35 Brilliant Ways To Decorate The Nursery Walls Without Painting

I am so excited for you! Decorating your baby’s nursery is truly a special time and not many people get a chance to do this. It’s a moment worth celebrating.

I am guessing you landed on this article because you live in an apartment or you are extremely limited on the number of permanent changes to make to your baby’s room.

Maybe you are just looking for out-of-the-box, fresh ideas that don’t involve painting. Whatever the situation is, I can’t wait to share my ideas with you.

I implemented some of these ideas in my baby’s nursery and they turned out so well. Who says painting has to come in the way of creating a beautiful space for your little one?

I will show you the 35 best ways to make the best baby’s nursery ever!


#1 Use confetti

Have you ever considered using confetti to decorate? Hear me out. If you have never considered it, look at it more like decals. Large round confetti can easily be stuck to the wall in a polka dot pattern or any pattern you so desire.

This idea came as I was writing this blog post and I certainly smiled because I think it’s genius! I hope you agree.

#2 Nursery Wall Decals

Wall decals are usually the first option for people who want the look without the work and cost. It’s one of the easiest ways to get really beautiful walls without the stress of wallpapering (wallpapering my son’s room took 2 full days).

You can add your personal touch to the walls and there are so many amazing designs on the market that you would hardly be able to tell that it’s not wallpaper.

It’s also incredibly easy to remove without causing any damage to your walls.

#3 Removable Wallpaper/Peel and Stick wallpaper

I absolutely love the feeling that wallpaper brings to a room especially when you choose the right kind of wallpaper. Here is the one I chose for my baby’s room. It completely changed the look and feel of the room as you can see.

I should also repeat this: It takes a really really long time to wallpaper so think about this option carefully before you decide. If you do decide to go ahead with this option, I implore you to paint the wall with wallpaper primer.

Wallpaper primer makes the removal process so much easier because it prevents the glue from soaking into the walls.

If that seems like too much work, you can get peel-and-stick or removable wallpaper. They are slightly more expensive at times but they make removal so much easier if you find the right one.

#4 Chalkboard wallpaper

When I found out chalkboard wallpaper existed, I literally squealed for joy! I had researched chalk paint, but chalk wallpaper? That just took it to a whole new level.

It is certainly one I will implement when it’s time to move my son to his big-boy room.

If you have been searching for a temporary way to decorate your new baby’s room with some hand-painted chalk drawings, the good news is you can do it with chalk wallpaper because it’s going to be extremely easy to peel it right off.

#5 Use mini pom poms

You can make a statement 3D wall by making mini pom poms and sticking them to the wall. You don’t have to be an avid DIYer to create pompoms. You just need time and motivation. Here’s a good tutorial that shows how to make them.

#6 Use Books

Have you ever thought of a book wall in the nursery? It’s a great way to decorate the walls without painting. You can arrange the books in the Home Edit’s popular ROYGBIV pattern or any pattern that works for you.

Now onto the actual shelves. If you are looking for renter-friendly floating shelves, I scoured the internet and did not find anything that won’t eventually pose a danger to you and your baby.

I suggest getting a free-standing shelf that you can anchor to the wall or just put a couple of screws in and fill them back up before you leave.

I hung our 55-inch flat screen on our apartment walls and once I filled, sanded and painted them, you could hardly tell there was ever a hole there.


#7 Washi tape

Oh, the many wonders of washi tape. You can create so many designs with them and they come in all sorts of bright colours.

If you have a lot of time to spare and want a dramatic effect that won’t ruin your walls, the washi tape is certainly for you.

You can create tiny designs or even large-sized murals in bold colours that match your aesthetic. I personally do not have the patience for washi tape but if you do, please go for it. It is so worth it!

#8 Gallery wall

Still on the subject of focal walls. You can also create a gallery wall as a focal point in the room. Gallery walls are known to elevate any space and it should be no different in the nursery.

You can choose a gallery wall based on the nursery theme or even frame items that are meaningful to you and your partner. It will be an amazing reminder of your journey to giving birth to your beautiful baby.


#9 Plant wall

Another way to bring life and colour and spruce up some boring white walls is to create a plant wall.

You could use a ledge, shelf or even command strips to hang them in any pattern you desire. Remember not to make the plants too low.

Baby is not going to be a small baby forever and once she starts walking, getting those plants into her mouth will be her number one goal. We all know how dangerous that is.

