How To:

Personalize a Boy's Nursery

Both before and after the arrival of your baby boy, one of the best ways to make his nursery feel welcoming is to find ways to personalize it. Look for artwork that features his first initial, embroider his name on blankets and decorative pillows, or frame a photo or two of you during pregnancy.

After you've chosen a theme – sports, animals or the moon and stars, for instance – find ways to incorporate your baby boy's name in fun and playful ways. Frame a personalized jersey, design a custom mural that features his portrait surrounded by colorful animal decals, or paint a star on the wall and use it to frame an initial.

Decorative stenciling can add custom elements. One or two bands of horizontal color bring plain walls to life, and you can use them as a baseline for your baby's name or monogram. Stenciling your son's name or initials over his crib adds lots of personality.

Photos are another simple tool for personalization. Choose some of your favorite brand-new-baby photos to frame, or create a more eclectic arrangement by mixing in black-and-white childhood photos of relatives.

You can use your baby's birth date to bring personalization to his room, too. Engrave it on picture frames, or spell it out with wooden blocks on a shelf. If you decide to personalize a toddler quilt now, consider clips or a rack so that you can display it until he's old enough to use it.

Don't forget to plan ahead. Keep in mind that when he outgrows his crib, you'll choose new sheeting and blankets and his toy collections will change many times over the years, but you'll want to be able to keep some of his personalized belongings as keepsakes.