Crib Notes: All American Nursery

With July 4th just around the corner, we’ve been brushing up on our history— nursery history that is. Turns out the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were probably the first generation of babies to sleep in modern day bedrooms in cribs not that much different than the ones we have today. They came of age just as rooms dedicated solely for sleeping were gaining popularity— before the 17th century every room was a bedroom, with beds functioning as couches during the daytime. Our first presidents probably slept in wooden cradles like this one, housed in the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Massachusetts. The prominent rockers and wooden hoods were the hallmarks of early colonial cribs.

Another historic American baby bed is the wicker Peregrine White cradle. Peregrine White was born on board the Mayflower in 1620, the first child born to the Pilgrims. His parents brought the cradle with them from Holland in anticipation of his birth. Its woven style was typical of Dutch cradle designs of the time and similar beds can be seen in famous Dutch paintings like this one by Pieter De Hooch.

Look familiar? Many of the Moses Baskets on the market today look a lot like the Peregrine White cradle.

Before these elaborate cradle styles appeared, the close cousins of our modern day cribs, most cradles were made from split logs with a space hollowed out for baby to sleep in. Or, for families with slightly more resources, a plain wooden box was constructed, sometimes mounted on rockers. That remained the standard for centuries. While ornately decorated, this medieval crib that once housed King Henry V is still your run of the mill box on a stand if you ignore the carved birds.

Since the 1970s there has been much progress in terms of safety and crib design. While you wouldn’t want to put your precious bundle to sleep in one of these antiques, it might be fun to hang photos like these in the nursery or ask the previous generation about the baby rooms of their childhood. Who knows what cribs will look like next century!

Decorating with Decals



Ok, we admit it. When a major heat wave hit the east coast last week, some of us may have spent way too much time watching home makeover shows in front of the air conditioner. But fess up; we know you’ve done it too.

What did we learn from our TV binge?   Wall murals are very much on trend and we are loving them, especially in nurseries—birch trees, princess castles, pirate ships, underwater scenes, you name it. But for those of us not blessed with TV’s fairy godmother designers, how can we get the same look?  Enter wall decals. The fun, colorful designs bring the same charm and personality to a nursery as a mural without having to hire a team of professional artists—plus you can find an endless selection in stores and online.  They come in large variety of sizes and styles—from helicopters and panda bears to flower gardens and fairies– as well as a range of prices. The best part is, when little Sadie decides she LOVES butterflies and HATES teddy bears, you can just peel off the old decal (no residue!) and put up a new one.

Here are some examples from our fun wall decal search:

Check out this rocking horse from weeDECOR.  He would look so cute watching over a little one’s bed.

This adorable forest-themed growth chart from Target immediately caught our eye. What a clever way to mark your child’s developments without taking a pen to your fresh coat of paint.

There are hundreds of designs available on, here are some to get you thinking.  There are many Etsy vendors that offer personalization that include your child’s name like those from JaneyVinylArt, KinkyWall and UrbanWalls.


Some of our other Etsy favorites were these gorgeous flowers and daring polka dots from UrbanWalls.

Some crib bedding companies make wall decals that go with their products like these from CoCaLo Baby. Check to see if there are decals that coordinate with your baby’s quilt.

For those open to a more hands-on project, this tutorial from Sewing for Scarlett shows you how to make darling fabric decals. Use this to incorporate patterns from your crib bedding into the greater décor of the room. Combine that tutorial with this one from What Rachel Made Today for a modern take on traditional Victorian portraiture that brings to mind nurseries of another era.

Have you seen any really interesting wall decals in the wild? Let us know your favorite designs in the comments.




Footprints in the Nursery…

One of our bloggers is majorly preggers.  While she is feeling kicks and punches of tiny hands and feet, we decided to take a look at a classic way to add a little keepsake flair to any nursery.  Infancy is such a busy, bustling time for the family … but it goes by so very quickly, so taking time to capture time is always a good idea!

Footprint and hand print art can be both beautiful and meaningful, loved and cherished as your child grows. Older children will love to compare their hands to the baby prints and marvel at how small they once were. New prints can be made each year to mark your child’s growth in a fun and creative way. The hand print quilt above from Red Envelope is a neat way to show off the prints and add a splash of bright color to the nursery.

For the artistically inclined, this tutorial on creating embroidered hand prints from MyPlumPudding is a great way to incorporate the hand print motif into your nursery but with a fresh twist. The finished product looks soft and sweet—perfect for a nursery!

For some more crafts you can make yourself, try using non-toxic fabric paint to make prints on an inexpensive throw pillow for the rocking chair. Get older siblings involved to make a special family heirloom. While you have the fabric paint out, give new life to a hand-me-down onesie by placing a brightly colored print on the front and framing it.

Plaster and clay imprints make great plaques and wall hangings. Try incorporating Mom’s and Dad’s prints into your composition for a different kind of family tree.  There are a number of kits available online for making imprints at home at a variety of price points like this one from Toys “R: Us:

Or this one from Uncommon Goods:

Uncommon Goods


If you prefer buying the ingredients yourself, check out this tutorial on making prints and molds without a kit.

No matter which way you choose to incorporate hand prints and footprints into your nursery, they are sure to bring a unique touch to your décor.  We would love to see your version – feel free to post to our FB page at or here in the comments section.

Wishing you an Inspired Nursery!