Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Vintage, Baby!

Yea, I finally finished the nursery! Just in time to have my baby. He turned one 2 weeks ago. And while he will likely not be scarred for life due to his previously lackluster space and even though he is child #3, I still wanted a sweet nursery for him. The problem? No nursery budget. I repurposed the cream toile bedding, sheers, and valance but it needed so much more. What's a girl to do? No money for paint, prints, or accents. Providentially, my best friend sent me a link to Nesting Place months ago. "What's this?" I asked. "Mistreated windows?" "Celebrated imperfection?" "Shopping one's house?" I had always been a bargain junkie and was no stranger to thrift stores, but I cannot sew, I have precious little time to decorate, and I felt clueless. The Nester was just the inspiration / kick in the pants I needed. The end result? A cute vintage-inspired nursery that cost me all of $10.

Paint: a brand new can leftover from Brownie's nursery that I never painted. Sadly, he slept in a nursery with cotton-candy walls. This color is a lovely light blue and I wanted to work with what I had.

Crib & Bedding: Crib was found by my best friend, Lily, at a consignment sale for $40 (and paid for by my sweet mother.) The bedding has been used by all of my babies so I am very attached to it. It's also gender-neutral. Obviously I was going to work with it.


Art: These gorgeous boutique wooden plaques were the perfect way to tie it all together. Hee, hee, I tricked you. These are 3 sheets of 50-cent scrapbook paper that I bought before the baby was born. I loved this paper and wanted to use it in some way. The paper found its purpose one day as I visited the Nesting Place and saw an easy project where one simply mounts paper on styrofoam, paints the edges, and voila! Instant art. I attached ribbon to an upholstery tack and I think it's lovely.


Mistreated Windows: I loved my toile sheers and valance that I've had since my daughter was born almost 8 years ago. The problem? It just didn't pop. The solution? Get some red fabric in your attic, get a few dollars' worth of red pom-pom trim from Hobby Lobby, and "sew" (hot glue) yourself a pretty little trim on those old sheers. And while that hot glue gun is still hot and ready, throw some red pom-poms on the valance too.


Look how perfectly imperfect it is. I still haven't glued the hem and you can see the lovely frayed edges. I probably won't ever get to that.


Oops, I ran out of fabric. That's okay, this end is tucked behind the bed. (Nester, you have SO liberated me.)



Accents:
  • Old sewing table for $5 at thrift store painted red with some old paint I found in garage.



  • Blue shelf from attic...now painted red (in first picture.)

  • Faded paintings with sentimental value from my grandmother but with undesirable brown oak frames. More of that red paint. Voila again! Vintage artwork that looks pretty against the pale blue walls.



  • I also mistreated a throw pillow. It's not as cute as I'd hoped. Actually, it looks sort of cheap and tacky. But it still adds a punch of red. The fabric was 50 cents in the remnant bin at Wal-Mart. The iron-on transfer is a Mary Engelbreit design purchased for 25 cents at a thrift store. The trim was in a grab-bag of trim and ribbon from the thrift store. 50 cents for the whole bag! The fabric is too red, the iron-on looks a bit rubbery, and the blue trim looks more purple than blue. But, I'm okay with such imperfection.



  • I already had the antique dresser, mirror, day bed, and mattelasse bedding. I've used it all for each baby. Our nursery has always doubled as a guest room so the bed, while large and a bit of a design obstacle for a small nursery, is a necessity.

  • And last but not least, a mistreated lamp. I glued some of the same toile fabric on the shade plus more red pom-pom trim. Cute. (In case you're wondering, I am not the Norwegian model you see in the frame, kissing my darling baby. I just have yet to print any photos of my now-one-year-old-baby.)



  • Oops! My laziness came back to bite me. Not lining the fabric (in order to cover up the 90's bold primary stripes) was oh-so-foolish. When I flipped the switch, the lovely toile disappeared, eaten up by the bright stripes. Maybe I'll just never turn on the lamp.



