Week 24 – The Nesting Force Awakens…for less than $500!

In Parenting by Jenn5 Comments

I went slightly insane was finally able to indulge my nesting drive over winter break and, with Science Guy’s K’nex-honed building skills, was able to assemble a basic nursery and build our cloth diaper stash. We had already picked up a stroller and infant car seat, so theoretically if Fire Monkey arrived tomorrow, we could feed, diaper, and bathe him, and give him somewhere to sleep besides a dresser drawer. And I did it all for less than $500!

First, a few disclaimers on that last sentence. We received a lot of hand-me-down items, including a Graco ClickConnect stroller, free from friends and family. And I did almost all of my shopping on Facebook buy/sell/trade groups, so your results may vary considerably. In fact, the only thing we bought new was the infant car seat, and that was using a $100 Babies’R’Us gift card I got from the wellness program at work (a small health insurance win even though I’m not eligible for FMLA overall), so I’m not counting that in the total. There are some items that were repurposed from other areas in the house/my life, so I din’t count that either. I also spent about $100 on fabric for the nursery,

As an aside, I am now mildly addicted to B/S/T groups, for the sell aspect as much as the buying side. As part of the nesting process, I’ve been slowly purging extra items leftover from combining two apartments, and that money has been funding Fire Monkey’s gear. I suggest joining local B/S/T groups for baby gear, babywearing, and cloth diapering, if any of those fit your lifestyle.

Now that I think about it, the first thing I bought isn’t actually in the nursery at all. I picked up an Arm’s Reach co-sleeper for $50 on Facebook (retail: $175). I think we’ll give co-sleeping a try, especially in the early weeks, but if it makes us insane, we do have an alternative.


Two months ago I looked at a few cribs on Craigslist but just wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. (Clearly, I have gotten over that.) I ended up buying a new-in-box (NIB) Storkcraft Portofino convertible crib/dresser combo and glider/ottoman set from a Facebook B/S/T. I first saw the seller posting NIB baby gear for up to half off retail a few months ago, but again I didn’t feel ready to commit at that time. I was also a little skeptical because I couldn’t see why she would sell new gear for so much less than retail, and I wasn’t willing to take a chance on a car seat that had fallen off the truck or something. I did ask her and she told me that she purchased closeout or liquidation inventory from stores and resold them for a small profit. She was very open and willing to help if there were any issues, so I felt better buying anything but a car seat from her.


Good thing Science Guy played with LEGOS and K’nex a lot as a kid!

The outer carton honestly did look a bit like it had fallen off the truck, and there were some small cosmetic dings in a few of the wood pieces. But overall everything was sturdy and fit properly, and Science Guy was able to assemble it without much fuss. It’s not the fancy designer version, but it’s functional. I got both the glider and crib for $250 + $10 delivery, and they hauled both down the steps into our lower-level unit, so I’d say it was a pretty good deal. (Retail: $300+ for crib, $190 for glider)


I made the crib sheets and changing pad cover from flannel I bought during my Black Friday fabric rampage, using an easy pattern I’m having trouble finding right now.

The drawers and shelves, which are rather poorly designed to open to the back and sides of the crib, are stuffed with our cloth diaper stash, which currently numbers 17 covers, 3 snappies and a lot of dozens of cotton prefolds. (I literally lost count. But it’s at least 4 or 5 dozen in all different sizes. It may or may not last us all the way through diapering…we’ll see.) I bought all of these through a local cloth diapering B/S/T and spent $115 for all of it. Considering most covers are $10-$15 apiece retail (and I’ve seen some going for a LOT more even on resale!), I’d say I did pretty well.

Oh-Snap bins for snappies and wipes are from Thirty-One. (Originally bought for my classroom.)

The rug is a brand new, still-in-plastic IKEA TÅSTRUP, and it might be my favorite part of the room besides the Batman blanket. It retails for $50 but I got it for $30 and saved myself a 1.5-hour trip. (I probably wouldn’t have gone just to get the rug, but it really is cute.)

My cousin, who not only cloth-diapered both of her sons but made  her own covers and inserts, gave us the over-door shoe rack she used to dry her covers. So here’s a better picture of the diapers in all their cute glory. I took this picture before I got the newborn covers, so those aren’t included.


The nursery isn’t huge and I actually plan to retain part of it as my computer station, so I’ve been making the most of door and wall space. The diaper rack hangs on the door to the hallway, and I put two hanging organizers on the folding closet doors.


The big one is from Bed Bath and Beyond and was originally purchased for use in my classroom, hence the numbers. (I’m not just a lunatic.) But apparently high school sophomores can’t handle craft supplies on their own, so I took this back for Baby. Right now I’m stashing onesies and everyday clothes in the pockets. The one thing I don’t have yet is a lot of storage for clothing…the closet is currently full of a conglomerate of abandoned gear from both of us. We do have room in our dresser and plenty of plastic totes for deep storage of clothing, but I’m kind of hoping to keep Fire Monkey’s wardrobe to a minimum, only because he’ll go through sizes so quickly. Like everything else I have in mind right now, we’ll see how it goes. The left side has a travel roll-up bag from my Mary Kay days…it used to hold glamorous makeup and now it holds lanolin nipple cream. Such is life.


Below curtains is the 25+ year old couch Science Guy insists on keeping for his future man cave. It IS a very good napping couch so at least it has a function.

I also made my own blackout curtains. Who knew how cheap it was to buy blackout fabric and cotton at Joann’s? They’re not perfect since apparently my pregnant self is terrible at cutting and measuring, but they do the job just fine.

Science Guy thinks we are finished with the nursery (HAH). I did/do have to force myself to prioritize making a space that will keep baby alive, healthy, and clean before decorating. There are a few more baby projects I want to do, and I still want to clear out and organize the craft supplies and photography equipment on my side of the room, and I may be a total lunatic and rearrange the furniture for better feng shui. (Because pregnancy brain, that’s why.) But now we have a functional  and frugal nursery ready for Fire Monkey, and just 15 weeks to go!


A-minus Mama



    1. Thanks! Look around- no awful 70s hand-me-downs or dorm-room castoffs (except the couch but I lost that battle long ago). I hope I made my home styling guru proud 🙂

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