#10 Large-scale mural

This is by far one of my favourite nursery wall decor ideas because it creates such a statement. Simply stick a removable large-scale decal, there are so many options on Etsy these days. You could even create custom wall decals if the budget allows.

If you are not too worried about ruining the wall, you can easily paint the mural yourself (if you are artistic). Here is a video showing you how to do that.

#11 Polka dots

Polka dots make such a bold statement and the best part is you don’t have to be an artist to create the perfect polka dot wall- you can simply use decals.

Decals are so versatile because they give you the look of wallpaper for less and less manual labour.

You can either make the entire wall polka dot or choose a feature wall. Whatever you choose, it will look amazing.

#12 Wall Stencil

Only consider this idea if you are allowed to paint your walls. I saw this beautiful wall stencil pattern on Pinterest and completely fell in love with it.

It’s a relatively easier solution than wallpaper (although some will say that is a debatable point) If done correctly, it adds a lot of visual interest and can completely transform your baby nursery.

I highly suggest watching lots of Youtube videos before you start because nothing’s worse than painted stencils that look amateurish.

#13 Create a focal point to distract you from the wall

One really affordable way to decorate your baby’s nursery walls without painting is by creating a focal point in the room.

Now the rule for nursery layouts is to be able to see the cot from the door. How about creating a focal point on that wall above the cot with some tapestry or wall hanging?

You can also add an accent colour with some of the ideas I listed above. It will make such a big impact that you will hardly notice what’s going on with the rest of the wall.

#14 Contact Paper

I was hesitant about including this on the list but I said why not? Contact paper is perfect for the areas you can’t really see, like the back of the wardrobe.

But here’s why I thought it was perfect for this list. If you happen to have an open wardrobe or clothing storage system in your nursery.

Adding some contact paper to the back wall is such a great option and really cute too.

#15 Large wall hanging

This is the designer trick that has been used for many years and will always be a good idea. Wall hangings are one of the unique ways to elevate small spaces and distract you from the rest of the walls.

So if you don’t want to paint at all, that’s okay. Hang a large tapestry, wall art or even a rug on your focal wall and watch the entire room transform right before your eyes. You’ll completely forget about paint.

#16 Use a large mirror

I used a large mirror in my son’s room and let me tell you! It was the best decision by far! It filled the space and made the small room look bigger and my son loves to stare at his reflection.

But be sure to secure it properly to the wall so it does not drop. Baby’s safety is of extreme importance when hanging heavy things like mirrors.

#17 Lots of visual interest

You might ask, what do you mean by lots of visual interest? Well, it can mean anything to you. This is more to get you in the mindset of a designer.

Adding visual interest in a room helps your eye bounce from place to place but still have a cohesive look. Don’t overdo it though.

You could add a flower wall, bold art, a magnificent pendant light or even a bold rug.

#18 Window treatments

The window treatment you choose in your nursery design will matter to the overall look and feel of the room.

A nursery can be a lot of fun to decorate if you know how to choose the right pieces. I love the look of curtains hung from the ceiling because they add a certain grandness and length to a room.

I want you to take it a step further and create the perfect window pairing. The roman blind and curtain pairing are excellent so make it as bold or as simple as you want.

#19 Art

Art is always a good idea. You can use large-scale art to create the most gorgeous nursery or pair small pieces of art to create a focal point on the wall.

Whatever you choose, I promise that if it is done right, no one will notice you don’t have new paint on the wall.

#20 Canopy bed

This is another idea I was hesitant about including on this list because it can easily become a hazard once the baby is able to roll.

Don’t get me wrong, they look gorgeous in photos but the practicality of it is a big concern for me. You can use a canopy bed for a newborn baby but once you hit the six-month mark, it’s best to remove it.

I included this so I can present you with a myriad of options for mamas and papas who want ways to decorate and make a big impact in a nursery without painting.

#21 Clothes hook wall

This idea came to me like a vision. Imagine a wall of clothes hooks. This will be a statement wall and the hooks can be stuck to the wall with command strips.

Baby’s clothes are not heavy so the hooks should stay on perfectly until you decide to remove them.

I am so in love with this idea and I hope you like it too. No one… I mean no one will be focusing on the walls when you create such a unique statement wall like this.

#22 Paper flowers

It seems like this trend comes and goes but if you want an idea that makes a big statement, a wall of flowers is one of the really popular DIY ideas.

I’m not sure it works for a gender-neutral nursery though.

