The beautiful and functional nurseries I designed for our two children have been my favorite home projects to date.

It’s fun to come up with creative ways to get expensive looks on a budget. You can easily find DIY options for mobiles, art, furniture, and more. It’s fun to do and saves money.

Here are five DIY design project ideas for anyone who wants to design a high-end looking nursery on a budget.

1. DIY Bookshelf

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My colleagues put together a Pottery Barn look-a-like bookshelf for a book-themed baby shower they hosted for us before our first son was born. It’s amazing. Just be sure to anchor it to the wall. We still use it and love it.

These DIY nursery ledges from the Turquoise Home blog are another easy, affordable, and adorable option. Find directions and plans here:

This old cabinet turned into a nursery bookshelf from the website DIYstinctly Made is a great option for anyone who prefers to thrift and paint.

As an alternative to a shelf, the DIY toy storage crates from the blog A Bubbly Life could easily double as a space for books. They would be easy to reach for the smallest people in our lives. They are also movable.

2. DIY Mobile

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There are so many options when it comes to mobiles for a baby.

For our first son, we skipped the mobile altogether and created our own version using paper lanterns. It’s still in his room today at age 4 (and a half, if you ask him).

I really love this stick, feather, and triangle option from the blog The Tastefull Life. It would work well in a little explorer-themed nursery.

I had my eye on a gorgeous, expensive knit pompom mobile for our second baby’s nursery. But I just couldn’t justify spending money on something that would be used for such a short amount of time. This DIY version from Style Me Pretty Living is perfect. Watch the video for instructions.

I also love this DIY dinosaur mobile from Melissa Creates that she made for her baby boy.

3. DIY Changing Table

Changing tables are a necessity for many parents, but they don’t have to break the bank. They are only used for a short amount of time, so this is a good place to DIY something special.

I love this bright and bold upcycled changing table from the blog The Tastefull Life. Buying old, thrifted furniture and painting or staining it with baby-safe materials is a great DIY option.

Simply buy a changing pad and make or buy a changing pad cover. You can attach the pad to the dresser or table in many ways.

Adding a DIY table topper to an already existing dresser is another great option and looks custom.

4. DIY Drapes/Shades

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A great place to save some money is to DIY drapes or roman shades. I chose to forgo the store-bought roman shades I wanted for our son’s nursery and simply attached ribbon using stitch witch to plain white roman shades. Because we needed two, this saved us a significant amount of money and we got the same look.

Stamping curtains to get the look you want is another great DIY option for drapes.

For those people who would love to DIY some drapes, but don’t have sewing skills, this no-sew DIY nursery curtain tutorial from the blog Young House Love is just the thing you need.

5. DIY Wall Paint/Art

Buying art and paint for the nursery can get expensive. But you can make the nursery unique and personal by adding your own touches instead.

To make a major impact, doing a big DIY project on the walls is a great option. This mountain mural from the blog Will’s Castle an amazing backdrop for the crib in a fun, unique nursery.

To keep it simple, this nursery DIY flashcard art from the blog A Bubbly Life is something most people could pull off in just a couple of hours.

With art, the possibilities are endless. Make your own monogram for baby’s wall like this one from The Baeza Blog. You could also put together a felt bunting banner in your baby’s nursery colors, or even paint something and frame it.


Nurseries are a great place to get creative. There’s no need to spend huge amounts of money. You can make almost anything these days. Look for ideas, DIY tutorials, and more on Pinterest and other blogs.

Happy nursery planning!

Jessica Flannigan is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, blogger, event stylist, photographer, wife, and mother of two wildly active boys, Bodhi (4 years) and Ezra (13 months). Jessica is a home design and do-it-yourself lover. She shares her latest home improvement and event planning projects on her blog, Live the Fancy Life, and fashion finds on her boy fashion site, Oh Boy Style.