Display that special baby outfit in a shadow box! This is a cute idea for a child’s room or a nursery. You could use this idea for any newborn clothes – includes step-by-step instructions for doing the cheap DIY.
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Alright, this is going to come as no surprise to anybody who has read this blog for any measure of time – if I can do something myself (and actually do it well), I’m not going to pay somebody else to do it. It’s just one of my things. I love taking on DIY projects – yes, I have fails just like anybody else, but there’s just something so rewarding about learning how to do something and creating a project with that knowledge that you can treasure for years to come. Today’s DIY is no exception!
I’ve always wanted to somehow display my kids’ going home outfits from when they were teeny tiny newborns coming home from the hospital.
These pieces are incredibly special to our family – Emmie’s dress was my going home outfit (and she used Noah’s going home blanket), and Jackson’s outfit was Noah’s going home outfit (and he used my going home blanket). I have had this idea in the back of my head for years, but for some reason just couldn’t get together exactly how to do it. One day, I stumbled on this post that had the basis of exactly what I wanted. I loved the simple look that really let the piece stand out (instead of the framing). Plus, it didn’t hurt that I was able to make each of these frames for under $20 each. I modified it to what I needed and this easy little DIY was born!
I had a few requests to document this project when I showed it in my Instagram stories. So sorry, for the most part the picture quality isn’t awesome – I really just shot it on my iPhone for Instagram.
Ready to frame your own baby clothes? Let’s get to it!
You’ll need (for one framed outfit)…
- A sheet of 32×40″ foam board – I used 3/16″ thickness (available at Hobby Lobby – watch for half off sales)
- One yard of background fabric of choice
- One 16×20″ shadow box frame (again, Hobby Lobby – a half off sale is a must for this! At minimum, use a 40% off coupon to save lots…no need to pay full price.) – Note: 16×20″ was perfect for our outfits, but I recommend laying out your outfit before purchasing a frame to make sure it will fit.
- Small pack of medium-loft quilt batting (Hobby Lobby – I found a pack that was only $1.99 on sale)
- Dressmaker Pins
- Quilting Ruler (optional, but helps a lot if you have one)
- Duct Tape
- Box Cutter/Scissors
First, take the paper insert out of your shadow box to use as a cutting guide for the foam board. Use your quilting ruler to ensure straight lines and 90 degree angles. Trace around the paper insert and cut out that piece of foam board with the box cutter just inside those lines (less than 1/4″ inch).
The edges don’t have to be perfect – they’ll be covered up! But you need to make sure the cuts are as close to the inside of the insert as possible. This will give you extra room in the frame for the batting and fabric.
Add 4″ (2″ around all sides) to the length and width of your newly cut piece of board and cut a piece of quilt batting to these specifications.
Wrap the batting around the back of the foam and duct tape it pretty tightly. Do this on all 4 sides. (Remember, nobody will see the back.)
Cut fabric to the same specifications as the quilt batting (2″ around all sides of the foam board).
Repeat the process of duct taping tightly around all sides. At this point, put your board in the frame to make sure it fits before pinning your outfit in place.
Now, lay out your outfit. Take time doing this – it’s important you get the position correct!
If needed, carefully lift up all pieces except for the bottom layer. Use dressmaker pins to position the bottom layer in place (in my case, the blanket). I put straight pins every 2-3″, hiding them behind smaller pieces of fabric if possible.
Carefully replace each layer and pin in place. With clothes, it’s easy to hide the pins underneath the top layer of fabric – just pin inside sleeves, necklines, etc. I periodically held the foam board up while pinning to ensure that the pins were holding everything in place when the outfit was vertical.
Then, simply put the foam board in your frame! You won’t need the original backer for the frame with the foam board – it should be a pretty tight fit.
I did this same thing for both kids’ outfits. They now hang in their room (and if I have it my way, will forever – check back in 10 years to see if I’m still winning 😉).
These make me smile every time I walk in the kids’ rooms. They are just so special and are an absolute perfect way to display any kind of baby clothes…not just going home outfits.
I hope you love this DIY as much as I did! Check out more of my DIY projects here.
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