Turning a Baby Car Seat into a Keepsake

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Key chains that I made for each of our kids.

 

We brought three babies home from the hospital in that one car seat (we had three kids in three years). Once Charlie outgrew it, this sentimental mama couldn’t just throw it out.

 

 

 

I decided to keep some pieces and make the kids some keepsakes.  This is what I did…

 

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I cut off the straps and anything I thought I could re-use in some way.  Straps, hardware, buckles, the canopy, and the cushioned liner.  It was stripped down to this…

 

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I then chose some possible pieces that I thought could make the kids some cute key chains.  Just seeing the buckles and strapping made me think it might be possible.

I just needed to buy some key chain hardware.  I bought mine from Fabricland but you can find it at any crafting store.

 

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I tried to find smaller parts to add a little something at the end of each key chain (like the pieces that clipped into the harness).  I wanted something that would be light for them to carry and I wanted to use the narrow straps.

As an aside, I am worried that the middle one shown above is too big.  I like the look of the other two, but there are only so many buckles from the harness.  One has to get creative.

 

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To begin, I fed a piece of strapping through one of the buckles.

I didn’t want to leave the cut edge exposed (it would fray), so I folded the strap and tucked that edge inside.  Then I could sew straight across with my sewing machine.

 

 

With one of the straps, the metal accessory was already sewn on.  I just needed to attach the key chain hardware.

 

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To attach the key chain piece, I pushed the strap inside the metal opening.

 

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I pushed the strap in as far as it would go, then I used a butter knife (flat and solid) to apply pressure down with my palm.

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I didn’t want to use pliers or another tool in fear of denting the metal.  As I pressed down with the flat knife, I just kept checking until the material was securely held within.

Ta-da!  Key chain keepsakes!  Super easy.

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So why key chains of all things?  I  was inspired by a gift my Grandma Lainie once gave me.

One Christmas, gram made all of us (her grandchildren) key chains in memory of Grandpa.  Grandpa always carried coins in his pocket.  When he passed away, he had a pocket full of them.  She kept those coins and put one on each of our key chains.

 

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This is my key chain and a twoonie that was in Grandpa’s pocket.
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His nickname was Pud.

 

I like the idea that a key chain can tell a story.

I came across an interesting article the other day that talked about the importance of storytelling for children.  Professor Andrea Breen of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at University of Guelph, says that “storytelling is really important for children’s development.  Kids who come from families where there’s lots of storytelling tend to be stronger in terms of their language, relationships and emotional well-being.” 

My hope is that by making these little key chains, it will not only spark stories of the day we brought the kids home from the hospital, but also the places we went (that car seat went as far as Portugal!) and the story of Grandpa and his pocket full of coins.

I don’t want to lose these pieces.