Elsa's DIY & Vintage Nursery

Elsa's DIY & Vintage Nursery

Marcia Prentice
Sep 13, 2012

Name: Elsa
Location: Echo Park - Los Angeles, California
Room Size: 11' x 9 1/2'

I met Ryan Crow a few years ago when he was engaged to Kelley. Now here they are married with their first baby on the way. Elsa is coming really soon and Ryan and Kelley have been busy prepping her space and hoping she loves her new room!

What inspired the look of your nursery?
The one thing I knew I wanted when I started planning the nursery was a light blue room with pops of orange and melon pink. I knew I wanted it to have a vintage feel, but I wanted to stay far away from cotton candy pink (that color makes me a little nauseous). So I started scouring Pinterest and Etsy and eventually came up with this aesthetic based on a bunch of cute items I found. I have ADHD, so I couldn't really focus on anything too specific, so I just went in the general direction of vintage/classic nursery and pulled together the pieces.

Did you start designing the nursery before you knew the baby's gender? If so, did the aesthetic change once you found out if it was a boy or girl?
My husband and I wanted to wait until we knew what we were having. I think if our baby had been a boy, we would probably be dealing with a mix of Star Wars and classic wind-up toy robots. It was hard to wait, but we are glad we did.

How did you stay on a budget and what was your biggest splurge?
Since we went down to one income, as I couldn't work when I was deep into the 2nd trimester, we didn't want to spend a lot of money. Craigslist became my best friend. I was able to source the beautiful crib and changing table for only $40 bucks total. Also, I tried to DIY wherever I could. That meant looking up a lot of "how to" videos on YouTube. With the help of my artist friend, we made much of our own art. I'm no expert seamstress, but I can sew a straight line, so I handmade the bunting flags and crib skirt.

The biggest splurge ended up being the rocking chair which I bought for cheap off of Craigslist, but spent almost as much on the fabric to reupholster it. My other big splurge would be the sheep mobile from Pottery Barn Kids. The mobile and crib arm together cost as much as the rocker, but I couldn't resist those sweet little black and white sheepies.

What is the one item that makes you smile the most when you walk into the room?
The rocking chair makes me smile because it was the first piece I bought for the room and the first piece of furniture I ever reupholstered myself. Turns out all you need is nice fabric, a good staple gun and some upholstery glue (this is where the "how to" YouTube videos helped out too). I can't wait to spend many sleepless nights with baby Elsa in the chair. I never thought I would look forward to not sleeping. Of course that's easy for me to say now while I'm still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

What is your favorite compliment received about the future baby's room?
I think I feel the most pride when people can't believe I put together a cute looking and unique nursery on such a small budget. Having made most of the decorations myself and having never done anything like this before, it gives me confidence to tackle other bigger projects.

What was your timeline for completing the design from start to finish?
I've been putting together ideas in my head since day 1, but from when I actually starting collecting pieces and building and painting, it took about a month. There was some procrastination in getting started, but I knew I had to get it done before being 8 months along. Getting up and down on the floor isn't fun with a big ol' belly.

Any helpful tips you can share with other expecting couples who are designing a baby nursery for the first time?
Take your time. Spend a lot of time looking for inspiration online. Don't be afraid to buy something used and fix it up.


DIY Videos:

Thanks Kelley & Ryan!

(Images: Marcia Prentice)


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