Thursday, June 10, 2010

CRAFTASTIC: Baby Clothing Art

I have a huge container in Gabrielle and Alaina's closet full of clothes that they've outgrown.  My husband looks at it and thinks "Hoarder!" and while I will admit that I can be a pack rat, I've been good about giving away most of the things that no longer fit them.  But this container is filled with the pieces that have sentimental value, like the first outfits they wore in the NICU when they were barely 3 pounds.

And the onesies they wore on their first Valentine's Day.

And the adorable tees they sported for their holiday photos this year.

I could go on and on.  I've been holding onto them to make a quilt for the each of the girls but who am I kidding?  A quilter I am not.  Eventually, I'll probably pay someone to make them for me (maybe a few years from now when I can include their outfits from the first day of school, etc.) but in the meantime, all of those clothes are collecting dust.  Until now!  My hubby was out of town so I decided to attempt a different type of craft project with them and I'm pretty proud of the results.  In just a few simple steps, what started out as a collection of tees and onesies:

Was transformed into art!

They're cute, right?  The best part is that they're so so easy to make.  Here's what you need:

1.  Different sized wooden embroidery hoops.  I happened to have these five from my cross-stitching days so that's what I used.

2.  Paints and brushes. I used samples we had lying around from when I was planning the girls' nursery and foam brushes just because I like those.

3.  Whatever clothing you want to work with.  That's it!

The how to is pretty straightforward.  First, paint the outer rings of each hoop.

Then, let them dry for at least 30 minutes (I waited longer to be safe.  Actually, I tuned into the Glee finale and forgot about them so it was about an hour).  I laid the hoops out on wax paper and used the inner circle to prop the painted ones up and keep them from sticking while they were drying.

Timesaving tip:  You can actually skip the painting step altogether and leave the wood natural or buy the plastic embroidery hoops that come in fun colors like these:
Once the paint is fully dry, insert the smaller, unpainted hoop inside a piece of clothing and put the larger painted circle on top.  (I played with the hoops and shirts before I painted to see which size circle worked best with each one.)

Position the design where you want it and then tighten the screw to hold the hoops in place.

Once you have all of your clothes positioned, they'll look like this:

Then cut the excess fabric away and your art is done!

When I cut the fabric, I left enough excess so I can still use the swatches for a quilt someday and taped the extra back in the meantime.  Ta da!

I really love the way they turned out.  Not only are all of these fun appliques too adorable to toss but they all hold memories, if not for Gabrielle and Alaina, then for me.  I'm going to hang their clothing art collection in their room and may try to frame the photos that coordinate with them to put up too.  Once their "wall of fame" is complete, I'll post photos of the whole shebang.  And how fun would this project be for a nursery using the mommy and daddy-to-be's baby clothes?  The possibilities are endless!  Oh, and did I mention the cost?  Less than $10!  I worked with items I already had, but you can get five embroidery hoops for about $5 and crafts paints and brushes for another $5.  Not too shabby.

I hope this project inspires you to do something fun with the outfits your little ones have outgrown too.  If you do, please send pictures to so we can show off your handiwork.

And because I know I'm going to get asked this, here's where all of the girls' fun shirts and onesies are from.

#1 & #6: Personalized embroidered baby onesies from Sheryl Sheehan (no longer available)

#2: Gingerbread girl tee (and the coordinating reindeer shirt in the holiday photo) from Bushel and a Peck Boutique

#3: Initial Valentine's tee from Peanut and Pumpkin Design

#4: Three hearts onesie from The Nook

#5 & #7: Felt initial onesies from Savvy Sarah Designs

Images: AFOMFT
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  1. Wow, Danielle these are FABULOUS! I hadn't thought about doing the quilt idea with their clothing. I have a box of my favorites, too.

  2. What a fun project. And, it looks easy enough that even I could do it. (That's saying a lot.) Great idea!

    My daughter wore the same heart onesie from The Nook on her first Valentine's Day! :)

  3. That's so funny, Shopping Mama! I love The Nook's clothing. I can't wait for her to come back to her shop. I need some summer goodies for the girls.

  4. I'm new to your site, and I think I'm in love! :) I have tons of my daughters preemie clothing that I have saved for a quilt. Not like I know how to quilt! Haha I think this craft idea is the perfect solution. :)

  5. OmG !!! I'm hording the same stuff! In our cedar closet that is so over wheLming!!! Im so excited to put them to use..untiL I become a quiLter!!!!
    Thanks so much for this AMAzing idea!!!

  6. A-maz-ing. What a creative and wonderful way to hang onto those clothing faves!

    P.S. I love their Valentines Day ensembles. Those leggings are the most adorable baby accessories I've ever seen.

  7. what a great idea! how do you come up with them! totally cute, I think I might have to do that too!

  8. Such a great idea! They turned out wonderful!
    Thanks for linking up!

  9. This is amazing! I have several outfits that I am sad to part with cause they're so cute and so I put them on my baby as often as I could. This is the perfect project for them. They match my nursery decor too !! I found you thru Just SOmething I Whipped up Monday ! Hope you can stop by and visit me sometime at

  10. Hi! its wonderful and interesting. congrate to u. so cute. i wanna know how to design and is it u sewing or do cross stitch. thank u.

  11. I've been wanting to have a memory quilt made for my kids and have boxes of their clothes and blankies in their closets! This is a fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing!!

  12. I LOVE this idea!!! I'm like you and have a box full of clothes from when my daughter was in the NICU (she was 2lbs.!) Thank you so much for an affordable way to save some of her stuff that holds so many memories!!! I'll be trying this out soon!

  13. That is a wonderful idea! Thank you so much for sharing this! I will definitely be doing this craft soon!

  14. I LOVED this idea to capture fond baby memories and featured it here! My son's a NICU survivor, too!

  15. Such a cute idea! My MIL just gave us a bunch of those hoops.

  16. Danielle,
    LOVE this!! What a great idea! That way you can keep and treasure those beautiful memories. Thanks for leaving me a link!
    happy crafting!

  17. hey girl, just wanted to let you know i featured this today!
    best wishes,

  18. adore...truly adore. I love it sooo stinking much.


Thanks for the love!