How to Turn Your Baby’s Clothes into Keepsakes

Cute, crafty and simple ideas

When you can’t part with your favorite baby outfits, try one of these projects. 

How heart-wrenching is it to make the decision to finally get rid of baby’s first clothes?

You can solve that dilemma by learning how to turn your baby's clothes into keepsakes!

Maybe your favorite outfits have cycled through all your children and you’re thinking this baby might be the last. Or perhaps you’re like me and you’ve been waiting for the second baby and as your child gets older and older you have to admit, another one probably isn’t coming. Or you just had your first baby and you are still trying to wrap your head around the mounds of laundry that all those cute outfits produce.

When I saw this adorable keepsake memory bear and this keepsake memory elephant made out of a baby’s old pajamas, I was overjoyed to find a creative way to preserve those first baby clothes. But then I thought, “Okay, there’s one outfit, but I’m not going to have five animals for my five favorite outfits.”

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Establish criteria by which you evaluate keepsake projects

This really got me thinking about how I can creatively save some of my favorite outfits and finally pull the trigger on donating the rest. So I Googled “baby clothes keepsakes” and found no shortage of ideas. I found patterns for additional animals, like elephants and owls (although I lack the skill—or even desire—to tackle these).  There were also some completely impractical ideas that really have no purpose.

During my search, I realized if I’m going to make a keepsake, it needs to serve a practical purpose and last for a while. Because really, why am I taking the time to repurpose clothes if they just collect dust? (I’m looking at you “baby clothes bouquet.”) It also needs to be relatively easy, because crafting is not my gifting.

Once I solidified my criteria, I was able to evaluate each idea more purposefully and I found some projects that I’m really excited about.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

This tutorial may a bit complicated, but how hard could it be to cut and sew squares together? I would pare it down to fit a doll and it doesn’t have to be perfect for my daughter to love it.

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Fabric scrap wall art 

I love the birds in this idea, but you could make it into anything that fits the theme of your child’s room.

I love, love, love this! Being a teacher, I’m crazy about anything related to the alphabet. If you wanted to get super technical you could coordinate beginning sounds with colors or prints. This would be the perfect thing to keep and give to the grandkids someday.

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I know we all have a lot on our plates and adding one more thing can sometimes require sacrifices elsewhere. But some things are worth the extra effort now for a precious memory later. My daughter was so delighted to receive my childhood Care Bear and I know she’ll be equally as delighted to have a quilt for her dollies made out of her baby clothes.

How do you intend to preserve some of your favorite baby clothes?

Annie Wiesman

Annie Wiesman

Annie Wiesman is the co-author of “Education Begins at Birth: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers for Kindergarten.” She is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom who enjoys traveling, hiking in the mountains, and creating memories together with her husband and little girl.

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