“A” You’re Adorable: Framing A Keepsake Dress

Remember when I framed one of Annabelle’s old t-shirts, which I thought was just too sweet to pack away?  (If not you can read all about that here.)  Well, she had another adorable piece of clothing that I just couldn’t bring myself to fold up and send off to the basement.

This time it was a dress.  A pale green striped sack dress, with a beautifully embroidered floral “A” on the front and big pink bows that tied at her tiny shoulders.  It was too pretty to send to storage.  Plus, if I packed it away, it would only get used again IF we have another child…IF we have a girl…and IF we name that baby girl something that starts with the letter “A”.  Way too many “ifs”.

I decided to go the frame route again, and frame the floral “A”.  So off I went in search of the perfect frame for my little project.  I wanted something white and swirly and fancy.  Of course, I couldn’t find what I was looking for anywhere.  But I did find something with the shape I was looking for at HomeGoods.  A metal antiquey looking number for $6.99!  Sweet.  At that price I could spray paint the little guy the white I was looking for…

So, that’s what I did.  I had actually never spray painted before, but it turned out to be pretty straightforward.

First I took out the glass (leaving the little paper the frame came with inside to catch the paint).  Then I slipped a piece of cardboard in between the frame and the stand, so the stand wouldn’t get sprayed on.

Then, holding the can slightly away from the frame, I applied light coats in an even sweeping motion, letting the frame sit for a few minutes in between coats.  I’d love to tell you how many coats it took to get the frame from this…

To this…

But I lost count.  A few.  More than two, less than 10 is my guess.

After the frame was dry, I carefully cut the ribbon out of the dress.

Then it was time to iron.  This was my least favorite part of this craft.  I hate ironing with such a passion that I have been known to wash and dry things that are clean, but wrinkled, just so I won’t have to iron.  That’s how much I hate it.  Something about it is incredibly frustrating to me.  Maybe it’s because I’m horrible at it.  Or maybe it’s because no matter how hard I try, things are STILL wrinkled and it makes me kind of batty.  Whatever the reason, I’m lucky that Mike doesn’t mind ironing, so he’s happy to be our family’s sole ironer.

That being said, Mike wasn’t around, so I was forced to iron the dress myself.  I did my best, kind of muttering and sighing the whole way through.  Next I traced the glass from the frame onto an empty cereal box and cut out a cardboard rectangle.

Then I centered the “A” on the cardboard and flipped it over, securing the back with electrical tape.  I cut away any extra fabric, so that the taped backing stayed as flat as possible.  This is the same “technique” (I use that term loosely) that I used with the T-shirt project.  (You can check out more pictures of that here.)

Finally, I put the fabric covered cardboard back into the frame.

 It came out sweet and girly, which is what I was going for, so I was pretty happy.

Here’s how it looks in her room…

Annabelle really loves it and now has to “kiss the letter “A” for Annabelle” before she goes to sleep at night.  Which is pretty freakin’ Adorable.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like: Bows Abound and The Shirt Off Her Little Back

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  1. I have to send this blog to Mary Anderson to let her know that the dress she gave Annabelle is now part of her room decor and will never be forgotten. It came out so cute! I didn’t realize that you spray painted the frame.

  2. You should send it to her! I’m sure she would get a kick out of it…It really was a lovely gift.

  3. What a LOVELY idea and keepsake for your little one!!! :)

  4. donnaheaney says:

    I showed Grandma this so she could see how adorable the dress was and what a nice keepsake you made from it.

  5. Beautiful: there’s a lot of ‘love’ that has gone into your projects; much better than just buying things from the shops to decorate your daughter’s room.

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