Five Ways to Save Special Kid’s Clothes
We all have favorite garments that our kids wear, whether it’s the outfit they wore home from the hospital, a special hat or booties made by a friend or a T-shirt with a saying on it that we really liked.
Sure, you can just keep your collection of cherished kid clothes in a box, but there are lots of easy ways to get a little crafty with those things so you can see them or use them all the time.
Here are five ideas to get you started.
- Shadow Box
I made a shadow box of some of my favorite things from when my daughter was born, and it includes the first tiny hat I knit for her when she was in the NICU. It’s a reminder of how wee she was and it allows me to see those special things all the time.
To do this, buy a shadow box at a craft store. It works just like a deep picture frame. Use pushpins or straight pins to tack items to the back, close it up and hang.
This is a great way to display baby things, going home outfits, the first pair of shoes, etc. Add pictures, your hospital wrist band, birth announcement or anything else you like.
- Frame a T-Shirt
If you have a shirt of your child’s that you really love, you can mount it in a picture frame. You can buy a box frame for this purpose at a craft store or large retailer that sells picture frames. Mine is in a frame that’s meant to hold kid’s art.
Alternatively you could mount the shirt on a piece of painter’s canvas. Just wrap the shirt around the canvas so the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt are at the back, and pin or staple in place.
- T-Shirt Pillow
Another option for a single shirt is to make a pillow. This one will require a little sewing. Measure the shirt you want to transform and buy (or make) a pillow form about the same size, or slightly larger if you want a really puffy pillow.
Trim off the neck and sleeves. Turn the shirt inside out and sew up the top and the sides as needed. Then you can either sew about half of the bottom, turn it right side out, put the pillow form in and sew the rest of the edge by hand, or turn it right side out, put in the pillow form and sew the whole bottom seam from the outside. Because those edges are already finished it won’t fray.
- Clothing Quilt
A T-shirt quilt is a common way to preserve a lot of T-shirts, but you can do it with other clothing, too. I’ve even seen versions where, instead of cutting the garments into squares, they’re left whole and assembled crazy quilt fashion.
It’s much easier, though, to cut the garments into squares that are all about the same size. Sew them together in rows, then sew the rows together to form a quilt top.
Back with flannel or jersey, with batting between the layers if desired.
I did something similar with my daughter’s receiving blankets, turning them into a summer-weight blanket that fits her big bed (I didn’t do any backing so the seams are exposed on the back). I also sewed a pillow case out of a blanket; she loves both of them.
- Give the Clothes to a Doll
A few years ago, I bought a flower girl dress at a Rhea Lana’s sale for my daughter to wear to a princess party. It became a favorite dress up outfit, but it doesn’t fit any more.
She still loves it, though, so she decided it needed to go to one of her teddy bears.
Baby clothing often fits dolls and bears without much alternation, but it’s pretty easy to sew seams along the sides of a shirt or dress if you want to make it a little smaller.
Or if you have more sewing skills you can cut up a shirt or dress and use the fabric to make something new for a doll that will still remind you of the clothes your child wore.
Finding ways to use old clothes is a lot of fun, and it allows you to keep those special memories close rather than closed up in a box. If you have other ideas for using old clothes in crafty ways, I’d love to hear about them!
Sarah E. White is a crafter, knitter, blogger and mom in Arkansas. She writes about knitting for About.com and CraftGossip.com and writes about crafting with and for kids, creativity for moms and other busy people and creating the life you’ve always wanted on her blog Our Daily Craft. She likes to make things with her five-year-old daughter as often as possible.