I’ve learned that keeping a toddler in clothing is a challenge. Not only because my toddler evidently prefers to be nekkid ALL the time, but also because of the astonishing rate at which she outgrows, stains, rips and otherwise destroys perfectly good clothing. My daughter is a tall, lean string bean of a two year old — taller than 97 percent of her peers. Finding pants that fit her lengthwise, but don’t fall off her skinny waist and bum, is like finding dinosaur bones.
What makes the whole finding-properly-fitting-clothes issue even more hilarious is that our daughter is a rough and tumble, on-the-go kind of girl who likes to play in the grass and dirt, climb on the jungle gym, rip around on her tricycle, run fast as the wind, and practice her champion puddle jumping. I adore all of the above, by the way — couldn’t be prouder that my girl wants nothing to do with teacups and princesses. But man, does she go through clothes. We usually make it about five wears before something gets stained or ripped.
So, what’s a mom on a budget to do? Get crafty. I’ve gotten very good at disguising stains with patches, fabric paint and ribbon. And ripped pants become cut off shorts that are pretty stinking adorable. She may not always let me customize her wardrobe, but for now, I’ll keep on creatively fixing the battle scars of her playtime shenanigans as best I can to keep our clothing costs down.
Since this was a last ditch effort to save the shirt and pants AND because it’s likely Elsa will outgrow the clothes before the paint can get any real wear and tear, I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do, but I knew I wanted the copper color to cover up the stain. I decided to give the tank a few quick metallic stripes (using green painter’s tape to create clean edges) and call it done. Simple, easy and pretty. The jeans got the cut off treatment, but I kept them on the long side. I love the look of long denim shorts and thought they’d look cute on my peanut. I then set out to print some polka dots on the shorts using the metallic paint.
I think we were both pretty pleased with her newly minted custom duds. Not bad, all things considered. She may come home with the remnants of mud pies all over her this afternoon, and we’ll probably add a layer of blackberry juice to the mess, but I bet I can come up with another fast fix to give myself at least one more week before I have to start the search again for some new threads for my girl.
So tell me, how do YOU breathe new life into old clothes?