Decorating on a Budget ~ Baby’s Room

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We finally finished our baby nursery! For those of you that don’t know, we’ve been getting ready for the arrival of our first foster baby and hopefully our future adoptive baby as well. We finally got the room finished the other day with only a couple days to spare! I thought I’d take you through it and show you how we redid an entire room (almost literally floor to ceiling!) on a budget.

Before, east wall. Bad outlets, ugly high gloss walls, really disgusting looking windows. (All chipped up) And one ceiling fans from the 80’s, complete with brass trim and flowery light bulb holders.

Before, north and west walls. Full of storage stuff and old furniture.

After, the north and west walls. I found the crib used in the newspaper, the curtains were 80% off at Shopko and are insulated to help with the sun and heat. The Exersaucer I found on craigslist. The Diaper Champ in the the corner is from a rummage sale.

After, the north and east walls. I’ve had the rocking chair for quite a while, bought it on super mark down sale on Cyber Monday from The bouncy seat I paid full price for, it was one of the room’s splurges. The 3 drawer cart came from some of my grandma’s old things.

After, the east wall. My “wall of diapers”! I’ve been stocking up on diapers, not paying more than $3 – $4.50 a package. I also stocked up on any baby freebies I could find including wipes, shampoo, lotion, and more. The cute little stool on the floor I got at a rummage sale. The door is new, the old doors were from the 60’s or 70’s and very ugly and didn’t shut correctly.

After, the south and west walls. I still need to get something to cover up that electrical box in the corner. Planning on painting a canvas picture. I’m also going to paint little chickens above the closet doors. The doors are new as is the ceiling fan. The shelf in this corner is the same as the diaper shelf and I got both on sale at Menards. The swing I found for free on Freecycle.

This was my splurge, the crib set. I was going to get a used one but then I came across this set being discontinued and we fell in love with it. It has little baby farm animals on it!

So here’s a cost break down for the room, some things I splurged on and some things we really saved on:

Shelves (2): $9.99 each (Menards)
Crib: $90 (newspaper classifieds, used)
Crib Set: $75 (, clearance)
Stool: $0.50 (rummage sale)
3 Drawer Cart: Free
Diaper Champ: $1 (rummage sale)
Rocking Chair: Had previously
Swing: Free (Freecycle)
Bouncy Chair: $25 (
Exersaucer: $10 (Craiglist)
Large Stroller(not shown): $10 (Craiglist)
Diapers: $120 (various stores, at least enough for 6 months)
Shampoos, Lotions, Wipes: Free (used coupons at Target and Walgreens)
Baby Monitor: Free (Freecycle)
Baby Bath Tub(not shown): $5 (rummage sale, one of those infant to toddler ones)
Various Blankets: Free (from friends, family and Freecycle)
Other Misc. things(socks, shoes, crib sheets, hooded towels, hats, ect): About $10 (rummage sales)
Clothing(not pictured): Free (friends, family, Freecycle, I have 4 large totes worth of various sizes!)
Cloth Diapers(not pictured): $35 (20 cloth diapers in sizes small and medium, I still need larges)
Ceiling Fan: $50 (Menards)
New Outlets, Switches, and Covers: $10
Paint(non-toxic, no VOC): $50
Closet Doors: $50
Main Door: $25
Insulating Curtains: $30 (Shopko clearance)

Total Cost for complete room makeover and most all of what baby needs for many many months: $616.48

I know there are things we’ve could have gotten cheaper, like the crib and the crib set but we splurged a little on those things. We could have gotten cheaper paint but we’ve learned our lesson with that. We could have gotten a cheaper ceiling fan but it may not have matched the furniture.

What do you think? Did we do good? $600 is alot of money but we got a completely remodeled room and just about everything we need for babies for quite a while.

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  1. beautiful job on the baby room, i was a foster child, so i applaud your efforts!! do u know what u r getting, boy/girl? age?

    1. Thank you! We won’t know yet what age or gender for sure until I get the phone call telling us they have a baby for us to take care of! We do know that the child will be under 2 years though.

  2. We are in the SAME boat!! We are currently awaiting our first foster baby which we hope will turn into our adoptive baby!!! It is only a matter of days for us too — just waiting on a phone call (although I think the holiday weekend my delay things a bit more than I’d like)!! The difference is that we don’t have our room ready — aaahhh!!! Maybe we will get the crib put together this weekend!! Looks like you’ve done a great job!!! I look forward to following along!! 🙂

    1. Oh so exciting! You know just how we feel then! We are hoping that we get a call any time! They told us in our classes that the need is so high here 90% of the time they will call you the day after they sign the license. Ours is getting signed today or tomorrow so now we just wait!

