Got bins of baby clothes that you can’t bear to throw or give away? Little outfits can carry sentimental value, and it can be hard to part with them. Get them out of the attic and give them new life and meaning by trying out some of these ideas.
1. Put up a display: Get in a decorative frame of mind: frame clothes, hang them up on the wall or a clothesline, use them as art. This is one of the simplest ways to repurpose baby clothes—no sewing required! Granted, this doesn’t work for large volumes of clothing, but if you have one or two special items (such as a christening gown) you can have them framed or put in a shadowbox with other keepsake items. Check out some display ideas here: http://www.kidspacestuff.com/blog/2011/09/heirloom-accessories-clothing-art/
2. Sew a quilt: Making a quilt with squares of different outfits utilizes the most pieces and creates
a special keepsake that your child can use and love for years. This can be quite the undertaking, so if you don’t have the skills or the time to make the quilt yourself, there are a myriad of services out there that will do it for you and work with you to make the quilt turn out the way you want. One mom details her quest to craft the perfect quilt and shows some examples of quilt designs at http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com/2010/09/keepsake-quilting-make-a-quilt-from-baby-clothes/
3. Cover a baby book: Ever heard of making a book cover out of an old T-shirt? You can take a basic pattern for a book cover and incorporate fabric from baby clothes to make a personalized cover for your baby photo album. (Hint: If you don’t want to make a full-size quilt, a book cover is a much smaller and more manageable project.)
4. Craft some clothing critters: One creative mom went a little on the wild side and sewed whimsical creatures cut from baby clothes and stuffed with batting. Pretty easy with a few supplies, some simple stitching, and a little creativity. See her cute critters at http://alisaburke.blogspot.com/2012/02/upcycled-baby-clothing-creatures.html
5. Put together a quiet book: A quiet book is an interactive book for children, often made of fabric. It’s called a “quiet book” because it is quiet when the pages are moved and can keep a child quiet and occupied for hours! See hundreds of quiet book page ideas on the Quiet Book blog: http://quietbook.blogspot.com/
6. Make beanbags: Another simple option—sew square beanbags from baby clothes and use them for hours of family fun. See http://www.twiniversity.com/2012/up-cycle-baby-items/
7. Repurpose as doll/toy clothes: Why buy expensive doll clothes if baby clothes will serve just as well? For example, 0-3 month-old clothing will often fit a 15-16 inch Build-A-Bear toy fine.
Rebecca Jensen is a freelance writer who loves making memories, writing about them, and finding cute and creative ways to make old things into something new. She currently writes for the handmade supplier ChristeningGowns.com.