Colorful circus gender neutral nursery for baby Peanut – The reveal!

I've shared a most of the nursery projects I worked on already, so most of you have an idea of the theme I was going for but just in case you are just now reading this post, here a little background:

The inspiration for this nursery came from my personal love for carnivals, circus and animals =] from the beginning we knew we wanted to keep the sex of our little peanut a surprise, we wanted a theme that was gender neutral, modern and very colorful, so Circus fit perfectly!

We worked on a budget and DIY most of the elements, the room that we started with did not have lights besides a very small one right next to the entry door, so my husband and father-in-law worked on adding can lights, book shelves and closet. I was in charge of the smaller projects and I have to say that my favorite was the elephant lamp. But the most meaningful has to be the bathroom door, I painted a section of North America and South America and added hearts to where Santiago, Chile and California, USA are in the map so we can show our little Peanut where Mom and Dad are from =]

Below you can see him in my favorite onesie smiling at the hot air ballons, I can't believe how fast he is growing!

The very last project I worked on for the room was the cardboard name sign on top of the crib, since we didn't know the sex of our Baby, I waited until after delivery, I had already set a side a big box that I was planning on using, but that same week I had planned to start with the sign my Cousin send us the tall giraffe, so I used that box instead, which allowed me to make the sign a lot bigger than my initial plan.

I have to warn you all that this is a very photo-heavy post, it was too hard to pic fewer photos because I felt that they will not make justice to the room, so here you go! lots and lots of photos plus the details of the room, elements and and organized list of all the resources and tutorials/post I did for for the nursery after the jump!

For the bench I used an Ikea bookshelf added some legs and made a cushion for the top. We also used Ikea bin containers and I painted circus numbers using freezer paper to make my templates. I wanted to have different color bins with each number but they only carried 2 colors when we bought all of the nursery Ikea Items, so we just went with the solid green.

My father in law build the custom bookshelves, he painted them in the same wall color so that they could blend and have the books as the main center of attention. And since we kind of expect Peanut to be a little wild, he permanently attached them to te wall, so they can survive once our baby is big enough to pull and try to climb.

I used my pregnancy update pictures taken for my baby diary-blog and made a little collage, I really wanted to use the pictures someplace in the nursery, that's why I choose to wear very bright color t-shits for each update.

Ken painted the inside of the closet a very bright Orange and he installed a can light on the inside so it's easier to search for stuff, I have white bakets that I am planning on using in the closet, but I still have to make liners for them, so the plastic shoeboxes do it for now.

Baby Peanut loves the room, I like to turn our K light when it's dark and he loves it! but he's favorite item of the room is the hot air ballon mobile, he can stare at it for hours! well actually less than that, he gets tired of the same thing pretty fast =]

We all love the room so much! I feel so relaxed there, even though it's very bright and colorful. The nursery is definitely everyone's  (Including Curly) favorite room in the house.




  • Chair and footstool – Ikea Poang (found on Craiglist – $20) – Recovered
  • Dresser – Ikea Aspelund – $179
  • Toy bench – Ikea: Expedit, Capita legs and Drona bins – $84 using Ikea family discount
  • Watercolor animal prints – trafalgarssquare on etsy – $38 using a 50% discount coupon
  • Crib – Craiglist find – $60
  • Rug – The home depot – $80
  • Dumbo stuffed animal – Ebay – $19
  • Side table: Hemnes nightstand from Ikea
  • Gigant Bear stuffed animal – Costco – $29.99
  • Wall paint – Behr Ultra – Quietude (770E-1) and Pewter Mug (770E-3)
  • Closet paint – Behr Ultra – Fireglow (200B-7)
  • Closet system –Closetmaid system – The home depot – $89
  • Closet boxes – Whitmor 6071-1723 Four Storage Cubes, White – leftovers from my sewing room
  • Bookshelves – DIY by father-in-law
  • Giraffe stuffed animal – Family present
  • Rainbow wishes print over the dresser – Now avaliable in my Esty Shop
  • crib bedding, changer cover, boxes in changing table, curtains and all fabric projects were handmade by yours truly =]

PROJECTS (Projects & tutorials shared on the blog)

I am so excited to finally share this room with all of you! after all is the only room in the house I can call FINISH! Next up is my office but I am not sure when I would finally finish all the last details, right now I am enjoying this little baby as much as possible =] and I'm trying to catch up on sleep, because he definitely likes to party at night and I have a hard time sleeping when he's sleeping.

Let me know if there is anything I am forgetting to source, and if you'd like me to share any other particular project.
I hope you all have a lovely day!