      1. Our situation is fairly similar. Most families get their first phone calls within the first 24 hours!! Most that I have talked to have gotten multiple phone calls the first day! And like you, we are also going to be first time parents with a child under 2. I heard from our foster care specialist that she is too busy to complete ours this week due to her end-of-the-month and end-of-the-quarter obligations, but I’m hoping we will be next week. I couldn’t believe that I stumbled on your site today when I have been CONSUMED with the thought of BABIES and your story was so similar to ours!!! Good luck with everything!!

  3. The room looks beautiful. Praying for happiness with your future in fostering. I am not sure you have seen the recall on all dropside cribs because of child entrapment and death. The lastest says they are totally recalling any and all dropside cribs. I would hate to have that be a problem for you in fostering or adopting. I used a dropside crib with all 3 of my children, but I have also seen how this can be a huge problem if the bottom bracket breaks. I dont’ want to be on a soapbox, I just wanted to make sure you are aware of the recall. For more information you can go to

    Good luck and god bless your growing family.

    1. Thanks Michelle. I checked out this crib before we got it and I don’t think it’s on the list. Thanks for letting me know though! 🙂

  4. Merissa, this is fantastic!! GREAT job!! I may have to refer back to this when we have our own family someday. Need a house first! Thanks for sharing! So excited for you!

  5. Beautiful job and you’re my hero coming to savings! My best friend & her hubby (they are children’s pastors at our church) have 4 little foster kids plus one of their own. The foster kids ages are 5-1. Jesus will truly bless you for your sacrifical heart. You are such a darling to know!!

  6. beautiful room, love the theme!! the baby will be blessed to have you =) just a little note, (i’m a mother/baby nurse) we tell our parents to not use the bumper pads at anytime due to risk of SIDS. i know, i kow, they are so adorable and most parents hate the fact that they bought them and can’t use them. just a little tip!! blessings to you!

  7. Wow…what a nice job! I can see the love you already have for your little arrival shining through every one of these pictures. I think you have just what it takes to be a wonderful parent. Best of everything to your family! 🙂

  8. That is one beautiful room. Did you sign up with the foster to adopt program in your state? If so be aware that there is no promise that the birth families rights will be termenated.. I am a recent widow and am thinking of fostering or adopting on my own. How did you come to want to foster or adopt?

    1. Kate, we had to take 30 hours of classes with the state and several weeks worth of homestudies so we know our chances of adoption:). I’ve had many many emails and inquiries about foster/adoption and I plan on getting up a post soon with more info.

  9. Thanks for sharing! A great way to decorate a baby’s room is by adding decorative lamps or small decorations to add to your theme. Best of luck!

  10. LOVE THE COLORS!! So cute. I am a farm girl so I totally love it! A small bit of unsolisited advice, Screw those shelves to the wall. We have the same ones and it almost toppled on our little one. They are climbing before you know it!! And those shelves aren’t very heavy. Hope you get your baby soon!

  11. oh wow! i luv it and $600 is awesome from scratch! we are fostering to adopt too, i would luv to hear y’all’s whole story, do u have a series on your blog about it? from your newest posts it sounds like y’all have a baby, congrats!!

      1. that’s wonderful! we’ve been working on ours, we hope to be completely cert’d by the end of October. we are so excited i found a fabulous kids thrift store the other day and my little boy (7) saw the outfits and was so excited he just cant wait to have some bubbies and sissies. it’s hard not knowing if they will become your forever kids and going thru everything. but i had a friend (who is a foster parent herself and her first two placements were reunited with their parents) it just makes her want to do it even more so.

  12. Our children’s first steps, or the first home after you were married and
    so on. Keep this plant away from pets and small children, as it is toxic if
    eaten. Yet not all deliver and some do more harm than good.

  13. I purchased most of the baby items for my soon to be Granddaughter at thrift stores and yard sales. The only new items were the crib and car seat. I purchased a new crib mattress for $10 at a yard sale It was in the original plastic packaging. I bought 10 sleepers and gowns for $4.50 at a thrift store sale. All in excellent condition. It’s fun to save money and to see what you can find.