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The Pinterest Trap

Do you follow me on Pinterest? Don’t worry if you don’t. I realize not everyone gets Pinterest. Just the other the day the BFF says to me “Yes, but what do I do with it?” As if the act of collecting other people’s ideas, images, hacks, decorating schemes, clothes, recipes, sayings, memes, and pictures of cats some how wasn’t actually doing something. Pah-shaw.

A trio of items already owned that will make it into the baby room. Bookshelf, lamp, and fox. Although, the fox may have been a Christmas request with a specific purpose in mind.

Lucky me. I do get it. Online pin board. Pin your interests. I’ve always loved me a real life pin board. Pinterest is the online, instant gratification, manifestation of that love of collecting. And wanting. Pine-ing, even. Pine-terest?

See iffen you did follow me on this particular form of social media, you may have noticed I’ve gone a little bat shit on the baby front. Specifically in regards to baby living quarters and shower. Because my brand new baby is going to place a high priority on what the room where they get their diaper changed looks like. And I definitely get to plan my own shower. No. False. Notice that’s not stopping me. I keep pinning.

The story goes a little something like this. In talks about showers and nurseries (I don’t actually like that word), someone (actually many ones, I think) asked me about a ‘theme’. Theme!?! I don’t need a theme! Our theme will be sleeping and waste management. How’s that sound? Quickly followed by “Ermagawd, I need a theme!”. Off to the races I go. Noodling, brainstorming, and yes, pinning away.

Now, some people are good pinners. Katy Wolk-Stanley comes to mind. The non-consumer herself, she focuses on frugal hacks, manageable DIY projects, and just plain inspiration. I, on the other hand, I get a wee bit caught up. See pinning might not actually be (ahem) doing anything. But, for me, it feels remarkably like making a to-do list. Of things I need to accomplish. Now. Accomplish meaning buy, prepare for, do right damn now. I click through pins to etsy stores. To artists I can email about commissions. To lists of things my baby needs. Purchases I didn’t even know were so vital to my existence. Let alone my unborn child’s. I start to reprioritze them into the 2013 goals and fake budgets. I make on-going adjustments to my baby registry. It all feels so damn important.

Some of this is practical. If we use shower and nursery (gag) decorations already to be found around my house (owls? vintage? woodland anyone?) not only will I have on-hand supplies, but it will be easy to incorporate them back into said house when they are (quickly) no longer baby appropriate. Well, that makes sense. Adding to the cache of that stuff in a big way to fill a room for an infant, or better yet, a glossy photo shoot that won’t happen (except in my mind’s eye) that’s less sense right there.

If we use Pinterest as our view of the world, then many, many bloggers apparently photograph the hell out of their beautiful baby rooms. They use swatches. They buy thousand dollar rocking chairs (no, really). Let us remember (by us, I mean me), I am not that blogger. More importantly, I will not be that mommy. My kid is more likely to have a savings account at birth (true story, I’ve got plans) than designer furniture. This is an exercise in conscious consumerism. What can’t be found used will certainly be found locally. And, we aren’t talking Big Box. What can’t be found locally, will still be made or purchased from real people. An excuse to spend is an excuse to put your priorities into action.

I’m not saying to stop with the pinning. I’m not even saying I’ll stop. I am saying, don’t treat it like I do. Don’t get caught up in the pretty pictures. In the have-to’s. In the lists. In the glossy magazine-ness of it all. We’ve all got plenty of Joneses to keep up with. The internet need not provide anymore. Don’t let it feed the consumerism beast, when in fact it should do just the opposite. Provide fodder to re-use what you’ve got, to cheaply hack your way through that project and still keep it beautiful, to surround yourself with those who are doing the same. I’ll keep my pin boards of pretty pictures. I just need to remember to look at them a little differently.

What websites give you a case of the gimmes? That sinking gotta-have-it feeling. How do you combat it?

