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Creating a Beautiful Nursery with Hand-Me-Downs
by Jessica Ackerman

When decorating a baby's nursery, there's no need to spend a lot of money on expensive new furnishings and accessories. Many gently-used baby items can be easily found and utilized, which not only saves money, but can add a unique and one-of-a-kind look to the room. It can also be a great way use family heirlooms and add a personal touch to the room.

Nostalgic Appeal
Hand-me-down items often have a certain charm and nostalgic appeal to them that can't be achieved with new store-bought items. There is something special, for example, about using a quilt from your own childhood that was made by your grandmother. Vintage furniture items such as changing tables, dressers and armoires are often sturdier and better crafted than modern day versions of the same pieces. Additionally, even if the furniture is a little nicked or scratched, a fresh coat of paint can add new life and appeal. This type of furniture "facelift" can also be a great way to add some creativity to the nursery, by adding designs or patterns to the furniture items with paint, either by painting freehand or using stencils. You can tie the room decor together even more by repeating some of the patterns used on the furniture in other areas of the room, such as a stenciled wall border.

Beautiful Heirloom Displays
You may find that some hand-me-down items are better utilized in a different way than their original purpose. This can apply to items such as stuffed animals and other types of toys. While these items might be too old or fragile to hold up well as actual toys for the baby to play with, they can create great decorating items within the nursery. A shelf with a display of vintage toys, stuffed animals and story books can add an eye-catching and quaint focal point within the room. These types of items might even provide the inspiration for the overall decorating theme of the nursery. For example, by using your own childhood collection of teddy bears, you could create a nursery with a teddy bear theme.

Treasures from Thrifts Stores and More
Although many families have an ample supply of relatives and friends that are more than happy to donate hand-me-down items to the new baby's nursery decor, you can also find great used items in second hand and resell thrift shops, or at garage and tag sales. Online auction sites are also great places to search for gently used items decorate and furnish the nursery.

Safety Considerations with Hand-Me-Downs
One thing to keep in mind when furnishing and decorating a nursery with hand-me-downs is safety. A number of safety requirements have changed over the years, such as the amount of space that is acceptable between the bars of a crib. Although you might really want to use your grandmother's vintage baby crib, if the item doesn't conform to modern day safety requirements, don't use it. This can also apply to toys and other types of baby accessories. Prior to using any hand-me-down items, be certain to check for any warnings or recalls on the manufacturer's website. Also be careful of older painted furniture, and test for lead paint if necessary.

By using hand-me-down items in the baby's nursery, many people find that the end result is more personal. The decorating process is often much more fun, as well as less expensive, than simply purchasing all new items.

About the Author:
Jessica Ackerman from offers a whole new perspective on how to wall artwork in this era of wall candle holders.

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