And there you have it. Vintage chic. Vintage cheap. I realize this is not a "high-end" nursery. You will not find it in a decorating magazine or a boutique. But I used what I had plus just a few dollars and I think it's a sweet and precious space. It's not perfect. I can think of lots of things to make it even prettier. A rug. Fancy throw pillows. A stenciled vintage alphabet across the top. But, done is better than perfect.

Sleep tight sweet Cupcake.

39 comments:

  1. My, oh my! This is not only a sweet place for an even sweeter Cupcake, but it represents your tenacity. Don't quit! You now have a precious room for him.
    Love,
    MOM

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  2. This is absolutely adorable! I am so impressed with you and now I want to be a baby and have you for my frugal, creative mom!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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  3. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything you've done! You must come to Huntersville to see me and bring all of your ideas too! I think i'm lacking that "creative" gene...poor Marlowe's nursery needs some TLC...my glue gun has been purchased, just waiting on your arrival!
    see ya'll at TR SOON!
    liz

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  4. Oh my, you are just the most creative thing. Isn't it amazing how God uses our circumstances to cure us of ourselves, our self pity and our desire for perfection (which by the way isn't bad once we get to heaven with the PERFECT ONE). It just doesn't work too well here.

    Good news! We're staying here! God provided a job. We'll talk all about it. I'm going to need some of those penny pinching tips.

    IN HIM,
    Julie
    www.homeschoolblogger.com/juliestew

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  5. It is ABSOLUTELY darling! Alas, I'm done having babies. Love it!

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  6. looks great! i'm going to be taking a few of those ideas!

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  7. So cute! I'd love to bunk up on the spare bed in this room. I'm going to do the styrofoam idea. I love scrap paper.

    Great job!!

    Tiff

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  8. You have inspired me and my 3rd baby is 11!
    Melanie@Bella~Mella

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  9. Love it! So much cuter than you could pay hundreds for at Pottery Barn!

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  10. It's amazing what we can do on a budget, right?! Paint and glue guns work wonders! What a great job, I love the scrapbook artwork. I use stretched canvas for everything, bulletin boards, to hold pretty scrapbook paper, fabric and trim..etc. Would have never thought of styrofoam! (spelling?) Brilliant!

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  11. I saw the picture on the Nester and popped over to see. I have that same sewing table in my front room as a endtable and I got it for $4 at a yardsale. How funny is that?

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  12. I just popped over from the Nester's blog and I love your nursery!

    AND!!! We have that same print of the little blonde boy sitting on a rocking chair reading a book. It was in my husband's room when he was growing up and now it's in our boy's room.

    AND!!! We have that SAME dresser! It was my mother in law's, then my sister in law's, then each of my 3 older kids' nurseries, and now it's in the girls' room!

    I have a love affair with antiques, especially those passed down from family and found at garage sales. You know...things with a story. So, I'm all over your cheap/chic nursery!!

    I've got some pictures of our newest nursery on our blog. (just had #4 back in November and had to add a room to fit him in!) http://sugarmommyof4.blogspot.com/2008/11/projects-and-mistreatments.html

    Please stop by when you can to browse around. I'd love to have you visit!

    Sugars!

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  13. This room is beautiful! EXCELLENT job!!! The prints on the wall above the daybed- I'm having some sort of deja vu- someone in my family had those- I'm going to have to call my mom and ask her! And the quilt on the end of the daybed- where did that come from? It's beautiful.

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  14. Love it! You have some great ideas. I think my favorite parts are the vintage pictures with red frames and the boxes above the crib! LOVE IT!!! Great job

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  15. I really really like it. Looks great. Good job.

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  16. I linked to you from The Nester....this is inspiring! :)

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  17. Found your blog through the Nester and I adore your nursery. You've given my lots of inspiration for my own, soon to be nursery. Great Job and Happy New Year!

