7 Ways to Give Old Baby Shoes New Life - HARTS Bootees, baby heirloom, what do do with baby shoes and toddler shoes after your toddler grows out of them, saving first shoes, toddler and baby shoes, how to save baby shoes after your baby grows out of them

7 Ways to Give Old Baby Shoes New Life

Spending your Saturday sifting through baby clothes that are too small?  It’s a mama’s badge of honor to have to move in the next size of clothing for her babe.  A beautiful sign your little one is getting bigger and stronger by the day.

And those little toes that have outgrown those super cute baby booties.  A special milestone, yes, but bittersweet.  Admiring those tiny shoes can leave you remembering the days you waited for your cutie to arrive.

Well, don’t start tossing those adorable baby shoes yet.  There’s so much you can do with a pair of baby shoes besides just using them for those pregnancy announcement photos.

We live in a crafty world these days and anything goes.  Why not turn those sweet little feet memories into a decorative something?  Grab your glue gun and check out these fun ways to bottle up those first little shoe memories.

(Shadow) Box up Old Baby Shoes

Instead of stashing away those baby moccasins that you loved so much, try arranging them in a shadow box instead.

Shadow boxes can be used to store jewelry but they can also bring keepsake displays to a whole new level.

By now your house is probably decked out in baby photos, and who can blame you? 

Well, arranging a shadow box with a photo of your baby in the shoes that will also be placed inside will upgrade your photo stash instantly.  Not to mention it’ll bring you back to that day every time you pass by.

And there are so many ways to personalize this.

Try a complete outfit that you loved putting your baby in, showcase a growth milestone with wooden numbers and letters or even store your baby shower or pregnancy announcement.

Shadow boxes holding your baby’s shoes are little time capsules that are great anywhere.  Best part?  If down the road you want to gift it to your grown up child, the presentation is ready to go!

One of a Kind Christmas Ornament

What better way to celebrate the first time Santa came to visit your babe than by including one of those  baby booties on the Christmas tree?

This requires very little crafting ability but packs a lot of meaning.  Simply string a ribbon or even a matching shoelace through a hole towards the back of the shoe. 

This unique ornament is one of a kind for each of your children and can be your own family tradition.

Add a personal touch by decorating the ribbon or string in Christmas colors.  Or add some sparkle by spray painting over the shoe to give it a new sleek look.  

Add Those Birth Day Details

A staple to every child’s birth story has always been their birth weight and height. 

Unless your baby is really small or really big, there really isn’t much we do with this information.  But it’s a necessary part of the story, nonetheless.

Stitching your little one’s birth weight and height on their now too small soft sole baby shoes is an adorable way to make a regular pair one of a kind.

This is great to add on a pair of shoes that now sit on the bookshelf.  But consider adding to any of the other projects listed here for a special upgrade.

For best results, make sure to choose a complimenting string color that works with the shoe.  Also be sure to research the appropriate string thickness with whichever shoe you choose. 

For example, baby sock shoes will need a different type of string then say, a pair of baby boots. 

These personalized shoes make great gifts to grandparents who also want in on the shoe fun!

Custom Bookends

Baby’s first library growing too?  A fun nursery accessory that is really easy to create and repurposes little shoes:  baby shoe bookends.

This project is literally as easy as buying book ends and super glueing on shoes.  Go a step further by assembling and painting wood pieces.  Stencil on your baby’s name and you’re done!

For best results, attach each shoe to point outwards on the base of the bookend.

Not only will yours be the only babe on the block with this set, but here’s a craft that also helps you identify the baby books. 

Create a set for each child to help organize books, make cleaning up fun and prevent delaying story time (aka bedtime!).

Start an Heirloom Collection

Inheriting something from your parents or grandparents is such a special gift.  The thought and care needed to preserve an heirloom brings value that cannot be easily duplicated.

It may seem very early, but a great way to extend the life and memory of that first little pair of baby walking shoes is to save them for the next generation.

The most important part here is really how the shoes are being stored, so they actually stand the test of time.

A cool, dry place in a closed plastic tub and shoe bags are best.  Avoid cardboard boxes and add tissue paper to keep the shoes clean.  Store the tub somewhere not likely to be tossed around or damaged, like in your closet shelf.  Definitely avoid the attic or basement, which are not so great climates for preserving items over time.

Be sure to properly label the outside of the container with a sharpie and a photo of the shoes.  This will save time since you can quickly identify what’s inside. 

Don’t forget to add the age these shoes were worn by your sweet baby!

Add to the Toy Box

Does your baby’s toy collection need some cute additions?  Little shoes are perfect for adding to dolls and stuffed animal collections.

Not only will you save a bundle (because, hello, why are doll shoes so expensive?) but you’ll encourage learning too.

Let your little one exercise putting on, taking off and lacing Brown Bear’s shoes.  They’ll practice the routines you already have in place for them, making actual shoe time easier. 

Not to mention, you're adding more imaginative play and diversifying their toys.

Same goes for baby sock shoes, which are perfect for stuffed animals as well.  Now Brown Bear is ready to go to the park.

Preserve Those Baby Shoes

If you want to take it up a notch, try getting your baby shoes preserved. 

You can attempt to do this yourself with lots of research and Youtube tutorials.  But if you’re willing to pay a substantial amount to avoid the headache, lots of crafty vendors who provide this service can be found on sites like Etsy.com.

Preserving baby shoes today is similar to how bronzing shoes took places years ago.  Instead though, there’s a modern twist by having the shoes remain in their original color scheme, rather than covered altogether.

The final product?  A beautiful porcelain looking shoe that your baby used to wear.
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Need Help?

We’re here to help if you need advice on sizing first shoes or what style your baby might get the most use out of. You can see all of our washable first walkers here. Email us at hi@hartsbootees.com for help. Happy walking!