“They grow up so fast,” we often hear. It’s not until our kids have passed certain milestones that we realize they do, in fact, grow so fast. It seems like when you are pregnant, time crawls at a snail’s pace because you are so anxious to meet your little person and then once they arrive, it seems like time moves in hyperdrive and before you know it, your little one is getting on the bus for their first day of school. In order to hold on just a little bit longer to those memories of babyhood, I keep trying to find ways to preserve or repurpose baby items that hold a special place in my heart. Here are a few great ways to cherish those childhood keepsakes:
Receiving Blankets Are New Again
One of the most used baby gifts we received were adorable flannel receiving blankets, but before too long, they were not necessary to use.
It is quite simple to turn these adorable flannel blankets into a rag quilt! (Of course, I had to volunteer my mom to help with this as my sewing skills are rudimentary, at best). With the help of google, I found a great tutorial on how to make a rag quilt, and so the project was born!
I recently carved out an afternoon to get working on this project and with help from the tutorial above, we completed the quilt! What is great about it is that we had enough squares to make a quilt that is likely big enough to cover his toddler bed when he takes that next step. My biggest hope for it, though, is that Andrew holds onto it and someday, he can use it with his own children or at least treasure it for years to come.
If you like this idea, but don’t have receiving blankets to make a rag quilt, you can always use some of your child’s favorite clothing items.
What to do with all those photos?!?
Linzy and I are both fans of photo books. Every year, for her daughter birthday, Linzy creates a Shutterfly photo book with pictures from the past year. On the last page, she includes a listing of favorite foods, toys, people, talents and events from the year. Not only are they fun for the parents to look through, but kids like seeing themselves in a book. Shutterfly often runs coupon codes for FREE or very inexpensive rates on their 8×8 books which make great keepsakes.
If you are more into scrapbooking, you can always create a great memento with beautiful papers, stickers and photographs handmade by you. Or, if you want a baby book with a more local flair, you can always invest in a New Orleans Moms Blog favorite, the Lil’ Squirts Baby Books that are tailored to local kids and feature all sorts of great page ideas.
Shadow Boxes and Frames
Another mom preserved birth memories of her little guy by creating a shadow box of his newborn memorabilia. A simple project, she included a sweet card, his hospital bracelet, some newborn photographs, and another bracelet in a simple shadowbox. Similarly, you can buy frames that offer a slot for baby’s newborn photo and hospital bracelet or that come with a stamp pad for preserving baby’s handprints and footprints at stores like Babies R’ Us or even Bed Bath & Beyond.
Like the shadowbox idea but don’t have small items? Another keepsake idea is to frame a favorite item of clothing that baby wore for a special occasion. Do you have a special christening gown or bonnet you’d like to display? Want to frame baby’s going home outfit? Michelle, boy mom and the blogger behind Everyday Celebrating gives a tutorial on framing a favorite outfit as a gift for a friend or just as a project for your own child.
Tiny Fingers, Toes and Clothes
Ashley, one of our founders, creates prayer hands for each birthday. For her son’s first birthday, she took handprints with paints and then included a prayer for his upcoming year. This is a very sweet and clever way to capture not only his emerging personality, but also to treasure those fleeting moments of toddlerhood.
Books to Last a Lifetime
Birthday books also make great keepsakes. Filled with topic prompts such as “party location”, “guests” and “gifts”, these books do the hard work for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks and add a few photos! And since you only have to mess with it once a year, this one is a no brainer.
Do you have a great idea for preserving or repurposing baby items? Did you create a unique craft that your little one can treasure later on? We’d love to hear your ideas, so please share!