Accessories, DIY Tutorials

Thrifty Fix: Smart Nursery Art

On Monday, when I revealed my niece’s nursery makeover, I promised to share my thrifty fix for dressing up the walls.    Excuse me, but have you seen the price of wall decor in baby stores?   Not only is it pricey, it’s made of plastic or has cheesy quilted designs.   Heck no.

DIY Nursery art

Illustrated children’s books are a great source of inexpensive art. The clearance rack at my local brand-name bookstore did not disappoint.   For only $5.00 I found a large book of illustrated nursery rhymes, many of which were the colors of the nursery bedding.  Score!

First – the plan.  Second – what really went down:


  • Illustrated nursery rhyme book ($5)
  • Old 11×14 photo frames, complete with white mats for 8×10 photos (already owned)
  • White glossy spray-paint

The Plan:

  1. Spray-paint old photo frames a glossy white to coordinate with the nursery.
  2. Cut pages out of book.
  3. Select best nursery rhyme pages for framing, then mat and frame.
  4. Hang on framed “art” on wall.
  5. Stand back and pat self on back.

But here’s the down-and-dirty truth. This project didn’t end up being as inexpensive as I’d hoped.  My brother and I set up a tarp in the alley behind his house, and proceeded to spray the paint on the frames.  Huge gusts of wind came barreling down the alley, blowing the tarp around and consequently just messing up our spraypaint jobs.  The paint went everywhere, too.  All over me, all over my brother, and all over everything!  And did I mention how cold it was?

Despite the strong winds we did manage to cover the frames in paint.  We wiped the weird drips off and set them in the garage to dry.  5 hours later the normally fast-drying spray-paint was still wet, and the whole garage reeked of paint fumes.  There was no way we could hang the frames in the home of a pregnant lady.  First, she’d kill us.  Second, she’d never let me in her house again without supervision.

What did I do?  Fortunately I had bought a slew of white frames at Target “just in case.” I reluctantly turned to the back-up frames, mentally chiding myself for not spray-painting my frames ahead of time.  Lesson learned:  plan ahead, Jane!

We hung a two-page illustration of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star above the crib.  That seemed fitting.

DIY Nursery Art

Then, as we all grew up studying music, it just seemed right to continue the “songs we played as kids” theme.  Brahms’ Lullaby got hung above the cute little bookshelf, and we framed some smaller illustrations on the shelf:

DIY nursery art

As you can see, there’s still some blank spaces on the wall.  I didn’t want to go overboard with the framed nursery rhymes.  I’d like to do a bit of customized art on a canvas, but I’m not yet sure what I’d paint.  Any suggestions?

For the full reveal and more details on the nursery makeover, hop on over here.  Want more “thrifty fix” ideas?  Click the link under Post Categories over in the side bar.  Go on!  What are you waiting for?

Shared on Frugalicious Friday at Decor Mama.  Hop on over there to see all the other great projects and enter her giveaway!

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  • Reply Jeannine @ Small and Chic at 8:45 am

    It looks beautiful! *clap* *clap* *clap*

  • Reply Tara Berry at 9:00 am

    I LOVE this idea!!! And they turned out beautifully!!! The nursery looks awesome.



  • Reply Julia at 11:36 am

    The nursery looks lovely. I hope you and the bf are having a smooth transition into the big move! You’ll have to post about what having a significant other live with you does to your decor, etc. I know my Husband has made me overwhelmingly practical when it comes to such things.

  • Reply Jane at 2:46 pm

    Cute nursery art…and on the cheap! love that! Thanks for linkin’ up to Frugalicious Friday!

  • Reply Leproust Vintage at 11:59 pm

    ohhh my goodness! This is absolutely gorgeous, and those are such amazing tips that I would never have thought of!

  • Reply The Adventures of 2010 | The Borrowed Abode at 3:36 pm

    […] turned his cluttered guest room into a budget-friendly but cute-as-pie nursery, complete with some budget-friendly art,  one Saturday while his wife was at work.  She came home and loved it.  […]

  • Reply Laura Grillo at 4:14 pm

    Hi, where did you get that white shelf with the lamp on it?  : )

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 8:54 am

      Hi Laura – sorry for the delay in responding. We found that bookshelf in the kids section at Ikea. We didn’t put the back on it when we assembled it – thought it looked really nice without the back. Not sure if they still have it in stock. I just looked on the website and can’t find it, but maybe it’s in stores?

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