>>>>>>> EDIT <<<<<<<

Now I also added one of my favorites prints from my shop to the nursery =]




About Joy

Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop

109 replies
    • Joely Flegler
      Joely Flegler says:

      This is one of the cutest nurseries I’ve ever seen! It makes me happy just looking at it!! Wonderful job and I love the “K” marquee light-up letter!

    • Sarah
      Sarah says:

      I’ve been searching for inspiration but have yet to find something that had the same colors and uniqueness. And I’m SOO glad I found your website, it has everything I ever wanted! Love the chevron stripes on the drawers and the bookshelf! oh I just LOVE it!!!

  1. Katie
    Katie says:

    This is my first time commenting, I’ve followed you since your weddingbee days. But I just have to say you did an absolutely fabulous job on the nursery! I love every single detail! And the book corner, I love love love that idea!

  2. jessica lynn
    jessica lynn says:

    I absolutely love what you guys did and can’t wait to read more about it. I’m on pins and needles to hear about the map on the door. I need one with America and Italy since our little girl will be born here!

  3. Kim of The Made Thing
    Kim of The Made Thing says:


    You are a fantastic decorator, designer, idea maker, and, of course, mother.

    This is so beyond words!

  4. Del Marie Riley
    Del Marie Riley says:

    Oh so amazing!! I love that daddy and grandpa helped too making it a family affair. You are very talented. Peanut is one lucky fellow. This is a room he can grow with. Can’t wait to hear more about your projects. Thanks for sharing.

  5. K @ Shift Ctrl ART
    K @ Shift Ctrl ART says:

    Such a pretty room. I love it! I remember dreaming of an over-sized giraffe in my son’s room when he was little. It makes me kind of happy to see that you get to realize that dream for someone else 🙂 I love the tie on the elephant. So awesome! I am in love with the huge name sign with the e shared! Great detail!

  6. Marissa
    Marissa says:

    Joy, Connor’s nursery is gorgeous + filled with so many lovingly made details! The map, lit “K” + balloons are a few of my favorite features. You’re incredible!

  7. Brooke
    Brooke says:

    This is an OUTSTANDING nursery. Better than I’ve seen anywhere else on the internet! You really outdid yourself. Baby Conner is such a lucky lucky boy.

  8. Szillili
    Szillili says:

    Absolutely adorable! I was waiting for the big reveal and congratulations, you did it again. Your love shines through all the sweet details and diy projects. I really love your blog and hope you will continue.
    Wish for you and your lovely family all the best in life!
    Hugs from Hungary,

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you so much Szillili =] I am so happy you enjoy my blog! and I feel so flattered you come visit me all the way from Hungary 😉 XO

  9. Melanie G
    Melanie G says:

    It’s so beautiful! I love that Elephant Lamp too…perfection. Thank you for sharing it!

  10. Andaira
    Andaira says:

    La verdad es que te ha quedado una habitación de lujo!!! preciosa…..no le falta ningún tipo de detalle….me gusta el detalle del cojín (la almohada), con la fecha de nacimiento….el detalle del mapa en la puerta indicando dónde se encuentran los abuelos maternos (tu país, claro)y los paternos y vosotros, me encanta la imagen del mes a mes de tu embarazo…..la zona de descanso y lectura…está todo tan aprovechado y tiene hasta el mínimo detalle…..ENCANTADOR!!!
    Te felicito y disfruta de todos los minutos que puedas de tu hijo…..

  11. Rosario
    Rosario says:

    Te quedo lindisima!! estaba esperando con hancias que postearas la pieza de baby Peanut! y la espera no fue en vano, todo esta lindisimo, los detalles son hermosos y tan sentimentales, hiciste un trabajo genial! Mil felicitaciones y como otros han dicho- yo tambien estaria feliz con un cuarto asi!

  12. Diane | An Extraordinary Day
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day says:

    Oh my goodness!!! This is the most wonderful child’s room that I have seen in a long time. Your attention to detail is amazing. So much fun! Pure delight! Congratulations on your little Conner! And on a well-done FINISHED room!! Yay!!!

  13. Morgan
    Morgan says:

    Everything about this nursery is just beautiful. I am blown away, but of course, would expect nothing less from you! Just amazing, and I can just imagine all of the wonderful times you’ll share in this happy little room with your son!

  14. Catalina
    Catalina says:

    No puedo creer que recién vengo a darme cuenta de que eres chilena, y solo fue por la polera de tu hijo (que es adoraaaable). La pieza quedo preciosa, me encanto, me encantan tus trabajos, y me encanto el trabajo de la lampara de elefante.

