Putting together your little tyke’s nursery is one of those experiences you dream of: what will it look like, what beautiful, intensely meaningful objects will you fill it with? You create gigantic Pinterest boards bubbling over with acrylic cribs, handwoven wool carpets, mobiles that look more like pieces lifted from MoMA than they do like something that will at all interest the decidedly un-wrinkled little brain of your fresh, raw human. But then that person explodes out of your depths like a victorious Aphrodite from the [literal and figurative] clam, and you get that hospital bill [god save your husband if he is dumb enough to ask if that $2,000 epidural was really necessary], and your Pottery Barn Kids dreams fade away, leaving you wondering if WalMart makes an abstract surrealist acrylic baby mobile [spoiler alert: they don’t].
Mama, I know that feel! I envisioned my son’s nursery as this creepy-cool oasis brimming with crystals and moon phase charts, deep indigos and oxbloods, rich textures like rattan, fur and velvet, and heirloom-worthy wooden versions of the primary-colored borscht that is today’s baby gear. But as I started compiling my wish list [IKEA-hacked dresser? Doable. $300 macrame window treatment? Probably not…], I started to realize that many of those quality heirloom pieces were just not in the budget- starting with the ubiquitous, desperately Instagrammable handwoven elephant grass changing basket with leather handles I romantically imagined changing shitty diapers on. Clocking in at $110 before the $20 shipping fees, the original is beautiful but…well let’s just say, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that changing basket money.
Never fear, though, readers! You, too, can be peed on in style [and for a lot less $$$]. I’ve hacked that beautiful hit of texture and luxury for you, so follow our step-by-step guide to give your newborn the finest genital-wiping experience this side of the velvet ropes [because he’s worth it. Just not $130-worth-it.].
- Wicker basket [we used this one from Hobby Lobby, which is currently on sale]
- Poly foam pad
- Hot glue gun and sticks
- Leather trim
- 1 yard faux fur or other fabric
- Kraft paper, parchment paper, or newspaper- anything that is super-pliable and wide and long enough to cover basket
- X-Acto knife
- Place paper of choice inside of basket and trace the outline of inner perimeter to create a template.
- Place template on top of foam pad and use the X-Acto knife to cut through both along your traced line.
[Be sure to put cardboard or a fancy silicone X-Acto knife pad under your work or kiss your security deposit goodbye!]
Once you are done, you should have a perfectly sized foam oval that fits snugly inside your basket.
- Lay basket on top of fabric. Cut fabric so that it is approximately 2” longer/wider than basket on all sides. It is not necessary to cut fabric in an oval; if your basket is 22” long and 17” wide, just trim it to 26”x 21”, etc.
- Remove foam padding from basket and wrap fabric [fur or design side out] around foam. You won’t be securing it with anything because the fabric-wrapped piece of foam should fit tightly enough inside the basket to prevent it from moving- and you’ll likely be removing it frequently in order to wash it [the poo struggle is so real, you guys].
- Replace fabric-wrapped foam into basket, tucking any excess fabric down and under until you have a smooth surface.
- Heat up your hot glue gun. Cut a 3-5” length [depending on your preference] from the leather trim spool and hot glue the long edge of it to the underside of the basket handle. When dry, pull trim over and back under the other side of the handle until it overlaps slightly onto the other side. Cut lengthwise at this point and hot glue free long edge in place.
- Repeat on second handle.
- Place on your changing table or IKEA Hemnes dresser [because let’s be real: every nursery has one]. Secure your basket to the wall or dresser with anchoring kit of choice.
- Enjoy a trendy diaper changing experience for ~$50. Use the $80 you saved on Peepee Teepees and Desitin.