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I love Pinterest, but I don’t pin things I want to buy specifically, or outfits, etc. I pin a lot of recipes, how-to’s for gardening or crafting, and other things I think I can make, some of which would require buying something, but not always.

My take on baby room decor is: you’ll probably be spending a lot of time in there, possibly more than most other parts of your house for awhile, so it should be attractive to you, because being in a nice space is good for your soul. There is something to be said for having a bit of visual stimulation for baby’s eyes though.


Good rules of thumb in both cases. Limited what you pin, and making baby room more pleasant due to time spent. And I’m a big believer in visual stimulation for babies.


I 100% understand. I’m graduating high school this May, and I have probably spent 8 hours watching dorm room tours, dorm room hauls, what to bring, and advice to incoming freshmen. I peaked somewhere in those 8 hours when I went from feeling prepared, to feeling scared. Now I’m watching them again… It is like a vicious cycle.


Oh the dorm room. Yeah, I can see how that’s a slippery slope. So many organizational options and lists. There’s a pinterest trap for every phase of life!


I too, have suffered from pinterest-itis in recent months (for the same reason as you). And believe me, my ‘baby stuff’ board is chock full of stuff that I thought was neat, DIY stuff that I could do, and the obvious stuff that I will never get or use. BUT….I actually did use a lot of those pins for our ‘nursery’ ideas that eventually panned out to something pretty cool. And as Anne said, you are going to be spending a LOT of time in that room whether you want to or not… it might was well be something that you enjoy looking at and being in. Yeah, the baby might not care, but at 4 in the morning, a nice wall color, a comfy chair and a cool nightlight make a huge difference.

If it makes you feel any better, we spent ZERO dollars (except paint, which was subsequently discounted because the checker gave it to us as a ‘baby gift’) on said baby room. Furniture was all second hand or found extra around the house, decorations were DIY, and everything else was either given to us, or made for us. You’d be surprised at how thrifty you can actually be with that stuff.

Good luck, and I seriously can’t wait to see what you come up with. I’m sure it will be vintage and awesome!! (Ps….you can find REALLY cool stuff for a vintage boys room at antique stores…old toys/trucks/industrial stuff is all over the place)


Ah, the nursery. I have it *easier* this time around because I already have all the big furniture, and since we’re having another boy, we’re keeping them in the same room. And we never called it the nursery, we called it [Baby Name’s] room. Pinterest did not exist when I was decorating #1’s room initially, which probably explains why I’m still not happy with that room three and a half years later, hahaha. We were fortunate: my dad made the crib, the dresser is actually my old dresser from when I lived at home, and the changing table was gifted. We only bought a rocker. Baby doesn’t care if anyone has slept in it before, so as long as it’s safe and clean, there’s no problem with going used. We bought a can of paint.

I do Pinterest in spurts. Like last night, after reading your blog post, I was like, I should go on Pinterest and look at baby stuff, too! So I did, and from there I went to DIY wall art and now I have 500 new pins. But I might not remember to go back for a few weeks. In order to break the cycle of pinning without action (PWA, if you will), I did make a baby record for #1, since I never got around to that, based on some power point instructions I found and I’m super happy with the result. I just need to print and frame it. And then make another one for #2 when I know more about him. There’s so many great cheap ideas on Pinterest, I don’t know how we got by without it.


Everything Cassadega said.

This nursery (& future kid’s room) is part of your house! Why wouldn’t you want to decorate it with your own aesthetics? The “nesting” phenomenon is totally true throughout the mammal species. Normal! Go for it!

Maybe Pinterest gives you a case of the crafties and thrifties, instead of the gimme’s. Also, registries are there for a reason! This is what pregnant ladies do!

Also, these are not just blogger’s pictures of their own $1k rocking chairs. These are also pictures from home decor magazines & decorators who take pictures of a $1k rocking chair “donated” by the manufacturer :)

As far as consumerism, my gimmes get way worse than yours:

I raise your $1k rocking chair with $1k panties 😉 Dummmm, dumb dumb dumb! But, pretty.

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