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.
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.