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What are Bronze Baby Shoes?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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Babyhood lasts for such a short time, and many parents are surprised by how quickly it passes. The rate of growth in babies and infants is astonishing, and these little needy creatures fast become independent busy souls who toddle around and delight their families. To commemorate the various steps of a baby’s life, many people keep baby books, photo albums, and may store a few precious things away as visible reminders of the baby that once was. Among these baby keepsakes are bronze baby shoes.

Bronze baby shoes first became popular in the early 20th century, and have gone in and out of style since. Bronzing is the act of applying metal coating to objects in order to render them permanent, and there are many companies that offer this application so parents can keep baby shoes forever and/or use them as decoration. Usually both shoes are bronzed together and shoe selection may be the first shoes worn by the baby or the first shoes in which the baby walked.

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Having bronze baby shoes created by someone else is not greatly expensive. However many parents have turned to bronzing their own shoes, which may save a little money. There are actually bronze kits available at craft stores though parents should be aware these might be slightly different than shoes bronzed professionally. Those created by professionals tend to utilize an electroplating method, while bronzing shoes at home means applying one or more coatings of a bronze mix to shoes. Both home and professional methods to make bronze baby shoes can produce pleasant results that last for years.

For those who plan to bronze the baby shoes at home, it’s recommended that people begin by filling the shoes with plaster of paris to create very solid baby shoes. It’s also important to make sure shoes are cleaned well prior to applying bronze coating, as dirty shoes might create an uneven finish. Laces or buckles need to be arranged perfectly because once the coating is applied it needs to dry and shouldn’t be touched.

Although bronze baby shoes may be the most recognizable of baby mementos, there are certainly other things to bronze that can celebrate a baby’s “firsts.” Some people create bronze pacifiers and rattles. For baby safety, these should probably not be displayed while the child is young enough to take an interest in them. Bronzing a first pacifier, for instance, and displaying it when a child is giving up his or her pacifier, may not be wise.

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John57
Post 4

If you are wanting to know how to bronze baby shoes, I would recommend going to your local craft store and buying a kit.

I found one on sale for 50% off and ended up only paying around $15 for it. It took a little bit of time, but it was a fun project to try.

This was the first time I had ever bronzed anything and I was surprised at how easy it was. I know this is much cheaper than paying someone else to bronze them for you.

You can use these kits to bronze just about anything you want for a unique way to preserve items that are special to you. I have the bronzed baby shoes in the nursery right now, but imagine they will eventually get moved to a different place.

Mykol
Post 3

I have three kids and had each of their first pair of baby shoes bronzed. I don't know if I would pay for the expense of having it done again or not. All of those shoes are now stored in a box where nobody ever sees them.

When they were younger I had them on display on a shelf in their room. As they got older, they weren't interested in having a pair of baby shoes in their room.

Once they were all put in a box with their other special things, they never came out of the box again. The shoes still look great, but it doesn't make much sense to do that if they are just going to be stored in a box all the time.

LisaLou
Post 2

I have never heard of or seen a bronzed pacifier before! I was so ready for my kids to give up using a pacifier that bronzing it was the last thing I would have thought of.

I was glad to get rid of them and hoped they would never ask for them again. I see something like a pair of bronze baby booties much differently than a pacifier.

Even though I have never had any of my kids baby shoes bronzed, I can understand why some parents like to keep these shoes on display. There really is something special about the first pair of shoes a baby wears.

honeybees
Post 1

I have had bronze baby shoes bookends made for each of my grandchildren. When they outgrow their first pair of shoes (which doesn't take very long), I will have them bronzed and mounted on a book end.

These make great gifts to give back to the kids for a keepsake. I like having each shoe bronzed and attached to a bookend as this also gives them some practical function.

I will include a personalized brass nameplate with their name and date of birth. I send these in to a bronzing company and it usually costs me less than $70 for each pair of shoes. I don't think this is a bad price to pay for something that will last a very long time.

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