Furnishing a Nursery for Under $350!

Since I became a full-time mom at home we have focused on our budget. In order to make one income work for three (now four) people is not easy... but with careful budgeting it can certainly be done. My family is proof of this! One of my great joys in life is knowing I got a good deal. Most of the time I can remember the price of anything I buy... even years later. It's because I diligently search for deals and take pride in my work. This is a major factor in sticking to our budget. The new nursery was no exception! The major furniture pieces of the nursery are generally the biggest budget items so I spent a lot of time searching for deals on these items - crib, dresser(s), and rocker.

Steps to find furniture on a budget:
1. Write down your criteria... color, dimensions, style, price, etc.
2. Armed with your criteria from step 1, a tape measurer, and cash go search for the perfect piece! I recommend cash because with a card you'll just settle for a higher priced item because it's easy to swipe your card. In your quest check these great resources:
 - Craigslist
 - Freecycle
 - Goodwill
 - Local Consignment/Thrift Shops
 - Buy/Sell/Swap Groups on Facebook
 - Antique Malls
 - Flea Markets
 - Ask around... sometimes family and friends have pieces in their basement/storage
3. Be open-minded. Sometimes you need to get creative when you are on a budget!

For the crib I had a couple criteria: 1) white, 2) convertible crib, 3) under $100... and yup I found one. :)  It was a Graco Charleston Convertible Crib that was used for two years and they decided on a different big kid bed for their daughter and just wanted it gone so they gave me the crib and the mattress for $45... oh yeah... good deal since it retails for over $200! With any second hand furniture I cleaned it and touched up the paint where there were some knicks and scratches and it looks great. We are not using the mattress because putting a newborn should be on a firm mattress and used ones have some give from use. One thing I would like to note is that while we got a great deal on the crib it was missing a few screws... luckily a quick trip to the hardware store (and less than $1) and my hubby had it all fixed up and ready to go. It may even be more secure now!

For the dresser(s) I had these criteria: 1) long dresser at about 30" height that I could use as a changing table too, 2) white, 3) some girly/cute details, 4) solid, not flimsy particle board, 5) under $150 for a set of two or $100 for one. I actually found a great set of two that met almost all the criteria for $80! The set was not white, it was an original wood so it needed to be painted white. I saw this as an opportunity to try out this and this. Because I was pregnant and it was cold so I had to paint inside the house I did not use the oil based Zinser primer like the blog recommended. They make a water based version and that is what I went with and still it worked fine... no sanding! I painted two coats primer and 2 coats white/teal. I am going to put a clear coat finish on the tops of the dressers in the next couple of weeks because that sees more wear and I want to make sure it stays in good condition. Unfortunately, I jumped right into the project before I took any before pictures so I am sad I can't show a true before and after but I do have pictures of the drawers.

As you can see the drawers have a beautiful flower design but I will warn that the more intricate the design the more difficult it is to paint. Those flowers were a pain, but man, they turned out awesome! Also, you can see the dingy handles which I considered replacing but didn't want the expense since there were so many. Instead I thought I would spray paint them gold. I cleaned them first and actually liked the results. I am going to post about that and a how to in the next week so stay tuned.

The end results were better than I imagined!

The last item on the list was a rocker. My criteria was 1) rocker, recliner, overstuffed, 2) faux/real leather (easily to clean), 3) under $150, 4) new... I managed to convince my hubby that a used one wasn't a good idea because you don't know what has been on it and that's not really sanitary for nursing. Well, there's basically no such thing as an overstuffed, leather, rocker, recliner chair that is NEW for $150. I really tried to stay in the budget on this one. I did find a good deal on the chair we purchased. It was a Black Friday deal online at Kmart.com. I used Ebates (they give you cash back for buying things online... really awesome) along with the Black Friday sale price and the final was $180! Not a bad deal in the end. It was worth it considering how much we have already used it... It hung out in our living room until the nursery was ready. :)

In the end our total for nursery furniture was $335:
Crib: $45
Dressers: $80
Supplies: $30 (primer, paint, and a little "cleaner" for the handles)
Rocker Recliner: $180

I was impressed by how well we did... we definitely came in under budget and we love all of the furniture pieces.

Have you found any great furniture deals lately? Any furniture makeovers in the works? Tell me about them!


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