Wednesday 24 April 2024

Crafty ideas to upcycle old baby clothes!

 Nearly all parents will have a box or two of keepsakes of when their child was a baby. Often it seems a shame to store them in a box where no one is going to see them. I know I do! We have at least 4 big plastic boxes of things from where the kids were little. The outfit they wore when they left the hospital, first shoes, party dresses and favourite blankets.

These items hold some of the fondest memories in our lives. There are so many ways to breathe new life into baby clothes and blankets. Whether you pick something from this list or experiment with a different craft.

pair of baby's pink knit shoes on bench

Here are some different ways to upcycle or get crafty with old things that will help you to remember past times and give them a new place in your future.

A memory bear.
Reusing all those clothes that your child seems to outgrow quickly is a terrific idea. Although sewing a stuffed bear might seem challenging, there are plenty of free, easy to follow patterns available online. You'll have a sweet little teddy bear to treasure for years to come once you're done. You can either give it away as a keepsake, display it as a memory bear, or wait to give it to your grandchildren.

Memory book.
For a project that doesn’t require sewing, you could use old clothes and fabric to create and decorate a memory book or album. Use a large piece of fabric for the cover and fill the
pages with pieces of other items along with photographs of when your kids used to wear them. That way, when you look back and remember times past, you’ll have a piece of them
with you as well as a photo to look at.

Patchwork blankets.
Using a patchwork technique, you can create a new patchwork blanket by sewing square pieces of fabric from old blankets or clothes together. As you may use several items and each patch will tell a different story from when your children were babies, this is a great method to preserve memories. You could even embroider significant names or dates on each piece if you're good with a needle. After that you can pass your patchwork blanket on to other family members and future generations will be able to add their own patches to expand it.

A cushion made from pre loved baby clothes could make a great decorative piece for your bedroom or even a gift for grandparents. They’re simple to make, and you can do all sorts of shapes and sizes depending on what fabric you have on hand. Use the same patchwork method that you would use for creating the blanket. Or try following different tutorials for different patterns and styles.

Christmas decorations.
While Christmas is still a little way off yet, there’s no harm in getting prepared early with some handmade decorations.

Christmas is a time for the entire family to be together, share memories, carry out traditions and perhaps even start some new ones. Now is the ideal time to make cherished ornaments that you can display every year. If you're at a loss for ideas, there are lots of ways to decorate. Make patchwork stockings out of discarded garments, blankets, or muslins. Craft fabric ornaments shaped like snowmen, angels, penguins or polar bears. Your children will love receiving ornaments shaped like their first initials, since they will get to hang theirs on the tree every year.  

If you’ve got some old Christmas outfits taking up storage space, you could also try turning them into a memory ‘reindeer’ instead of a bear.

Repurpose as dolls clothes.
As children get a little older they might enjoy pretending to look after a doll as their “baby”. A really simple way to help them play out the fantasy and get more use out of old clothes is to repurpose them as outfits for the dolls. This can also work for stuffed animals.

Upcycle into new clothes and accessories.
Transforming pre loved clothes into new garments can be a fun and sustainable way to keep them for longer rather than throwing them away. You could add to existing clothes for example, covering pockets with bright patterned fabric can jazz up an otherwise plain pair of jeans. Or make new pockets for clothes, it will give your kids a place to keep all the things they collect when they’re out and about!

There are so many ways to breathe new life into baby clothes and blankets. Whether you pick something from this list or experiment with a different craft, I hope this has inspired
you to think twice before throwing items away or leaving them to gather dust.

Have you tried anything like this before?


  1. I need to make some ornaments out of the logos I cut off Sophia's T-shirts from her horse riding clubs and other activities. I cut a circle around them, just need to add some stuffing and stitch around the outside.

  2. I love the idea of the Christmas decorations from old baby clothes. It can have a very special meaning without being obvious to guests or anyone else the emotional connection with that object, unless is shared. That is so wonderful.

  3. Thisiswhereitisat25 April 2024 at 15:33

    Aw cute ideas X

  4. I made patchwork blankets for all my boys when they were babies but other than those and their christening outfits I haven't saved any of their baby items.

  5. So many cute ideas! I have my kid's first booties and beanies stored in a drawer but that's about all.

  6. Aw, lovely ideas. I have so many of my boys baby clothes in vac' packs under the bed. I want to have some bears made out of them, but I need to get around to finding someone who I trust to do them. xx