Donna’s Day: Welcome a new baby with personalized wearable art

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By Donna Erickson

Signal Contributing Editor

Is there soon to be a new baby in the house? As the new member joins the family, the household may feel as if it’s been turned upside down. But if you keep older children involved, they’ll be part of the transition right along with you. 

Here’s an activity for including older siblings in welcoming that newborn. Just sit down together and decorate baby’s first one-piece cotton outfits. You’ll be dressing the baby with creative pizzazz, and the siblings will be proud of being part of it all.

Here’s the basic inexpensive stuff you’ll need for one outfit:

Prewashed, solid-color or white 100% cotton baby one-piece style outfit with snaps, or you may use a newborn-size cotton T-shirt

Wax paper or cardboard

Cookie cutters

Fabric paints in squeeze bottles

Paper plate

Small foam paintbrushes or sponges clipped to clothespins

Pencil with eraser

Here’s the fun:

Lay the one-piece outfit or T-shirt on a work surface. Place a piece of cardboard or wax paper between the two layers of fabric to protect the reverse side from any paint that may soak through. Choose a cookie cutter for a stencil. A star, moon, heart, duckling! Anything goes. Place it anywhere on the fabric.

Pour a little permanent fabric paint onto a paper plate. Dip in the small foam paintbrush. Holding the cookie cutter firmly, start dab, dab-dabbing inside it, making sure to reach all the edges. You don’t have to put equal density of paint all over the shape. A little variation actually adds interest. When you’re through, lift the cookie cutter up to see the beautiful design. Now it’s time for a few details.

Dunk the eraser end of the pencil in a little paint. It can be the same color you used for the cookie-cutter shape or a completely different one. Then stamp it along the neck or sleeves for a fun, whimsical border. 

Add a few final details with the fabric squeeze bottles. You might want to write “Wee One” on the heart. Or, write the baby’s name and date of birth. When baby wears it, take a photo to use for clever birth announcements.

Once the paint is dry, remove the cardboard or wax paper, and if the paint bottles say to do so, now is the time to iron on the reverse side to set the color.

You’re done! Dress the baby in the wearable art, and notice the joy of an older sibling who is feeling just grand. 

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

© 2020 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.

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