Kids Room

Framing Baby and Vintage Clothing

Not to get all TMI on you all, but we’re in the thick of some big family planning decisions around here. I would love to have more babies I think, but we’re trying to be thoughtful about the timing and about what makes the most sense for us and for our future. Me Oh My…

Not to get all TMI on you all, but we’re in the thick of some big family planning decisions around here. I would love to have more babies I think, but we’re trying to be thoughtful about the timing and about what makes the most sense for us and for our future.

Before we moved this summer, I donated, gifted and tossed basically all of our baby clothes. Truthfully, it was a little heart-breaking. I’m the kind of person that can remember what I was wearing at every single important (and semi-important) event in my life. Isn’t that weird? There’s a similar memory attachment to my kids clothes too.

Both images above from Eddie Ross

But, after three girls in a row, most of the clothes had been passed down once or twice (poor Evie!) and they were just done. It made sense to not waste precious storage space any more. I did keep a couple of really special pieces – blessing dresses and some of the really teeny tiny clothes from the newborn days. And I love to have one or two of those items framed – maybe in the hallway to the girls bathroom?

I also love all the vintage bathing suit ideas that have been floating around for the past couple years. Shoes, purses, wallets, jewelry, glasses – all of these would look great for those heirlooms you’d like to be able to enjoy, but that need protecting (like my grandmother’s buttons).

Jeffrey Bilhuber design
Camila from Effortless Style recently framed her son’s going home outfit in a standard acrylic frame from the craft store. It was a really cute and easy DIY that I might just have to copy! Check it out here.
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44 thoughts on “Framing Baby and Vintage Clothing

  1. I have a few shadowboxes I've been saving for, oh, six years now, meaning to frame the boys' coming home outfits. I need to buy another one for my daughter. I love the idea; I'm another one that loves to keep the teeny tiny baby clothes and it seems kind of silly to keep them if they're just going to be in a box.

  2. I too am having total baby planning aches- to have- to adopt- when- how many more?! It's so tough because there is really never a "great time". This idea is lovely!!

  3. I too am having total baby planning aches- to have- to adopt- when- how many more?! It's so tough because there is really never a "great time". This idea is lovely!!

  4. I think this is such a sweet idea. I have a few pieces I want to frame for my daughter's rm.

    Also, totally understand wanting another babe. Mine are 6, 4, & 23 mos. (barely a baby).
    Thanks! Ashley (

  5. I am the same way about clothing! I remember events by what I was wearing. (I also remember historical events by the silohette of the ladies attire.) So now with kids, it is SO HARD for me to get rid of anything.
    I have a good friend who is the opposite. She constantly gives stuff away. She has 4 girls, and has never had a steady income, so she has been given everything for them. She feels that if you need it, it will come into your life. So, she gives everything away when it is not in use.
    Following her lead, I got rid of all but the most important baby things after each child, and I have ALWAYS continued to have more than enough.
    Framing the "important to me" clothing is great idea.

  6. I've never framed baby clothing but i've saved my babies most memorable pieces and hope to use them again at some point. Excited for you and what we'll see in 2013.

  7. This is adorable! I have bins/boxes full of my daughters clothing that I've been wanting to get rid of but there are a few things I'd like to keep. This is a cute idea!

  8. Beautiful!

    Good luck thinking through all that…we're in the same boat (as are so many ladies around our age). Three babies in less than four years has me really wanting a break…but while we're in the thick of it, what's one more, right?! Ha! Love those babies.

    Love your blog. Thanks for always inspiring me.

  9. I love this idea! I think its so sweet and such a great way to have a "living" scrapbook of sorts.

    Camilas is just too cute!

  10. I'm the same way about remembering events through clothes I wore. My husband thinks it's really weird.

    I love the idea of framing clothes… so sentimental! I have a vintage swimsuit of my grandmother's that I swear I will frame one day. Can't wait to see what you do!

  11. I remember what I was wearing in all my special moments, too! The pair of jeans I was wearing when we got engaged are hanging in my closet with a huge hole across the seat but I can't bring myself to throw them out.

  12. Oh, I love that you can remember what you were wearing! Me, too, and my husband makes fun of me. (I find it to be very useful, really.) I have managed to avoid the tears of giving the baby stuff away by giving it to friends and family so we can see it back again. In fact, I just got a text from my maid of honor saying her 11 month old is wearing a pair of my girls' shoes.


