Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my! Who knew the cost of sticking a few animal-themed nursery wall decals around my baby’s room could be so pricy! While some sticker companies charge as little as (cough) $40 for a pack of tree wall decals with woodland creatures, others (like Dwell studio) will bill you $120 for some digitally reproduced canvas wall art featuring an owl in a tree. What a freaking hoot!

nursery wall decals
Nursery Ideas: Paint a tiny elephant and save big money.

Anyhoot, I’m not buying any of it. After searching around my house I came up with a few nursery decorating ideas that wouldn’t burst my kid’s fledgling piggy bank.

nursery ideas

By recycling my old Painted Stripes, Wallpaper, and Canvas Wall Art project, buying three $2 canvases from the dollar store, and using my stock of acrylic paints, I managed to spend around $10 to decorate Chloe’s baby room. Take that, insanely expensive baby industry!

Free Nursery Templates:

To help you get into the do-it-yourself spirit, I’m sharing my free nursery templates for your tracing pleasure. These are great for the nursery or for a toddler’s room. Get the older kids involved for a fun and frugal weekend project.

bunny template giraffe template
Download: Bunny Template Download: Giraffe Template
hippo template elephant template
Download: Hippo Template Download: Elephant Template
snail template bird template
Download: Snail Template Download: Bird Template
owl template nursery owl template
Download: Owl Template Download: Nursery Owl Template

Some stuff you’ll need:

canvas wall art


  • Blank canvas (cheapest at dollar stores or Walmart)
  • Paint (Washable Kids Paint is great for DIY projects too.)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stencils — Elephant, hippo, owl, snail, bunny, giraffe, or bird.
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Nursery Wall Art Instructions:

This is so easy people. I stenciled and painted three charming owls for Chloe’s nursery in one afternoon. Here’s how to get the job done!

wall decor
Owl. You Need. Is Love.: Add few fun words. Silliness is allowed.

STEP ONE: Download. Choose your favorite animal creature template. Heck, download them all. Use a printer or printing software to enlarge or shrink each template to the preferred size.

STEP TWO: Cut and trace. Use scissors to cut along the stencil lines. Trace stencil onto canvas with pencil.

wall stencils

STEP THREE: Paint. Get creative and paint some colors onto that stenciled canvas. Let dry.

owl template

owl wall art

nursery art

STEP FOUR: Hang. Hang that canvas. I asked my husband (The Carl) to use his handyman level to get each canvas straight along the nursery wall. If my hilarious owls look lopsided, it’s his fault. Yep, that’s my kid’s dresser — I use it as a change table to save money. And check out my frugal cloth diaper stash.

baby room ideas

UPDATE, UPDATE, SUPER CUTE UPDATE: You really much check out Taya’s Baby Room on a Budget over at Super cute and classy for around $450.

That’s it! What’s your frugal way to decorate a baby or kid’s room on the cheap?