50+ Upcycled Nursery Decor Ideas

Lullaby 04/01/2016

Good news, green moms! It’s easier than ever to create a stylish and eco-friendly nursery on a budget. One of the best ways is by upcycling – which is taking something that many might consider trash and turning it into a unique treasure. It’s better for the environment, completely budget-friendly, and it allows you to put a more personal touch on your baby’s room. Check out these awesome upcycled nursery decor ideas!

First of all, find the materials for your project. Check out yard sales, thrift stores, and even back alleys and dumpsters. Or, check sites like Craigslist and Freecycle. With a bit of time, creativity, and elbow grease, you can upcycle a wide range of drab items into the décor you dreamed of.

One of the easiest and fastest ways to completely transform furniture and decor is with a quick coat of paint. Just be cautious with pre-1970’s painted pieces, because the paint likely contains lead – a toxic heavy metal that can cause neurological damage. Before you get started, check out this helpful post: How to paint furniture for nurseries and kids’ rooms.

Upcycled Nursery Decor Project Ideas:

  • A vintage milk crate or wooden wine case can be easily turned it into a toy box or used for book storage. Add casters to make moving it around a breeze. Or hang on the wall to use as a display for knick-knacks or precious stuffed animals.
  • Lampshades are an easily upcycled accent piece. It’s as simple as finding fabric to match your nursery theme, measuring, cutting, and gluing it on. If you’re feeling especially creative, paint the shade with polka dots or stencils.
  • Adapt an old armoire into a changing table by removing the doors (or leave them on if you want it to be hidden away when not in use) and adding a changing pad. Drawers or shelves can be used to store burp cloths, diapers, and wipes.
  • Ugly old dressers don’t have to be painstakingly stripped and stained. They can be easily refreshed with a coat of paint and some new hardware. Get creative and use two tones for the drawers and base. Add a pad to the top and it doubles as a changing table!
  • Find old picture frames at the thrift store and paint them to match your nursery theme. Create your own artwork by framing printed quotes, baby shower greeting cards, pages from a children’s book, your child’s footprint, monogrammed letters, or even old stuffed animals.
  • Dress up old bookshelves by covering the backing with colorful wrapping paper, fabric, or whimsical decals.
  • Turn a popular IKEA chair into a comfy swivel rocking chair for the nursery with this DIY, step-by-step video. Or add rocking chair runners to a wingback chair.
  • Turn sturdy cardboard diaper boxes into adorable storage bins with some cute fabric and a glue gun.
  • Not enough closet space in the nursery? Adapt an old entertainment center. With some wicker baskets and closet rods, you can customize it to meet your needs.

If projects require painting, remember to take precautions since traditional paints release risky VOCs. That’s why we highly recommend (shameless self-endorsement) Lullaby Paints Trim and Furniture Paint. It has great coverage, outstanding durability, and, most importantly, it’s zero-VOC*. 

*Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 11, 12, & 14 days for classroom and office use). Learn more about VOCs and our commitment to healthier paints here.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our Pinboard with 50+ upcycled nursery decor ideas!

Follow Lullaby Paints's board Upcycled Nursery Decor on Pinterest.

Drum shelf image courtesy of mattwalker69 /CC BY-SA 2.0