    Me encanta tu blog, los tutoriales son muy buenos, saludos y felicidades.

    (veo un papelucho en la repisa!)

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Claro que si!! =] que bueno que ahora sabes que soy Chilena, Papelucho era uno de mis favoritos cuando chica asi que le tenia que agregar uno a la biblioteca de Peanut =] Un saludo grande y visita denuevo!

  15. Marcia (123 blog)
    Marcia (123 blog) says:

    This is the most gorgeous nursery ever! Both relaxing and colourful.

    YOu did a fantastic job (as always) – I’m amazed at your talent, Joy.

    I love that print you have “say I love you” – where did you buy it? If you made it, is it available for sale?

  16. Lea
    Lea says:

    beautiful nursery! as always you did a fabulous job with your creativity! Congratulations on that beautiful boy!

  17. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    Amazing nursery, I can’t believe its all DIY – well I’ve followed you since wedding planning with Joy so yes I can 🙂 My favorite parts: the elephant lamp, the door map, and Mi Libro de Historias Biblicas!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Vanessa, that’s so awesome that you’ve follow me since those days!! Thank you for sticking around

  18. everkelly
    everkelly says:

    Every square inch of this room is covered in love. What a lucky, lucky little one you have! I am in awe. 🙂

  19. Candice
    Candice says:

    Amazing job! We are also waiting to find out about the sex of our baby! What about the teal elephant diaper organizers? Love those!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you Candice =] I actually sewed those myself, I didn’t do a tutorial because I forgot to take pictures, maybe I will add it to my “possible tutorial” list for the future =]

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you Ria! I am working on finishing the post about the K marquee right now so it should be up this week =]

  20. Sewing Princess
    Sewing Princess says:

    Me encanta lo que hiciste! Es realmente precioso. Y lo que más me encanta es que lo hiciste todo vosotros. Genial!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Muchas gracias!! nos encanto el proceso de hacer todo nosotros, hace que el cuarto se sienta mucho mas personal =]

  21. Alzex
    Alzex says:

    you are probably in top 5 moms in hole world. your son is very lucky kid. this is the most beautiful room that i ever seen. every peece of furniture have a heart and soul.

  22. Michele
    Michele says:

    Do you have a tutorial or pattern for the bed skirt and diaper organizers. I would love to make my own. And can you share where your little side table is from next to the reading chair?


  23. Meg
    Meg says:

    I LOVE the name sign! And we just happen to still have our giant crib box 😉 How did you cut it out? General scissors or box cutter? I’m already doubting my box cutting skills.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Meg, I have a post coming explaining in details how I made the sign, I used an X-acto knife and lots of patience to cut =] The post should be up in the next couple of weeks 😉

  24. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    Hi, I just love this nursery and all the color!! My favorite detail is the map as my husband is really into geography. Can I ask the breed of your dog? He is very cute!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Kathryn, my dog is a Poodle mix but right now he needs a haircut very bad and I dont like the “Poodle haircut” – it’s way too girly for my teste since he’s a boy (Curly is his name) so for now he looks kind of like a sheep lol

  25. Janet
    Janet says:

    I would love to know what you used to make your “bumper pads” for the crib. What sort of fabric is it that stands on its own but has no padding…?

  26. Rebekah
    Rebekah says:

    What is the storage system in the closet? Holding the clear shoeboxes. When I click through to cloestmaid it brings up the rack above it. Incredible room, you have some amazing ideas! If only I had as much skill.

  27. Lindsey
    Lindsey says:

    Where did you find the grey and white chevron fabric? I’ve been looking for the exact same fabric. Awesome nursery btw!!

  28. Audrey
    Audrey says:

    Are you kidding me right now? This is literally the most well done, creative, precious thing I’ve ever seen. I love it! Wonderful job, and congrats on the new addition!

  29. Monica
    Monica says:

    This nursery is beautiful! We are currently working on decorating ours and we didn’t find out the gender either! I’m wondering where you got those maps for the back of the door? I am doing a globe, travel theme in our nursery and would love a map of South America for the wall. Again, drooling over this nursery! Congrats on your little man!

  30. anri
    anri says:

    WOW. This is hands down probably the most beautiful nursery I’ve ever seen. Just wow.
    Stunning work – thanks for sharing and so happy your little peanut loves his room, too! 🙂

  31. Leah
    Leah says:

    What a fabulous concept for a nursery It’s an amazing room. I love how you painted on the green boxes in the bookshelf – can you explain how you did that as I would love to do something similar in my nursery? Thanks!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Leah,

      I used my silhouette machine to cut a freezer paper stencil and then iron it to the un assembled baskets, used fabric paint and a thin brush =] it was a lot of work but so worth it!