  13. such a timely post for me! We're blessing our baby girl Sunday, in my blessing gown from when I was a baby, and I wanted to frame/shadow box the gown after I have it professionally cleaned. Only, I'd like the gown to still be use-able without having to totally re-frame it. Most professionally framed garments are hand-stitched to the background cloth which is then mounted and framed. Obviously this is problematic if you want to be able to access/use the garment. Any ideas on this front? So far I'm looking into suspending a pretty wood hanger from the top of a shadow box, but I bet you'd think of something better.

  14. Oh, I can so relate to this post. I am not sure that I am done having babies and it's such a tough decision on so many fronts. I would love to have some of my favorite, but not so favorite that I am saving them for my girls' girls, clothes framed to remember the "little" days. :)

  15. Thanks for the TMI. Look at it this way…you will never look back on life and regret having more children. They are a blessing and an inheritance.

  16. (also, good luck with family planning. Seems like the biggest decision in life, doesn't it? Just make it prayerfully and you'll be fine.)

  17. I like the way this looks a lot. We did this with an outfit that was my son's back when he was still a little preemie (he was 33 weeks) in the hospital, mostly as a token of that trial and a reminder of just how small he was. We included his hospital ankle bracelet in the glass cased shadow box. It is barely big enough to fit around my thumb. For a while it was hard to look at. Now that he is a toddler (and big brother), it just kinda blows my mind.

  18. For some reason I think these are super creepy. Just makes me think of the Rapture, or something? Sorry guys. I should also add that I am NOT a mom, and that for some reason bitty baby shoes don't give me the warm fuzzies. BUT to each their own, and I think that putting meaningful things on display is way better than in a box.

  19. I am so thankful for this post! All three of my boys wore the same going home and baptism outfits. I probably would have tossed them thinking they were a waste just sitting in a closet or trunk somewhere.

    And, I remember the first time I wore a dress to kindergarten 25 some years ago!!!! I am the same way with memorable moments and attire. So funny.

  20. In my opionion, if you're going to have a 4th, do it soon! I have 4 kids, my younger two are two years apart…#4 being a complete surprise but the timing worked out great because #3 & #4 are such good buddies and I was still in diaper mode when I had him. I have a friend who is expecting her 4th, six years after #3 was born!!
    I've kept all my kids clothes but I've realized the older they got the less there were to save, boys tend to blow the knees and stain everything they wear! I saw a quilt in a Martha Stewart magazine years ago that was made out of baby clothes, that's my plan…someday!!

  21. I need to do this with some of my daughter's little dresses. I feel the same way about getting rid of the baby things… even though my "babies" are really turning into big kids now. One of my biggest regrets in my organizing/purging is that I donated my son's little pj's that he wore home from the hospital. :( Great tips and photos!!

  22. Oh thanks for featuring Hudson's DIY lucite shadowbox. It was such an easy and inexpensive project that I think just makes his changing area nook/closet. Such a sweet treat to go on your blog this morning and see it! xo, C

  23. I love this! Some day, I can wait to frame all of my daughter's handmade knitted baby hats and hang them as a group. We have lots and the collection continues to grow as she does. I haven't done it yet because I'm hoping to get more use out of them with future children but it's killing me to wait! Fun post, thanks!

  24. When my sister was 4, i traveled in China and brought her back a qipao traditional (and tiny) dress. She wore it constantly and kept wearing it even when it was definitely too small a year or two later with leggings. Finally our mom told her she couldn't wear any more and she cried. For her 7th birthday, I stole the dress and had it framed and it might have been the best present I ever gave her. Now she's in college and still has it hanging on her wall.

  25. I was baptized in a dress my great-great-great aunt hand-sewed in the 1800s – my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all baptized in it as well. We have it framed in our home. Originally it was in our bedroom as part of a collage wall, but to be honest, it was a little creepy looking. We ended up hanging it in the back of the walk-in closet in what will someday be a nursery. I love the idea of having clothing framed, but in my experience, it's not the best focal point…it looks a little ghostly. It a closet or nook, though, it's a wonderful keepsake to have. Now I'm just dreading un-framing it for our kids…

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