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Bronzed Baby Shoes ~ Family Heirlooms and Keepsakes

Updated on August 2, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Our Bronzed Baby Shoes
Our Bronzed Baby Shoes | Source

Heirlooms

Looking at the cherished bronzed baby shoes that have adorned my parent's houses and now our home resurrects past memories and will hopefully carry forward into the future.

I was the eldest of three children followed by two younger brothers.

My parents would have grown up in the days of "waste not, want not." Therefore the first baby shoes which adorned our feet but would not have had much actual use was actually worn by all three of us.

After there was no longer any chance of more children being born, my parents spent the money to have our baby shoes bronzed thereby preserving them as cherished heirloom memories of those early days in our nuclear family of five.

These first baby shoes worn by my brothers and me would have been soft little things prior to us ever taking our first steps and walking. Thus the prime reason for their use would have been to keep our feet warm more than for any type of foot support. That would come later!

Shoe bronzing was apparently popular back in the 1950s when my parents would have had this done.

I was curious if people were still doing this as much today and according to the pages of references when I Googled the subject, bronzing baby shoes is obviously still being utilized in this day and time to create keepsakes.

Bronzed Keepsakes

Children grow up so quickly and outgrow not only clothing and shoes, but their cute baby mannerisms that most people truly love.

Preserving something from those early days that can stand up to passing time in good manner was probably the reason that bronzing baby shoes came into existence.

The picture below is one of me as a little tyke.

There were progressively more photos taken of my brother John and then even more taken of Jim because with each passing year my parents had more money to spend on such luxuries as having professional photos taken.

Picture of me as a little one.
Picture of me as a little one. | Source

Shoe Bronzing Costs

I have no idea if the costs of shoe bronzing were proportionately more or less expensive back when my hard working but frugal parents would have had them preserved.

Today the costs vary from site to site. Therefore if you readers are interested in having this done as a gift for yourself or others, shopping around would be advisable.

Suffice it to say that from my research bronzing baby shoes varies from a low price of $34.95 to a high of $99.95 not including tax, shipping and handling.

The smiling little one below was my brother John who was 23 months younger than me.

My brother Johnny as he was called back then.
My brother Johnny as he was called back then. | Source

In addition to having shoes bronzed some people are choosing to have their items preserved in gold, pewter, porcelain and even silver. Prices vary as does the time to complete these preservation processes.

Other items like pacifiers, toys, footballs and more can be preserved by various companies vying for your order.

Some people wanting bronzed baby shoes choose to have them mounted as bookends or want a portrait stand included as a means of showing off the future heirlooms. Again, prices vary depending upon each person's wishes.

My brother Jim was born 17 months after my brother John. Little Jimmy is pictured below.

My parents had three little ones all in less than six years and certainly had their hands full!

We had a great family with grandparents who lived nearby as well as aunts and uncles and cousins whom we saw frequently.

My youngest brother Jimmy as he was called back then.
My youngest brother Jimmy as he was called back then. | Source

Do you have bronzed baby shoes as keepsakes?

See results

Heirloom Keepsake

I am planning on passing these bronzed baby shoes on to my niece who had indicated that she would like them as a personal family heirloom. Someday she can pass them on to her daughter.

My parents who are now both gone would have been pleased to think that these treasured little baby shoes are still being cherished and kept in the family.

For those of you who may never have heard of this, now you can take action. Have something special preserved. Future generations will be smiling and glad that you did!

Childhood is a Precious and Fleeting Time!

Source

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 19 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello breathing,

      So glad you liked this article about bronzing baby shoes. Perhaps you will use that idea someday. I know that when my parents were alive they always had them displayed in a prominent place. It would certainly have brought back memories for them when my brothers and I were little ones.

    • breathing profile image

      Sajib 19 months ago from Bangladesh

      An excellent article on preserving childhood memories. I’m simply touched by the idea of bronzing childhood shoes. This will immediately take you to the part of your life when you wore those shoes. Also the cost of shoe bronzing is also a very much convenient one. We spend a lot heck more than this on any of our unnecessary wants. You can also show these shoes to your child and the upcoming generation. This is a good way of building up a relation of tradition between the different generations. Indeed childhood is the most cherished part of our life and to make it more special, bronzed shoes can be the perfect idea.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Gerry,

      The people that do the bronzing of items can make suggestions as to how to incorporate other items such as the lamp. A base could be made for both of them. Of course lamps go in and out of style so you might want the baby item to be removable just in case.

