A few hours left to enter this giveaway! Deadline is tonight ( Sunday, April 10th) at midnight EST.
If you’ve read this blog for awhile you know that I love baby keepsake gifts, particularly those that become part of your home for years to come. When R. was about 9 months old, I received this Pottery Barn Kids Oval First Year Frame. I had spotted it in the catalog and put in a request for it as my 1st Mother’s Day gift from my husband and baby. Here is chubby baby R. helping me open my gift:
I immediately set to work filling in R’s frame up to age 9 months, and then completed it after she turned one. Three years later, I made the same frame for her little brother.
These frames are actually one of the first things moms comment on when they enter my kids’ rooms. Without fail, they say something to the effect of “Oooooh! I love that!”, followed by, wistfully, “I wish I knew how/could find the time to…do that for my child.”
Today I’m going to tell you step-by-step just how easy it is to complete a Pottery Barn Kids First Years Frame for your little one. Plus, it will be extra easy for 5 lucky MyMomShops readers who will win their own First Year Frames from Pottery Barn Kids!
Here’s what to do:
1) Get the frame as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if your child is a newborn, or 5 years old. I firmly believe it is never too late to make baby keepsakes (an exception: baby footprint kits. A giant foot doesn’t have the same effect).
2) Start selecting pictures. This is the part that usually trips people up. My advice is *not* to choose the most “perfect” picture from each month where your baby is smiling angelically, but to choose the ones that on an emotional level you love the best because they really capture the spirit of your baby. Your child can be smiling, or crying, or making a cute infant scrunched face. It’s about all those memorable moments during that fleeting first year, so go with your gut.
3) Figure out sizing. The frame is an oval which measures 14.5″ x 17″; the oval photo openings on the First Year frame are about 3″ tall for the newborn photo, and 2″ tall for each monthly photo up to age 1. Sometimes it’s hard to tell on your computer monitor how the sizing will work out. My best tip is to go ahead and order (via Shutterfly, or Kodak Gallery, or wherever you get your prints from) your favorite photos BOTH in wallet size and 4 x 6 size. That way, you won’t be stuck with an image of Junior that is too-big or too-small for the photo openings. Give yourself some options–it is worth a few extra dollars.
4) Set aside an hour for this project. “What hour?” you laugh. Believe me, I know what you mean. Make the time late one night, or while your child is napping. Lay out the frame and your photos, and match up the photos to where you want them to appear inside the die-cut matting. I used small slivers of invisible scotch tape to “anchor” my photos to the reverse side of the matting–this way they won’t shift around once you reassemble the frame and hang it up. Then put the frame back together and secure the back with the clips provided.
5) Attach the included white grosgrain ribbon (or not) to hang it on a wall hook. I left the ribbon on for R’s version, for S’s I opted to take it off (a bit less “girly”). And this is a detail I had forgotten about: I taped the gift card from my husband and daughter to the back of the frame. I often tape cards to the back of gifts, or inside books I’ve received…I’m sentimental like that. This one is particularly poignant for me.
6) Now’s the fun part…decide where to hang it (it is a chunky frame but just requires one wall hook). Be creative. Place it in an unexpected nook in your child’s room. Or group it with other keepsakes.
Here’s how Pottery Barn Kids shows the First Year Frame on display. I don’t know about you, but my daughter’s first “nursery”–actually a walled-off dining alcove–never looked that good. But it’s all about aspiring to a certain aesthetic, right?
Here’s how R’s First Year Frame looks in her room. Not quite catalog material, but very pretty nonetheless, I’d say.
Pottery Barn Kids’s First Year Frame costs $44 (online only at Pottery Barn Kids; not in-store) and shipping is free.
Win it! FIVE MyMomShops readers will each win a First Year Frame ($44) from Pottery Barn Kids. Here are the contest rules (they have changed a bit- please read carefully!) Winners will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Monday morning, April 11th.
1) Visit Pottery Barn Kids and then leave a comment here about your favorite baby gift (it does NOT have to be the First Year Frame). Leave your comment on THIS post (click on “comments” below).
2) Post your comment by 11:59pm EST on Sunday, April 10th.
3) You may leave up to 4 separate entries- 1 entry with a comment as described in #1, 1 entry indicating that you “like” Pottery Barn Kids on Facebook, 1 entry indicating that you follow Pottery Barn Kids on Twitter (please provide your Twitter handle), and 1 entry indicating that you follow MyMomShops on Twitter (please provide your Twitter handle).
4) Five winners will be chosen at random (using Random.org) and announced on Monday morning, April 11th.
5) NOTE: If you wish to be contacted by e-mail if you win, please include your e-mail address in your comment. Otherwise you must check back on Monday, April 11th by 10am. If the prize is NOT claimed within 48 hours, the next random winner (using Random.org) will be contacted.