Dear Moms- the nursery is for you! And the baby of course :-), but you are the one that will be there in the middle of the night breastfeeding, changing diapers, and generally spending most of the time with your baby. If it’s your first baby, it can also be a very stressful and sleep deprived time. This is why a peaceful room that you love is important. If you’re really nesting during your 8th month of pregnancy, like I was, doing some DIY projects for the nursery can be very relaxing! Miles’ gray and yellow nursery answered all of our wishes and more.
That is my two cents- you can totally disagree! There are many rooms in my future full of whatever my sons will be interested in. For this part of their life, they can’t talk so I’ll just do what I want. Lol. So while I wanted the room to still feel like a nursery, I didn’t necessarily want it to be very “boy” but more gender neutral. There wasn’t a specific theme but more of a color scheme (check out the toddler update!). Most importantly, it needed to be a calming environment.
I was super into creating Miles’ nursery. I looked at tons of nurseries for inspiration, made several DIY projects and searched for the “perfect” items.
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Easy DIY Wall Art
What you Need:
- An old canvas artwork
- Letter Stencils (or sticker letters, bulletin board letters or printed letters)
- Spray paint or regular paint
- Removable mounting putty
I really wanted a quote or statement on the wall, and I’d seen so many cool ones. But they were expensive! It seemed a little overboard to spend a lot on the decor after the money that was already spent on the crib and glider. Stuck in one of our closets was an old canvas print from Ikea with calla lilies. There was a time it was hanging in my kitchen, but it didn’t really fit anymore. The colors were a perfect match to Miles’ color scheme of gray and yellow, but I didn’t necessarily want to hang flowers in the room. The majority of the theme was oversized geometric shapes like circles, stripes and chevron.
*If you don’t have an old canvas print lying around, you can buy one at a thrift store or on sale at Michael’s or even Ikea! Just look around until something jumps out at you that would fit with your room’s aesthetic.
After looking through all of my random craft stuff, I found some old stencils. I started playing with the layout and I could write “Life is Beauty Full” perfectly! It was meant to be. I had actually loved a piece of art that had this quote, but didn’t want to shell out the $200 for it.
Step 1: Stick the stencils down with mounting putty
This way they can easily be lifted without ruining the canvas. If you want clean lines, make sure all of your edges are sealed down to the canvas. I wanted a kind of rustic look so I was very carefree about this step.
Depending on how many stencils you have of each letter, you may have to do your art in rows. I did “LIFE IS” first, and put card stock down over the rest of the canvas so it wouldn’t get any paint on it.
Step 2: Spray paint one row at a time
TIP: If you are going to use the same letter stencil again, make sure it’s dry before you use it again! (For example, I only had one “E” stencil so had to use it for “Life” and for “Beauty”)
Let it dry and that’s it! Easy right?!
Other options: You could also use letter stickers, or print out letters and cut them out. You can trace the letters onto the canvas with pencil and paint them in. It’s up to you!
Other DIY Projects
“MJB” initials- I bought these craft letters at Michael’s and they are made of a cardboard type material. I spray painted them with two different yellows. First, I painted them completely in the lighter yellow first. After it dried, I used painter’s tape to make the chevron design. Then I spray painted the darker yellow.
The mobile was also a DIY project, but this one took a lot longer! I just did it while I watched tv some nights, but here is the tutorial I followed to make it. There are others where people tape the circles or sew them along the entire circle, but this design had great movement! You just sew the string through the center of the cut circle so they flutter beautifully while hanging.
Gray and Yellow Nursery Overview
Originally, I thought about doing a green and gray color scheme but I didn’t really find anything I liked in those colors. That’s when I found the “not a peep” land of nod sheets and I loved them! I got the circle sheet and changing pad in gray and yellow. This inspired the gray and yellow nursery color scheme and also inspired the mobile! (I didn’t like their crib skirt that much for this room so I found a solid gray one) A friend of mine loves gray paint and she showed me “Dolphin Fin” by Behr and it was perfect!
Tip: Before you start your nursery theme or colors, look around and see what is out there. Find a piece of art or piece of furniture or fabric that you want to use as a point of inspiration.
The babyletto crib was perfect for it’s modern lines and the size was great for the room since it’s not very big. The whale’s rustic look was a nice fit on the brick wall (bought on Amazon, not available anymore but this one is very similar). The quilt was wonderfully crafted by my mom and she did an equally amazing one for my second son Ellis (you can see his room and other nursery inspiration here).
** I’m sorry the pictures are not great. They were taken a couple of years ago before I decided to start this blog! His room has transitioned to a toddler room that you can check out here!
Dresser Changing Table
This dresser was in my room initially. It came from a great furniture store in Chicago called Nadeau. I liked the juxtaposition it gave to the modern crib, by adding a distressed vintage look to the room. The straps of the changing pad are screwed onto the dresser so it’s secure, and there was plenty of counter space for all of the other stuff! The rest of the wall seemed bare since so much was above the dresser/changing table. This inspired the wall decal, which added a great whimsical element.
The frame above the changing pad is full of well wishes that people wrote at Miles’ baby shower. My sister and friend had such a cute idea of a wishing tree where everyone wrote these notes and hung them on the tree. I wanted to capture the notes in a way that could be seen on a regular basis.
The wall shelf was a great addition for it’s practicality and added a nice gray vintage element. (Not available right now on Amazon, but this one is very similar) The diaper holder was made by one of my best friends for my baby shower. She initially got it for books, but it was the perfect size for diapers! The mason jars with the animals glued on top was another Pinterest inspiration. On the original post, they were spray painted gold which looked amazing! I decided to just leave mine without painting.
Glider Reading Corner
The room is generally small so it was tough finding a glider that was comfortable but not too big. The babyletto glider was a perfect fit. Now it is in Ellis’ room which is even smaller so a great purchase for sure- city living! I used the ever popular idea of turning Ikea spice shelves into book shelves- you can also get them on Amazon! My baby shower was book themed and I loved that I already had a great collection when Miles was born! The ottoman was from CB2 and the curtains were Pottery Barn kids.
And that’s the nursery! The most affirming part was how much my husband fell in love with the room as well. He asked why I didn’t I make our room that relaxing!