DIY nursery decor: 3 super chic and affordable projects

Preparing your home – and your heart – for a sweet new arrival will be easy with these simple and chic craft ideas for a wall hanging, swaddle, and play gym


Wall hanging 

Add texture and colour to your nursery with a woollen wall hanging.

You’ll need:
1 length 12mm dowel, saw, wool in different colours and thicknesses (we used 8-ply and 12-ply), scissors and jute twine.


1. Cut dowel to 70cm long (or your desired length).
2. Cut 1.2m lengths of wool – you’ll need the equivalent of at least 1 ball of wool.
3. Take 1 length of wool and fold it in half. Hold the looped end of the wool behind the dowel and poke the 2 loose ends through the loop to fasten the wool to the dowel.
4. Repeat with remaining wool, covering the rod except for a gap at either end.
5. Attach jute twine to the ends of the dowel rod and hang.
6. Trim ends to form a chevron shape: start at the middle strand and cut to the left on a slight diagonal. Repeat on right.

Swaddle blankets

Merino baby blankets are not only useful for swaddling but are also great to take in the pram and car or to use as a cot blanket.


You’ll need:
Mid-weight merino fabric (we used 200gsm), measuring tape, scissors, matching thread, pins and a sewing machine.

1. Pre-wash fabric with a gentle wool detergent to allow for shrinkage.
2. When fabric is dry, measure and cut out a 1m square.
3. On one edge, fold over 1.5cm and press. Fold over again, press then sew along edge with zig-zag stitch. Repeat on opposite edge, then other two edges. If you like, make a few of these blankets in complementary colours.

Baby play gym

Provide entertainment for your baby with a handmade play gym. Coordinate the decorations with your nursery decor.

You’ll need:
4 lengths pine 4cm x 2cm x 50cm, saw, sandpaper, electric drill and bits (1 the same diameter as dowel, 1 smaller), 50cm length dowel (2cm diameter), wood glue, twine/rope, felt, thread, batting, wooden beads.


1. Cut pine into 4 lengths as above. Sand off the corners and edges.
2. At one end of a length of pine, measure, mark and drill a hole for the dowel. Repeat for other 3 lengths, making sure the holes all line up.
3. Thread 1 length of pine onto either end of dowel to create the inside legs of your gym – they should be loose enough to rotate a little.
4. Apply wood glue to drilled holes of remaining pine legs and push onto each end of dowel. These will be the outside legs. Hold in place until set.
5. Mark each leg quarter of the way down and drill a small hole that will fit your twine or rope. Set legs so dowel is at desired height off the floor. Thread twine or rope through legs and knot ends to secure.
6. Drill 3 equally spaced holes through the dowel – the holes should be big enough to thread the twine or rope through.
7. Cut out 2 identical felt shapes (eg stars). Sew together around edges, leaving a 2cm gap. Stuff with batting, insert the end of a piece of rope/twine then sew closed. Repeat to make 3 stuffed shapes each on a rope.
8. Tie a knot in rope above felt shape then thread on some beads. Thread rope through dowel, thread on a bead and tie securely with a knot.

Shop the look

Furnishings and toys:
+ Aspiring cot, $199.95, from Mocka.
+ My Wild Family by William Moreau, $39.99, from Father Rabbit.
+ Sophie the Giraffe, $46, from Father Rabbit.
+ Fog Linen baby blanket, $85, from Father Rabbit.
+ Hevea duck dummy, $19.90, from Father Rabbit.
+ Ercol Evergreen armchair, $2950 for set of two and ottoman, from Good Form.
+ Speckle canvas basket, $29, from Paper Plane.
+ Effie Elephant by Citta, $39.90, from Paper Plane.
+ Basil Fox by Citta, $49.90, from Paper Plane.
+ Baby Basil by Citta, $29.90, from Paper Plane.
+ Brucie Bunny by Citta, $21.90, from Paper Plane.
+ Angulo printed cushion by Citta, $59.90, from Paper Plane.
+ Long Limbs monkey, $49.90, from Citta.
+ Tibetan lambswool hide in camel, $249.99, from Alex & Corban.
+ YH&G Seville rug, $399.99, from Farmers.
+ Foal linen cushion cover, $59.99, from Alex & Corban.

Craft materials:
+ Wall hanging wool, from $4.99 per ball, jute twine, $12.99, both from Spotlight.
+ Swaddle blanket merino fabric, from $18 per metre, from The Fabric Store.
+ Play gym braided rope, $2.44 per metre, wooden beads, $4.99 a pack, felt, $2.99 per sheet, all from Spotlight.
+ 2cm dowel, $7.73, 1.2m pine, $8.03, both from Bunnings.
+ All other items stylist’s own.

+ Wall painted in Resene ‘Alpaca’.
+ Floor painted in Resene ‘Alabaster’.

Created and styled by: Shani Luckman. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

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