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Nursery Art

Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 18 2005

In a baby's room, sometimes the simplest touches are the sweetest. They're also the most practical, because for busy new parents, finding time to sleep -- let alone decorate a nursery -- is a challenge. The ideas on these pages will brighten the walls of your little one's bedroom and fill it with homespun charm. They're as easy as they are affordable and can be tailored to any color scheme or motif -- proof positive that when it comes to the nursery, little things truly do mean a lot. And what could be a more fitting message to surround your child with?

Framed Nameplate

What's in a name? In this case, letters made from found items, such as paint, stencils, colorful paper scraps, and vintage wood blocks. Encased in box frames, they form a one-of-a-kind nameplate.

Framed Nameplate How-To

1. Using a utility knife, cut construction paper or patterned paper to line face and sides of the frame's cardboard insert.

2. For 3-D objects, like the wooden E (a letter from a vintage sign), trim insert to reduce depth. Paint or glue letter onto paper liner. Set the insert in the frame.

Hanging Butterflies

Butterflies alight on a wall over a crib to delight baby. These pretty store-bought insects are made from feathers, though you could hang fabric flowers or any other charming notions.

Butterflies How-To

1. Removable poster putty will affix the objects without damaging the wall (we arranged the butterflies so they appear to be taking off).

2. Place decorations out of reach of babies able to stand; choose items that are lightweight and large enough not to pose a choking hazard to your baby.

Framed Fabrics

Bright fabrics in a carnival of prints add flourish to the space above a toddler's bed. It's not only the mix of patterns, colors, and textures but the variety of frame shapes and sizes that make the arrangement appealing. A display like this is a great way to breathe new life into items your child has outgrown, such as a favorite dress, her receiving blanket, or even an old crib sheet.

Framed Fabrics How-To

You'll need pre-stretched canvases from an art store and fabrics (use medium-weight fabrics; lighter ones tend to be see-through, and heavier ones are bulky).

1. Cut fabric to fit frames, leaving enough to wrap around sides, plus an extra inch all around. Use a staple gun to attach fabric to back of frame at top and bottom, pulling taut.
2. Fold corners in diagonally, as if wrapping a gift, and staple sides.

Keepsake Clothesline

A keepsake clothesline offers a fresh twist on memory-keeping, in which favorite cards, photos, children's drawings, letters from Grandma, and other sentimental treasures are displayed

Clothesline How-To

1. Run a length of 1/2-inch-wide cotton twill tape along a wall at a height that's out of reach of little hands, and, using a mallet, secure with a thumbtack every 12 inches. If tape runs over a corner, as our does, insert tacks at both sides of corner to keep it flat.

2. Clothespins make it easy to change this display to fit the season or your child's new interests. Use miniature clothespins, available in crafts stores, to hang lightweight items. (Anything too heavy for the clothespins will be too heavy for the line.)

Comments (3)

  • 25 Feb, 2011

    Please, please, please, bring back the "Baby" and "Kids" magazines! SO many wonderful ideas and activities - I miss them so and treasure the few copies I did acquire. At LEAST please publish a Special Issue now and then. Pretty please?

  • 19 Jul, 2009

    I would have liked to see a vidn n o. Is there one ?

  • 14 Jul, 2009

    Is it possible to have slightly bigger images?