Project Nursery: Cool and Crafty Decorating Ideas

As the craft guru at Parents, I knew that my glue gun would play a significant role in the decoration of my first baby's room. Take a peek into Oliver's digs and steal a few ideas for yourself.

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A DIY Duo

Heather Weston

A DIY Duo

My husband and I are both design-crazed people, but luckily he gave me creative control over Oliver's room. Keep reading to see my favorite nursery decor ideas for yourself!

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Suspender Curtains

Heather Weston

Suspender Curtains

While shopping at Ikea, I fell in love with this fabric for Oliver's curtains. Fasteners like those used for overalls and buttons make it easy to raise.

What you'll need:
Fabric (Annamoa in blue, $8 per yard; Ikea stores), Fusible Bonding Web (Stitch Witchery, $2), iron, scissors, overall buckles ($3 for 2), 1"-wide canvas straps, hot-glue gun, 2 buttons, needle and thread, curtain tension rod

Make it:
1. Measure height and width of window. Add 3" to 4" to width and 6" to height and cut fabric to fit.
2. Fold sides and bottom in about 1" (press with iron) and use fusible bonding web to hem (follow package directions).
3. Make rod pocket by folding top of curtain down 5" and securing with bonding web.
4. Lay curtain flat on work surface to decide how high the shade will be when drawn. Position buttons on front with straps behind fabric and fold straps over to front. Cut straps to suit panel.
5. Insert strap into overall buckle and secure with hot glue. Repeat.
6. Sew button to front of curtain panel and then sew end of strap directly behind it. Repeat.

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DIY Drawer Pulls

Heather Weston

DIY Drawer Pulls

I bought vintage wooden yo-yos on eBay and turned them into dresser drawer pulls.

What you'll need:
Wooden yo-yos, drill, 1?"- to 4"-long hanger bolt depending on thickness of drawer panel, pliers, nut

Make it:
1. Pre-drill a hole slightly smaller than hanger bolt into back center of yo-yo.
2. Twist hanger bolt into hole with pliers until it's at least ?" into yo-yo.
3. Insert bolt into hole in front of drawer and fasten tightly with nut.

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Boy Nursery Ideas

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Paper Dot Mobile

Heather Weston

Paper Dot Mobile

I made this colorful mobile one night while watching a movie on TV -- that's how quick and easy it is!

What you'll need:
9 pieces of 12"x12" cardstock, 2" circle punch, small hole punch, 8mm jump rings (small split metal rings commonly used in jewelry design, $3.30 for 200), needle-nose pliers, hot-glue gun, 2 embroidery hoops (8" and 6"), fishing line, screw hook

Make it:
1. Cut circles with 2" punch.
2. Punch holes about 1/8" from the top and bottom of each circle, and string 9 circles together using jump rings. For the top and bottom circle, only punch one hole. Make 12 strands.
3. Hot-glue top circle of each strand to 8" embroidery hoop; space them about ?" apart.
4. Make 9 more strands and repeat with 6" hoop.
5. Glue fishing line to three equidistant spots on inside of each hoop. Hang from hook, with 6" hoop about 5" lower than 8" hoop.

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Yarn Light Fixture

Yarn Light Fixture

My obsession with a similar (and crazy expensive) designer lamp inspired me to make my own.

What you'll need:
Brown paper or plastic sheeting, 24" beach ball, small paper plate, masking tape, yarn or string, rubber gloves, Aleene's Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid ($7 for 16 oz.), bucket, scissors, Hemma cord set ($4; Ikea stores), craft stick

Make it:
1. Protect your work surface with paper or plastic.
2. Tape small paper plate over ball's air valve.
3. Roll yarn into a loose ball, if it does not come that way. Put your gloves on, and submerge yarn in fabric stiffener. Then, work liquid into the fibers of the yarn.
4. Place two strips of tape parallel across bucket, leaving a slim gap in between, and pull end of yarn through the slit. This creates a squeegee to remove excess liquid.
5. Starting on opposite end of ball from plate, begin wrapping yarn tightly so it does not slip. Avoid wrapping plate, as this will be hole in bottom where you will have access to lightbulb.
6. Continue wrapping to desired fullness. Let dry for 24 hours.
7. Remove plate and deflate ball; pull through bottom hole.
8. Cut Hemma cord to desired length, leaving room for bulb to hang in center of the ball. Insert end of cord through top and wire into ceiling (or hire an electrician to do this for you).
9. Tie a knot in cord and insert craft stick through knot as the stopper. Let shade rest on stick and screw in lightbulb.

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DIY Faux Hide Rug Set

Heather Weston

DIY Faux Hide Rug Set

This carpet-tile set comes with a utility knife and easy-to-follow cut guides. It took my husband and me 20 minutes to do!

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Monkey Chair

Heather Weston

Monkey Chair

I found this old school chair in the trash and gave it a kiddy makeover with paint, felt, and a braided yarn tail. A piece of covered floral wire gives the tail its shape.

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Playful Knitted Pennants

Heather Weston

Playful Knitted Pennants

This garland, knitted by my mom and her friends, gives Oliver's first bedroom a celebratory flair.

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Stuffed Animal Storage

Heather Weston

Stuffed Animal Storage

A basic shoe rack solves the storage problem for Oliver's plush pals. (shoe organizer, $20)

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About Face Pillows

Heather Weston

About Face Pillows

These pillows from Vintage Jane ($22) were one of my first nursery purchases.

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Sweet Shelves

Heather Weston

Sweet Shelves

These little red shelves hold board books and knickknacks in Oliver's room. ($10-$20)

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Nursery Nesting Tables

Heather Weston

Nursery Nesting Tables

These amazing nesting tables each open at the top, with safety hinged lids for inconspicuous storage. They can also be used as stools and come in blue, green, or gray. ($400)

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Happy Baby

Heather Weston

Happy Baby

Oliver is a happy little guy in his crafty bedroom!

Originally published in the June 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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Small Room Done Right