Sunday, July 15, 2012

Project: Baby's First Day Memory Box

I wanted to preserve and display all the mementos I have been saving from Bugga's entry into this world. I have several souvenirs from that exhilarating trip to the hospital for her birth...and of course that day changed our lives so it is fun to think back on it. I thought a shadowbox with all of these memories would be a great way to present everything.

There are all sorts of ways to build a memory box like this...this is my version and how I did it.

Items you can use:
Collect items used in the hospital 
  • baby hat
  • baby shirt
  • newborn-size diaper (or whatever size your munchkin was on Day One)
  • hospital bracelets
  • going-home outfit
  • baby socks/gloves
  • first bottle, etc.
You can also use other relevant things like the baby announcement, baby footprints and photos.
Also craft items...
  • shadow box (I picked up mine at Michael's with a handy 40% off coupon so it was about $12)
  • craft paper with a bright design
  • tape/rubber cement
  • pearl-head pins (I used the ones that came with the shadow box, but there were only 4)
  • safety pins
  • letters (I pulled out what I had on hand - some little wood letters left over from some wedding projects, sticker letters, etc.) or a nice calligraphy pen for adding the baby's name (you can also just print off your printer using a specific font
  • corner punch
1. I printed off a few special pictures on our home printer. You could also get some prints done on photo paper, but I didn't feel like waiting that long to get them. I just edited 6 pictures in Picasa to make them black and white (to keep the crowded box from feeling even more busy) and printed them on regular paper. Obviously, the more pictures you want to use, the smaller you need to print them. I wanted to use those special moments - when Mom (hey that's me!) and baby first met, the first time Daddy got to hold the new family member...I also wanted one with our Labor & Delivery nurse because she was that fantastic.

2. I opened up the shadow box and removed the back. I laid out the items to make sure they all looked right and were not a complete mess (it is easy to get carried away). I have seen projects like this that are just the baby hat and a little name plaque, but I wanted to use pictures, the little shirt Bugga wore, and the teeny bracelet that went around her ankle so I needed to find a layout that looked put together. I essentially did a photo background and then laid out the little outfit on top of that.

3. Once I was happy with the layout, I removed the items and started working layer by layer. I used tape to affix the craft paper over any of the shadow box background that would be exposed after everything is in place to add a pop of color. Then I used tape cement to keep the pictures in place where you want them.

4. I taped the diaper in place from the top so it "hangs" from the display. I then pinned up the shirt in the back using safety pins for a "tucked in" look, and used push pins to hang the shirt, as well as the little hat.

5. I attached the hospital bracelets in the remaining open space using tape on the back so you cannot see it when displayed.

6. I thought about putting a headshot of Bugga between the hat and the shirt, but once I saw how that looked, the display didn't feel right. Instead I added a little name plaque so we know which baby this is for (easy now with only one...but there could be more!). I used a piece of solid craft paper, punched the corners to give them a softer look, and used silver letters for her name.

7. Put the shadow box back together and display!

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