How to Create a Gender-Neutral, Woodland-Themed Nursery

Step 1: Get You Some Inspo’

Right before our sixth baby made his excruciatingly painful appearance, we were gifted a Target gift card to spend.

I really wanted to stick to the bare bones for this baby; however, we had absolutely nothing “baby”, save for a very well-loved crib in our attic.

I wanted a playmat for this baby, but I was hoping for something a bit more creative than the traditional cross bar toy canopy versions I had grown tired of.

Infantino makes this fantastic, adorable and practical play tent for babies! It’s another win in the “grow-with-me” department. The toy mobile can be easily removed and used as a playtent for older babies and toddlers.

My favorite part was the color scheme of this product. In fact, I loved it so much that I used the entire design scheme as the inspiration I needed to make Baby Sawyer’s room truly unique.

Since I don’t ever use Pinterest, I was thankful for this little tent of happiness that just shot my mind into dreams of nursery wonderland.

public.jpeg

Step 2: Use Whatcha Already Got

Remember I told you about that well-loved crib in the attic? A spark of insanity made me completely determined to paint that old crib mustard yellow. I am a sucker for mustard yellow. In fact, that’s all I wanted for my birthday last year: mustard yellow flats. It’s the most fun color, and it’s just gorgeous with hues of ocean blues nearby.

It took me about four hours, start to finish to paint our old crib. And the best part about it? Absolutely NO sanding needed.

(*gasp!)

I know.

For $6/bottle (I purchased three 8oz.bottles in the Yellow Crochet color) and free Amazon shipping, I completely made this old crib look brand new! (Buying the wax to seal the paint in is a must as the paint is extremely matte).

For $6/bottle (I purchased three 8oz.bottles in the Yellow Crochet color) and free Amazon shipping, I completely made this old crib look brand new! (Buying the wax to seal the paint in is a must as the paint is extremely matte).

Thanks to a fabulous product called chalk paint, you can completely get by with not spending hours and years sanding your old furniture.

Heres the finished product:

public.jpeg

I’m crazy obsessed with the way it turned out. It also fuels my chronic desire to be outside-of-the-box. I hate doing or having what everyone else does. And I don’t know how to make that any more obvious than I already have. (Homeschooling mama of six to my high school sweetheart living out in these creepy woods).

Step 3: Make It Funky

I loathe character decor. Those obnoxious patterns, colors, and gaudy themes can make your eyes literally sore.

Make sure your theme is subtle, yet powerful. For example, I didn’t cram this room with a million foxes and bears to get my point across. Not everything has to be absolutely “woodland”.

Combining patterns and textures makes it clearly a child’s space, but keeping it classy and subtle makes it inviting for parents who will be spending A LOT of time in the space for months and years to come.

public.jpeg

Choose a wall and envision something unexpected and grand. We did a fantastic ombré wall for the wall behind the crib. It wasn’t tough to accomplish and it isn’t necessarily a pricey option, either. Google “ombré wall how-to” for step-by-step help.

If you want to go the wallpaper route, there are so many great quality, fun, peel and stick options on the market that don’t have to drain your wallet or your will to live.

Big, chunky stripes are fun! (We did those in our Master) And, even a texture wall would be out of this world. (We did a sheet metal wall in our big boys room. I’ll show you that later.) Shiplap is all the rage these days. You can get premade shiplap at big box home improvement stores. We have had a great experience with the stuff we put up in our girls room, three years ago.

Step Four: “You Go To Hobby Lobby and Let Hobby Lobby Tell You What You Need”

public.jpeg
Now, my placement of these shelves may make some of you squirm a bit. However, I hate symmetry. I love odd numbers. And, if something looks like it should fit logically one way (like the small cloud on top of the larger one, in this case) then I do the opposite. I love being unique. It suits me.

Now, my placement of these shelves may make some of you squirm a bit. However, I hate symmetry. I love odd numbers. And, if something looks like it should fit logically one way (like the small cloud on top of the larger one, in this case) then I do the opposite. I love being unique. It suits me.

public.jpeg

What else is there to say here?

This is just common sense, people.

Step Five: When Target Meets Etsy

There’s a lot of talented folk out there, y’all. And, they mostly all hang out at Etsy.

public.jpeg

If you can dream it up, someone out there can make it for you. Sawyer’s swing, crib sign, and supplies for me to make his mobile, all came from Etsy.

Target filled in the gaps for us with a cute rug and some adorable crib sheets, courtesy of Cloud Island. That cutie pie fox pillow is Pillowfort brand from Target, as is the pillow I purchased to beef up the swing.

Step Six: Gettin’ Real Personal

Babies love faces. In fact, my baby loves my face so much, he’ll stare into my soul upwards of ten minute stretches at a time. 🤷🏼‍♀️

public.jpeg

Why not make a fun photo wall of all of baby’s favorite humans! You can also use this wall as a fun teaching tool to name and remind baby of his various family members both near and far.

Take some Knick-knacky items that represent baby and make some super sweet displays.

public.jpeg

I took a pair of little baby boots that Sawyer can’t wear yet and put them inside a triangle shelf. Simple. Cheap. Totes adorbs.

Step Seven: Take It Off, Baby!

I removed the closet doors.

public.jpeg

Two reasons: One, so I would always keep it clean. And two, to include the space as part of the entire room.

If your baby has toys and clothing to infinity and beyond, well, don’t take the doors off the closet, honey. Keep that “shiz” tucked away. Ain’t nobody wanna see all that.

But, you may want to consider extending your room in this way. I absolutely love having very few toys and clothing in each child’s room. Less is always more, y’all. I am living it, now! It’s wonderful!

Babies usually just play with wooden spoons and your water bottle, anyway, so save your sanity and toss those toys!

public.jpeg

I used a very high quality peel-and-stick wallpaper to line the boring old 1983 wooden shelves in his closet. They are my new favorite feature!

public.jpeg

Baskets are used to conceal any blankies, diapers, and random baby supplies in a stylish and smart way! I just adore the way this organization hack has worked for us!

Why are Honest Diapers the best?! I mean, I’m a cloth diaper lovin’ mama through and through, but these ‘sposies have my whole heart.

Why are Honest Diapers the best?! I mean, I’m a cloth diaper lovin’ mama through and through, but these ‘sposies have my whole heart.

Step Eight: Step Back and Marvel (And then take a long, hot bubble bath).

Sigh!

Doesn’t it feel so good to know you’ve economically accomplished such a radiant space, all while having tons of fun?!

public.jpeg

My final tip would be to completely forgo the bulky furniture items that babies really don’t need. The changing tables, humongous dressers, diaper pails (ew!), and enormous, plushy recliner rockers aren’t necessary.

Instead, find those fun, practical pieces that you’ll definitely use everyday and let the bulkiest piece of furniture be your crib.

If there’s something in this room that’s really tickled your pickle and you want to know where and what price, just shoot me a comment below and I’ll do my best to get that info for you.

I don’t know about you, but I’d say that Sawyer has the right idea. It’s time for a nap!

public.jpeg

What are your nursery decorating tips? Share below!

Here’s to your upcoming decorating adventures! 💗