On the cheap: Nursery Tree edition

For the last four years I was an entrepreneur; the four before that: a student. Thus I am always looking for cheap cost effective ways to decorate/eat/entertain. It’s a habit that will surely drive my children mad.

Speaking of parenting, my wife and I have our first baby on the way. Last week we put the finishing touches on the nursery. We’d noticed a wall graphic in the Pottery Barn catalog, and I told my wife, “We could do that.” She held me to it.

Here are photos of the process behind the tree that now covers one of the nursery walls. Not counting the green paint underneath, we got this done for around $20 – it took less than a quart of off-white paint, a roll of painters tape, a 1″ brush, a fine brush, and time.

Now if we could find a cheap alternative to diapers, we’d be all set.


15 responses to “On the cheap: Nursery Tree edition”

  1. Nice work!

    As for the alternative to diapers, I recently read an article in a New Parenting magazine that would make the folks at Proctor & Gamble wet their pants. The article discussed the notion of “no diapers” – which is commonplace in India. The average age for the child to be potty trained? 1 year. That article was like music to my cheap Chinese soul.

  2. You owe Pottery Barn .50¢ per impression for their intellectual property.

  3. @caleb: Hmmmmm. Would that be no diapers + no pants? Or just no diapers? I could see the no diapers + no pants working… but my wife will certainly not allow this idea to be implemented :)

  4. We’re talking a birthday suit until they’re potty trained. What better way to buck the trent and teach the lesson of thrift? Translation = no, my wife wouldn’t allow it either ;-)

  5. Spelling: “buck the trend”

  6. Beautiful work, Trey. I have no suggestions for cheap alternatives to diapers, though. Heck, I couldn’t even bring myself to buy diapers that had that plasticky feel. Everything had to feel soft and touchable. Babies probably couldn’t tell the difference, but diaper marketers aren’t advertising to babies, just to easy-mark parents.

  7. Nice job on the wall. My wife liked the old school Winnie the Pooh look so she gave me a old Winnie the Pooh wallpaper pattern and said “Do something with that.”

    I should have done like you. That looks great!

  8. Really nice trey, really nice.

    Here’s how you can do it even cheaper by omitting the tape, my brother-in-law the artist thought of this…
    He drew butterflies and flowers on transparency paper, then we borrowed an old overhead projector from church and shined the outline on the wall. Trace with pencil then paint. You can even resize by adjusting the projector.

    My two year old went spastic!

    As for diapers, here’s a tip for that. Hold off on sweets, all sweets until you’re ready to potty train. When she turned two over my four day New Year’s Holiday we rewarded dry panties with M&M’s. She would have tried to swim the Dan River for a handful of M&M’s! She was potty trained in 2.5 days. We’ll see how daughter number 2 does later this Spring.

  9. Beautiful work Trey. Gook luck with the new baby!

  10. @caleb: Yeah, we put our dog in onesies. Dig around my flickr page if you don’t believe that. I don’t think the baby without pants will fly around our house. ;)

    @christopher: I have a feeling I’ll be one of those easy marks.

    @tony: I needs some pics! Let us see!

    @dan: great call on the projector. Even better call on candy for potty training!

    @andy: many thanks – I’m already TiVoing Super Nanny, so we can’t fail ;)

  11. Congrats Trey! My girls are 28 and 33 and are a blessing.

  12. Trey – I have two wee little ladies. We used cloth diapers (fuzzi bunz) and they were awesome. No diaper rash, no nastiness and no smell – we put them in a diaper pail type thing and washed them once a week. Very cool.

    BTW – Nice to finally meet you last week in Chicago!

  13. That is hot. Congrats on the baby and the job well done.

  14. My husband and I have been wanting to do this same project in our babies room. Did you use the picture out of the Pottery Barn magazine and trace it onto the wall (using a projector)? Or did you just eyeball the tree and tape/pencil it onto the wall? I am very curious as to how it will be easiest for us to do it!

  15. @Cara – I eyeballed it. Started with the base of the tree and worked up with tape only. Took a couple of resticking sessions to make it look the way we wanted (we wanted to frame our crib with the branch and had to work around a phone jack).

    I credit my wife for being able to say “that doesn’t look right” :)

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