Babies are adorable, wonderful, beautiful—and expensive. As anyone who’s had a baby can tell you, that bundle of joy comes with a bundle of bills, so it’s important that you remain conscious of your budget even before baby arrives. If you’re designing your nursery, it’s easy to get carried away when looking at all the beautiful nursery décor out there. Of course, you might hope that some baby shower gifts will help to offset the costs of your newborn, but it’s still a good idea to follow these tips for designing a budget-friendly nursery.

Don’t Shy Away from Used Items

As you’ll soon find out, your precious baby isn’t little for very long—and the same is true of everyone else’s babies too. That means all that nursery furniture will only get a couple of years of gentle use before it’s time to purchase something new, leaving a lot of lightly used nursery furniture on the market. Check thrift stores, garage sales, and online private listings to find used changing tables, rocking chairs, and nursery décor. You’ll be surprised how close to new a lot of that furniture is.

Look for Pieces That Last

While you can’t keep your baby little forever, you can make smart purchasing decisions that will keep your baby from outgrowing their nursery furniture too quickly. For example, instead of purchasing a standard crib, considering purchasing one that can be converted into a toddler bed when they outgrow the crib phase. Instead of purchasing only a basic changing table, purchase one that has drawers and can be used as a dresser even after they’re out of diapers.

Additionally, look for pieces that are more classic in their design. While baby animal prints are adorable, they don’t really grow with your child. Make sure your bigger purchases are simpler and more neutral and save the nursery-specific prints for smaller items, such as bedding and curtains, that are less expensive to replace.

Get Creative with Storage

You’ll be surprised just how much stuff a baby needs—and just how much space that stuff can take up. Larger storage pieces, such as bookshelves or toy boxes, can be expensive. So, get creative. Buy a few cute baskets that you can leave on the floor or slide onto shelves in the closet. If you’re feeling really creative, you can even cover cardboard boxes with a cute, coordinating fabric to make your own storage bins—and use up that endless supply of diaper boxes you’re about to have!

Make What You Can

Speaking of getting creative, take some time to think about what you can make for your baby’s nursery. Instead of purchasing those cute graphic prints, could you make some yourself? Could you make your own mobile instead of buying that expensive one? If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could make your own curtains, crib skirt, and even crib sheets! Use your talents (or learn a new skill!) and make what you can for your baby’s nursery. It’ll save you a few bucks and probably help take the edge off that nesting instinct you’re feeling right about now. With a little creativity and forward-thinking, you can create a beautiful nursery without breaking the bank. Of course, your baby shower registry should lend a helping hand, so be sure to add some nursery décor there as well. If you’re looking for other items most people forget to add to their registries, check out Baby Merlin Company’s top baby shower gift ideas for inspiration!