This year has been filled with babies. I have first and second cousins having grandbabies and babies themselves, plus co-workers and neighbors. It seems like babies are everywhere right now in my life.
With babies come a lot of baby showers. The best gift for any new couple with a baby is a giant box of diapers but if you want to add something a little more personal I always go with something handmade.
The first project is a baby mobile. Use an embroidery hoop or just a single string like I did, either way looks nice.
Make little felt animals either sketching out designs yourself or use templates online.
Add pom poms and tassels, which are very popular right now. I will always love pom poms and tassels because they remind me of my childhood, so even when they are no longer popular I will still have them around my home.
Plus pom poms are pretty easy to make. When I was a kid we made them out of old cereal boxes, cutting out discs to wrap yarn around. Now days, you can buy pom pom makers at most craft stores or online. If you are one of my followers then you know I love my pom pom crafts, so you have already seen how to make these little yarn balls several times by now. I can’t help it, they always make me smile.
Once you have all your pieces ready, just string them together and hang from the wall. I glue the pom poms together so they don’t separate. Make sure you leave off buttons that could fall off; you don’t want your babies eating buttons. The mobiles should hang high and out of reach but it never hurts to be extra careful.
I have made several colors of mobiles this year. That’s the fun part to me, picking out colors. I tend to always stick with bright colors like the photo below. I added the new babies name to the mobile below. Trace letters out of your fabric scraps and either sew or glue down to your hearts.
The next gift item would be perfect to decorate a nursery shelf with. Wooden blocks are one of my favorite toys to buy for kids. I just found a giant bag of mismatched wooden blocks on one of my dollar day shopping trips and will be posting about that remake later. Anything wooden is special to me.
You can buy plain wooden blocks at most craft stores or online.
Use different colors of fabrics and stickers to decoupage onto your blocks.
If the baby has an older sibling, have them draw little paper pieces of art to decoupage onto blocks. It never hurts to get siblings involved with caring for their new brother or sister. It is so important to make sure they grow up loving each other and starting early will bring happiness later when they are all grown up.
This next project is an upcycled one and would be perfect for a baby’s first birthday gift. You will need an old canvas print to paint over, old baby clothes, felt and other fabrics to design pieces with.
Cover the canvas with some cotton fabric. I bought yards and yards of cotton fabric at a church sale last summer. Church sales are some of the best places to find unique items at great prices and they use the money for a good cause.
Before you glue down your cotton to the canvas you will need to design some art to add to it. I cut up some old fuzzy pajamas, felt and an old tablecloth to use for this project. I decided to stick with animals for this art theme, so a giraffe and elephant it was.
This is supposed to be whimsical and childlike so don’t worry about your designs or sewing skills. Once everything is put together it turns out really cute.
I added buttons to mine. The art will be hanging up high out of babies reach, but again, if you want to be extra careful then stay away from buttons.
Some of these baby gifts would be great baby shower projects too. My cousin had a big glass bowl of plain wooden blocks at her shower and she had each guest design a block for the new baby. You can also do something like that with the canvas art piece. Bring in scraps of old sweaters, shirts and have each guest design and sew on a piece.
All of these items to me could be for all ages. Blocks look great in homes like little colorful wooden sculptures that you can keep redesigning over and over. The mobiles can be hung in a home without children. I have them all over my house because I love adding some color to white walls. I sew hearts though for my house mobiles. The upcycled canvas fabric pieces can be designed any way too. Try huge fabric flowers, which I think would look pretty and be a really easy design. At Christmas, dye an old tablecloth green and cut out a tree shape to sew onto your canvas, then add lots of detail from other fabric scraps or old clothes. It is endless what you can do once you get your imagination going.
Special note: The blocks can be used for memory games. Decoupage identical pieces of art to one side of different blocks. The canvas art can be made into a felt board, then cut out different shapes of felt to play on board with. Work in speech lessons by sewing little pockets onto your boards for inside/outside directions. Pompoms are super easy to make, as well as tassels, so have children work on a mobile with just those if sewing is a little too complicated for now. Remember to always include everyone, no matter what level they may be at, find someway to include the little ones too. Happy crafting everyone.