ended up doing for Shane. But since there is a bed in there, just invest in a pee proof pad that you can put on the bed and change her there. 🙂

This is so exciting!!!! I want a girl next!


No need for a changing table. Just get a changing pad which wipes off easily (or a couple that machine wash) and plop the pad on the floor or on your bed, or wherever when you want to change her.

As for the bedding…

Um, I love you?! 😉

It’s so fun planning for babies! Makes me want to have another one…. Great blog, I love the journey. I actually recently posted about baby rooms with tons of pictures. I love looking for new ideas!
Good luck!

YUMMama says:

I certainly agree that a changing tables are a waste of money. You will end up changing the baby wherever you’re at because you’ll be too tired to move. A bookshelf would be cute over by the patio door to fit under the window. Maybe add a little cushion and it can double as a window seat.

I love the crib and the bedding. Can’t wait to see how the butterfly mobile turns out. Saw the twitpics from twitter. Looks good so far. And I agree that Spawnie needs more closet space. She’s a girl after all and she’s going to need room for her dresses not to mention all the cute little shoes she’s going to get.

And yes, please take down those Tiger Woods pictures. Not a good look. You can get some really cute butterfly wall clings to help add color to the walls. They sell them at Walmart and even at the Dollar Tree! Can’t wait to see how the nursery progresses.

Marly says:

I think I’m just weird because I’m so not into this kind of stuff.

I agree with others that cute stuffed animals and pictures would be good up on the ledge. Maybe a picture when you found out, a few when you’re pregnant and a few when she came home.

cocoamommy says:

I love the pink and green color and butterflies. Happy Decorating! On baby #2 I was lucky to have the room painted a week before she arrived. It was not bad planning just my baby deciding to come 3 weeks early. Her border was put up after she arrived from the hospital. You are definitely getting a jump on your preparations. Oh, and more shopping for room accessories. Home Goods(if you have one close) has some great finds for a nursery especially for little girls.

Jess says:

We DEFINATELY have the same taste in bedding 😀 Her room is going to be so dang cute! I cant wait to see pics!

melissa says:

For the shelf above the door… I had a shelf like this in my room at my parents’ house and had it filled to the brim with my stuffed animals and favorite books (the animals that are kinda more special than the other and aren’t played with much… same with the books). A framed poem, my graduation cap, and a few special momentos now sit up there and I still enjoy looking at them 🙂

Keya says:

I have that same exact crib. Just be careful when the baby starts standing up in the crib because it’s easy for them to jump out of because that front part is curved. My baby jumped out of his crib, and the mattress was on the lowest setting. That day we changed it into the toddler bed. He loves that now because he’s in and out all the time. We are getting a different crib for our new baby.

I’m not into frilly and froo froo, but I do think it’s cute. Your daughter will have a fantastic, cutesy, girly fairy tale room. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

This looks amazing! I love what you’ve done to your nursery room. loving the colors as well

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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