      Hope that helps =]

  32. Dee
    Dee says:

    Stunning, so much attention to detail. I generally love circus themes because theyre so playful! and you couldnt have done it more perfectly. Hats off!!

  33. Graciela
    Graciela says:

    Felicitacion! excelente trabajo, he quedado encantada con esta habitacion y creo que copiare algunas cosas!

  34. jacky Rivera
    jacky Rivera says:

    Hola Joy,

    Wanted to know if you sale the Chile/America Love onesie? Or where you bought it? I would like one for my daughter. My husband is from Vina Del Mar, Chile and I’m American 🙂

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hola Jacky!

      Actually that was a shower present from one of my best friends, but I have no idea where she got it, when I asked her she told me that “she found it on the internet” hehe

      So awesome to find more Chileno/Norteamericano babies =]
      I hope you have a lovely day!

      Joy –

  35. Simran
    Simran says:

    Where did you get the elephant soft toy from which is in the crib? I LOVE your nursery.. it’s beautiful!

  36. Linda
    Linda says:

    Wow! What an adorable room! Where did you ever find the cute elephant fabric used on the storage bins on the changing table? Totally so cute in all detail!

  37. Lyndsey
    Lyndsey says:

    Hi, I linked to here from Pinterest….. I adore the nursery you created for your little boy. I am about to start working on a toddler bedroom for my son. I already have the same ikea drawer chest that you have…. I was wondering if you would tell me how you gave it it’s chevron pattern on the drawer fronts?


    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Lindsay, that’s actually fabric that I added to the panels using Mod Podge, I also used the non sharp side of a knife to really shove the edges inside the fold of the wood, it has been a year and there is not a peel or scratch on the dresser, so I love it! =]

      I hope this helps!

  38. Wanda Marti
    Wanda Marti says:

    I love everything about your nursery, you’ve truley done a splendid job! The map, awesome idea. The elephant lamp, OMG! I could go on & on, but I think your absolute best is, and I’m sure you’ll agree, is Conner Mateo ;). Thank you for sharing your ideas. Stay Creative & Joyful!
    W. Marti

  39. Melodie
    Melodie says:

    Hi Joy
    I was looking at buying a Poang chair for my nursery and wondered if you were happy with yours. Is it comfortable? Does it work well for nursing? Is it easy to get out of holding a baby? I would love any of your thoughts.


    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Melodie!

      I actually LOVE my chair, I tested the rocking version of the Poang versus the one I end up getting and for my height it worked beautiful, I didn’t nursed there much because I had flow problems so I had to nurse laying down, but the little I did, it worked very good =]

      Hope this helps you!!

      Joy –

  40. Tessie
    Tessie says:


    i just printed the file that have and i was wondering about the sizes of the air balloons. It seemns to me that “size” 1 is quite big (21.5 cm), and i wanted to ask you if this is the size or have i done something when i printed it. From the pictures they look smaller.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Tessie,

      The template I provide is for a letter size paper so if you printed on that paper at 100% scale, it’s the right size =]

  41. Candice
    Candice says:

    You crib bumper-did you assemble the whole thing or did you just add the edging to an existing bumper…love the breathability and how light it looks

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Candice,

      I bought a breathable bumper, pull it apart and replaced the binging, it was a lot of work but it looks much much better =]

  42. Monet
    Monet says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous!!!! I am so in love and wish I was as creative as you. We live in Manhattan so as you can imagine our bedrooms are small. What were the dimensions of this room?

  43. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    I LOVE this nursery! You did such an amazing job!
    Was wondering where did you find the crib sheets? Or did you buy them from a fabric store and make them yourself?

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    Valentina says:

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  45. Myaela
    Myaela says:

    I know this is WAY after the fact, but do you happen to know about how much fabric you used to do the edging on the breathable bumpers? I’m thinking of doing that for my little one’s nursery and want to make sure I order the correct amount of fabric since I’ll be buying online. Also, did you sew your fabric over top the original edging or did you remove the original edging and then sew on yours? Thanks!

  46. Jamie H
    Jamie H says:

    Just was wondering where you got the Mi Libro de Historias biblicas for little Conner?

    • Katie
      Katie says:

      In this amazing nursery, that’s what stood out to me. It’s a book published by Jehovah’s Witnesses and you can ask any of them for a copy, free of charge. Or go to jw.org and download a digital copy for free. It comes in many different languages.

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