    • profile image

      Gerry 2 years ago

      I want to pass on bronzed baby boot to our grandson but want to make it into a lamp or something useful to the now generation. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello amazmerizing,

      If you have some little ones on the way, this will make for a nice remembrance of their tiny feet when they were babies especially years from now. Glad you liked this. :)

    • amazmerizing profile image

      amazmerizing 2 years ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

      Nice hub here, hoping to do some of these soon myself. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Peg,

      Yes, bronzing baby shoes is certainly not as popular as it was back in the fifties. I was also interested that some people today are still having it done to preserve memories. Glad you have one from your family even if it was not yours but worn by your brother.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I had no idea that they were still doing this to preserve baby shoes. Wow. I have a pair of them that I bought at an auction to remind me of the ones I would have inherited. Later, my Dad gave me the actual bronzed shoe that my brother wore. It was made into a souvenir type of ashtray, also popular in the fifties. Interesting topic.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      It sounds like you are doing some great things with your remaining baby things to where they will really be enjoyed and on display. Thanks for your comment and the share.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I have seen bronzed baby shoes in some people's homes over the years. I saved most of my daughter's things, shoes, clothes, toys, books, etc., but I never had anything done to the shoes. I do still plan to make her a lap quilt from her baby clothes that are still all but new because she had rare occasions to wear some of them. I also made pillows and wall hangings out of some of them so that instead of just taking up storage space they're out where they can be enjoyed.

      Excellent article as always. Voted up, useful and interesting. Will share with my followers.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Vinaya,

      What a sweet thing to do...presenting your baby shoes as a birthday present to you on your 16th birthday. Obviously your mother is very sentimental. Do you still have those shoes? Thanks for your comment.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      My mother had safely stored my baby shoes as a coveted prize, which she presented to me on my 16th birthday. I still remember that birthday present.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi pstraubie48,

      Happy birthday to both of your grandsons. Sounds like you are having a good time celebrating those dates. Bronzing those boots later on will make them a more permanent part of those memories for them later on as well. Thanks for your visit and comment. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Peggy W...hi...I have visited before and always come back...have no bronzed shoes of my own but have a pair of my daughter's...so glad I do. Now I have a pair of boots that were my now 17 year old grandson's (tomorrow is his 17th)...and am having them restored ...sssshhh, it's a secret..and giving to his baby brother who will be 2 in May. Then, I will see if we can bronze them..So glad you shared this...a walk down memory lane is a great way to begin my day.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi onlooker,

      So glad that you enjoyed reading about my bronzed baby shoes. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      onlooker 5 years ago

      O such precious memories Peggy and a wonderful read too =)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi margaret,

      I would leave them to a good charity. Most charities operate thrift shops. Believe me...someone will be happy to purchase bronzed baby shoes and the charity will receive money to use for their purposes. Even if it is only a few dollars, it will be a few dollars more than they would have had if you had not donated them. Hope that helps! Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      margaret 5 years ago

      I dont want my shoes anymore and have no one to leave them, too. I also have my deceased husband's. Is there a place that wants these type items or should I just throw them away?

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Eddy,

      So glad that you enjoyed this hub about our bronzed baby shoes. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment and votes. Wishing you an equally good and wonderful day!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh Pegy,how beautiful is this? Very and I vote up up and away!!

      Take care and I wish you a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi KoffeeKlatch Gals,

      It may be too late to have bronzed your daughter's Lolly Dolly doll but how about bronzing baby shoes or other items for your grandchildren? Or are they past that age where they have small things? Maybe great-grandchildren in the future? :-)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Peggy, I never thought of bronzing a pacifier or favorite toy. What a unique Idea. My youngest daughter had a little doll called Lolly Dolly that she would cry for if we would misplaced it temporarily. She couldn't sleep unless she had it there beside her in bed. I would have bronzed that.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Mrs. J.B.,

      I'm with you on those memories of seeing many bronze baby shoes when I was growing up also. Mine are still displayed in a bookcase. Thanks for your comment.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      I remember everyone when I was growing up that most houses had a pair of bronze shoes on display in the living room. You hardly see them anymore.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Leslie Jo Barra,

      Bronze baby shoes seemed to be more popular when my parents and your parents did that but amazingly there are still companies that do it. Perhaps if your sons produce grandchildren for you, you can have their baby shoes bronzed as a gift? Do you still have your bronzed baby shoes with the pictures? Thanks for the comment.