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  18. I, too, found your blog through Nester. Wow! What an adorable nursery, and how cool that you didn't spend lots of $$$ on it. My 3rd baby is 13, but it's never too late to decorate her room! LOL

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  19. I found you via Nester and I am so happy I did! I think your nursery looks like it's out of a magazine and I am so happy to see you did not spend much money to make it that way. I *love* recycling things in my home and I'm so impressed you used the same bedding for 3 kids. Kudos to you. And I am so glad to see another woman liberated by the Nester. The "imperfections" are really only visible to you and I appreciate another woman who doesn't have to have it just perfect. That's so intimidating. A person is so much more likeable (to me at least) when they keep it real!!!

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  20. One more thing... thanks for admitting you didn't even have money for paint. That is so endearing to me! So many of us don't have a decor "budget" - we don't even have paint money sometimes! That just makes the room that much better. Really. You should be incredibly proud.

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  21. Found you on Nester... I only disagree with you on one thing:
    That nursery could totally be found in a baby magazine... at least thats MHO.
    I love it!

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  22. Great job! And you made me laugh out loud with your commentary! I have done the exact same thing with a lampshade--oops! Oh well, live and learn, right?

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  23. Found you from the Nesters post today. Actually, I love it all!! It looks really wonderful. And I'm really impressed with your ingenuity! I love the sewing table, the shelf, the wall art, the painted heirloom pictures, the curtains, the lampshade, love it all!

    Congrats, it looks wonderful!

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  24. Great job! Don't you just love Nester and her amazing ideas?

    Thanks for the tip about the lampshade, you saved me from making the same mistake if I ever get around to re-covering a shade.

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  25. Love this! I'm working on finishing my own frugal nursery, using pretty much entirely free furniture - handed down from family and friends, or found on the street. It's got a good start, but you have inspired me to get back to work. :)

    Jennifer

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  26. Very Cute! I have that same oval mirror with the ribbon and never thought to hang it the other direction (mine hangs more horizontal). It's fun to see new ideas, and you did a sweet job! I love the red pom-poms on everything, it looks high end to me!

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  27. It looks wonderful, you did a great job!! You have inspired me to use pom pom trim in my boys room :)

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  28. What a fabulous idea!!! You are brilliant. I love the wall hangings!!! I am SOOOOO bookmarking this page for baby no. 3 (when that time comes!)...

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  29. Love the nursery, it looks so nice.

    Karol :0)

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  30. came over from Nester. This is absolutely fantastic!! Great job! Kelly

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  31. This is my favorite kindof project! The kind that repurposes what you have and turns out fantastic! You should be proud!

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  32. I came upon your blog through Nester and I LOVE your nursery! I am a self-described hyperfrugal and decorating-challenged. I was inspired by your nursery to actually try to create a sweet space for my youngest. :) Two questions though...what type of paint did you use on the shelf and did you have to sand it first?
    Thanks again for sharing!!

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  33. In response to Heather's questions, I just used some leftover interior / exterior paint from my front door. The paint is probably 4 or 5 years old. I was too lazy and cheap to buy new paint. I didn't sand it first either. It was painted with a blue flat paint before and the red paint covered it fine. Thanks for your sweet compliment!

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  34. I LOVE your nursery! I am planning the nursery for our 3rd child, but the first girl, and am looking everywhere for inspiration. The little balls on the curtains were SO cute! I do have a question though, I wanted to make those paper-covered styrofoam squares like you have on the wall, but am not sure where to find the styrofoam squares? Thanks!
    carrie.hardin@leesummit.k12.mo.us

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  35. This room is adorable. The colors are bright with a soft touch. Maybe to add to the room you could find someone to make you a fleece blanket out of the same colors with sports bears to give it that little boy look! HA! Love your ingenuity and love you. Luv, Mom V.

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  36. i found you on nester too. it was my first time there. apparently i mistreated some windows in my house! i didn't know it until a commenter sent me to nester.
    your nursery looks great! i really like the scrapbook paper idea!

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  37. First, this room is adorable. Second, I'm inspired by your creativity! Third, I'm adopting your quote for part of my 3-part mantra for the year..."Done is better than perfect." How I need to learn and live that!! I'm linking to this post in a post I'm writing on contentment. Thanks for sharing this!

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