DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake

by Meghan

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For those who have been followers for a while, you know we are gearing up to move into our forever home.  After two years of searching, another 6 months of designing and contract negotiating, followed by another year of construction, it looks like we are finally moving this month!  And while I am ecstatic, I have to say Big M is probably the most excited of all.  She cannot wait to move into her new ‘big girl room’.  She has had a hand in everything from wall color selection, to choice of theme and bedding.  This week, we started working on some wall decor to go with her new Ballerina room, while also preserving a very special memento: her first pair of ballet slippers.

DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake Wall Decor

DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Big M chose a ballerina theme for her new big girl room.  My tiny dancer has an unrivaled tutu obsession, that has only deepened after nearly 2 years of dance classes.  And it was only too ironic when, on our first trip to the Benjamin Moore paint store to choose colors for the new house, as I hemmed and hawed over Owl Gray or Revere Pewter, she walked right up to the sample wall, pulled one card off the shelf, took it up to the counter and said, “This one please…”  The name of the paint?  Ballet Slippers.

Benjamin Moore Ballet Slippers

Benjamin Moore Ballet Slippers

Then, a few months back, I discovered this great Handprint Ballerina Tutu canvas idea from Meet the Dubiens, and saved it, knowing it would be the perfect addition to Big M’s new room.  When she outgrew her first pair of ballet slippers a few weeks later, I knew I wanted to keep them, and given her room theme, incorporate them into the decor.  I merged the two ideas together to come up with the final product.

Basic Supplies

You only need a few supplies for this project – and all in, I spent less than $20 to create it.  On a quick trip to Hobby Lobby, I got a package of two 16×20 canvases ($7.99, or $3.99 each), two rolls of tulle ($3.99 and $4.99, respectively), a roll of light pink grosgrain ribbon ($3.99), and I already had the rest at home.


Canvas – 16×20
Acrylic Paint – two shades of pink
Tulle – two shades of pink
Grosgrain ribbon

Needle and thread
First ballet slippers
Hot glue

Cost: Less than $20
Completion Time: About an hour – allow 24 hours for paint to dry

Step 1: Hand Print Tutu

While the original post incorporated a leotard, I wanted to leave room for the shoes to hang over the canvas, so I just created the tutu across the top third of the canvas.  I used two shades of pink acrylic craft paint that I already had left over from another project.  I like the Martha Stewart acrylics, and the paint I had are both pearlized – Pink Taffeta and Fruit Punch.  The two different shades, both for the paint and the tulle, create some added depth to your tutu.  Amazon sells it for $2.49 each.

Martha Stewart Acrylic Craft Paint – Pearl Fruit Punch

While the tulle by itself may have been sufficient, I loved capturing her hand prints along with her first shoes, just to remember how tiny she really is right now.  After doing many hand print crafts, it is best to paint their hand, then have them press it firmly onto the surface for the print.  We painted the darker prints first, then layered the lighter ones over the top.

DIY First Ballet Slipper Keepsake - Handprint Tutu on Canvas

Step 2: Adding the Tulle and Ballet Slippers

After letting the hand prints dry overnight, our canvas was ready for the tulle and ballet slippers.  To make the tulle portion of the tutu, I layered a dark pink and lighter, shimmery pink tulle on top of each other.  Again, two shades creates a little more depth.  With a needle and thread, I hand-stitched the two pieces together, and pulled it to gather it, creating a ruffled effect.  I created enough gathered tulle to stretch across approximately 2/3s of the top of the canvas.

DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake - Tulle Tutu Overlay

Setting the tulle aside, I wrapped the middle of each ballet slipper strap with grosgrain ribbon, leaving enough length to hang them from the top of the canvas, with the slipper hanging about 2/3s down the length of the canvas.  I attached the two lengths of ribbon to the top and back of the canvas with hot glue.

DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake Square

Finally, I hot glued the gathered tulle along the top edge of the canvas, to complete our First Ballet Slipper Keepsake.

DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake - Wall Canvas

I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it came out, and can’t wait to see it hanging in her new room.  Want a sneak peek of what else we have in store for Big M’s new big girl room?  Her furniture is being delivered next week, and we’ve already gotten the bedding.  I wanted to fulfill her ballerina sheets wish, but much of what I found was overly pink, and very young.  While she is only going to be 4, I wanted something that she could be happy with for at least a few years without seeming babyish.

DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake - Ballerina Sheets

I ordered the ballerina sheets on sale from Pottery Barn Kids, and got an awesome duvet set from Amazon to go with it.  When your child lays down, they look like they are dressed like a ballerina!  The same brand also makes a princess, fireman, pirate, and several other characters.

If you enjoyed this post, you can check out all of our DIY and Home Decor projects here.  You might also enjoy our Kidmade Ladybug Girl Wings and our seasonal DIY Burlap Banners for 4th of July, Halloween and Christmas! You can find all of these on our DIY board on Pinterest!


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Nina Lewis July 14, 2015 - 2:13 pm

This is such a darling idea! Our daughter wasn’t interested in ballet — or dance. Rats. Maybe a granddaughter might be so I could make this! Thanks so much for sharing at Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. I really appreciate your participation!

Ali Gilbert July 9, 2015 - 9:58 pm

SUCH a cute idea! Love it! Thanks for posting on #ToddlerFunFriday!

PGPBMeghan July 10, 2015 - 6:48 am

Thank you! We can’t wait to hang it in her new room!

My Bored Toddler July 9, 2015 - 8:39 pm

How gorgeous! What a lovely keepsake! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday

PGPBMeghan July 10, 2015 - 6:47 am

So glad you like it! Happy to share 🙂

Toddler Fun Friday #17 - Kidz Activities July 9, 2015 - 9:47 am

[…] DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake by Playground Parkbench […]

Kylie July 4, 2015 - 9:19 am

Oh my! So cute! And so easy to do as well.

PGPBMeghan July 6, 2015 - 10:26 am

So glad you like it – it was easy, and I am in love with how it turned out. Can’t wait to hang it up on the wall!

Jennifer Tammy July 3, 2015 - 1:44 pm

This is such a sweet idea! I LOVE those sheets, too!

PGPBMeghan July 3, 2015 - 8:38 pm

Thanks! It’s so hard to find bedding for kids that’s 1) 100% cotton and 2) not covered with annoying characters. She’s thrilled, and can’t wait to sleep in her new big bed!

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[…] DIY First Ballet Slippers Keepsake […]


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