#23 Picture Ledge

A picture ledge is always a good idea in any design project. It’s an excellent way to display pictures, books and whatever you choose.

When done in multiple horizontal or vertical rows, it makes such a statement that will 100% distract you from the walls.


#24 Slatwall panels

Slatwalls are growing increasingly in popularity and whilst it’s not the most popular nursery idea out there, it can be done in a really simple and tasteful way.

An easy solution to avoid ruining your walls is to stick some contact paper to the wall before sticking the slats to them.

This makes sure that you can easily restore the room back to its original state if and when you need to.

#25 Large Installation

One excellent idea that I have not seen a lot of people implement is a large installation in the room. I promise you, if this is done well, no one would even notice the wall.

I saw this huge cardboard tree on Pinterest and thought ‘Wow, this really makes a huge statement!

If you do decide on an installation, please remember that it can be a huge distraction for baby’s sleep and more importantly, baby will have a go at it once she starts crawling.

#26 Wall lighting

I saw this gorgeous moon and cloud night light pairing on one of my Etsy scrolls. Aren’t they beautiful? Having some kind of decorative wall lighting is such a beautiful way to add extra sparkle to that cute nursery of your dreams.

#27 Flower wall

Flower walls are not just for weddings and ceremonies. You can take that idea into a nursery as well and oh what a statement it makes on the walls!

Similar to the paper flower idea, you can hang some faux flowers off a branch or even screw through the underside of a ledge.

#28 Floor-to-ceiling curtains

This might not be an idea that immediately springs to mind when you think of ways to decorate the nursery walls but it can be done in a beautiful way.

In my son’s room, I hung curtain tracks in the ceiling and I really really love the way it draws your eye up.

If you would like to use a curtain rod instead, hang them just 1-3 inches from the ceiling. You can also create more volume by using two curtain panels on each side instead of one.

It gives the room a more custom feel. I promise you’ll love this look. Play with a variety of patterns and bold colours.

You can make it the focal point or use it to complement a piece of art. Do what works best for your space.

#29 Accent wall

With all the ideas I have shared so far, you can choose to make any type of accent wall you desire. You can use slats, flowers, wall stencils, stickers and any other thing you desire. Accent walls add drama, create a focal point and can really distract from the walls if you choose not to paint them.

#30 Statement cot

I couldn’t not talk about the cot. Have you considered how investing in a statement cot with a bed skirt can really elevate the look of a nursery?

A statement cot with beautiful sheets in the right colour scheme can really make the nursery look amazing even if it’s not painted.

#31 Create a storage wall

If screwing holes and making huge changes is not a problem, you can create a storage wall.

This is especially great if your child’s room is really small and you are short on space. It also adds a decorative element when done tastefully.

#32 Use a map

As simple as this sounds, a simple largescale map hung in a nursery can completely transform the way the room looks.

It’s such an excellent choice and will spark curiosity and provide teaching moments for when your baby is much older.

#33 Toy shelf

A toy shelf has been all the rave since the rise in popularity of Montessori rooms.

Having a toy shelf in a nursery (especially if you have space) provides decor and a statement. Eventually once baby is older, she will be able to access her toys and play independently.

#34 Use Fabric

I know you might be thinking, “But I don’t want to damage the walls” I hear you. This idea is renter-friendly and will not damage your walls.

An easy way to hang fabric on the wall is by ironing it with liquid starch. Once that is dry, use some of that liquid starch on the wall to stick the fabric on. You can choose a variety of fabric patterns and this method might end up cheaper than some really expensive wallpapers on the market.

#35 Hang statement light

Lastly, a statement light. You might be thinking “But how does a statement light distract from the wall?” Oh, it absolutely does! A statement light in the right shade or colour palette that compliments the rest of the nursery will make it so cohesive.

So consider a beautiful statement light, it really does finish off the nursery.

I hope you love some of these ideas for elevating the look of your nursery even when you can’t or don’t want to paint the walls. There is so much you can do apart from putting on a fresh coat of paint. Do let me know which ideas you like the most.

Related Design Articles:

How To Turn A Living Room Into A Bedroom (6 Easy Steps)

Design The Perfect Baby Nursery That’s Functional and Beautiful

Where To Start When Decorating A Room


Hey you, I’m Torera

I am super intentional about elevating my life and home. The question I always ask is, how can we do this better? I bet you are just the same! Here’s hoping this blog becomes your go to place for relatable, fuss- free home, cleaning and entertaining ideas.