    • Leslie Jo Barra profile image

      Leslie Jo Barra 6 years ago

      I love this article. My parents bronzed our shoes too and I remember them sitting on their dresser attached to picture frames that held pictures of each of us as toddlers. I didn't do that for my two sons, but now wish I had.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Mario Rodriguez,

      What I would do is do a Google search to find out if there are any companies doing the bronzing work in your area and then contact them directly to see what type of schooling that it would entail to learn how to do this. If there are no bronzing companies near you, perhaps the ones that do exist have a website where you can contact them directly and ask your questions. Good luck! Hope you can learn how to do the bronzing of baby shoes as well as other things that might interest you.

    • profile image

      MARIO RODRIGUEZ 6 years ago

      THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL MY QUESTION I ALWAYS WANTS TO LEARN HOW TO DO IT

      DO U NOW IF IF I HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL OR A PLACE TO LEARN OR WHERE CAN FIND A PLACE TO LEARN

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lisa,

      So your bronzed baby shoes and those of your sister's adorned your mother's piano for years. Does she still have them or has she given them to you and your sister? Obviously it brought back cherished memories of when the two of you were little ones when she would gaze at them on top of her piano. I did not realize until I wrote this hub that people are still having baby shoes bronzed. It is certainly a way to preserve those precious and fleeting moments of a child's early years.

      Those Stride Rites might still look cute bronzed especially not knowing what shoes will look like 40 to 50 years from now. Thanks for the comment.

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      My mother had my sister's and mine on top of her piano for ages. I always thought my sister's were nicer, because hers were her first walking shoes; so they had the real wrinkles, creases, and "lived in" look. My mother had a pair of baby, but dressy, baby-girl shoes. They just weren't as "real" looking as my sister's. Of course, by the time I had my own babies they wore all kinds of different shoes until they started walking - and by then the Stride Rites weren't as tiny and cute as younger babies' shoes are when they're bronzed.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky,

      Now THERE is an idea worth merit...bronzing your cycling shoes! Haha! As to the smell being removed...they might lose a little personality, but what the heck, go for it! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      Beautiful! I need my cycling shoes bronzed! They'll smell better too. God bless Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Jo Deslaurier,

      Glad that you found this article about bronzing baby shoes of interest. Thanks for the comment.

    • Jo Deslaurier profile image

      Jo Deslaurier 6 years ago

      Great article! I don't have a baby yet but I'll be sure to save their shoes when I do. Thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello ProHealthTips,

      Glad that this hub gave you the idea to preserve memories by bronzing baby shoes or other things. Thanks for the appreciative comment.

    • ProHealthTips profile image

      ProHealthTips 6 years ago

      That's an awesome idea to bronze them, or to bronze anything else.

      Great Hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Billy,

      From what you say...keeping the baby shoes, handprints and footprints...I think there is no doubt that you are the sentimental sort of people. Nice in my opinion!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 6 years ago

      Peggy sometimes we are :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Billy,

      However you and your wife decide to keep and display the baby shoes is special. Hand prints and foot prints...also nice. I can see that you guys are the sentimental sort.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 6 years ago

      Peggy not really - My wife has them all on display together - how cute and small they look - these are some great ideas - she has created some great memories with hand prints and foot prints that will be great to look back on.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Celesta,

      Since you have saved your son's first and second pair of walking shoes, you now have an idea of what to do with them if you like the idea of bronzing. It seems to have a resurgence of interest from those days when it was popular. Thanks for the comment!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi BkCreative,

      Glad you liked this hub about bronzing baby shoes. As I gaze upon them it certainly brings back memories of my family. Nice mementoes! Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Truly Different,

      I understand your feelings about keeping the baby clothes, shoes, etc. in natural form. I have seen some beautiful shadow boxes created with clothing and other special memorabilia that is not only saved but also displayed to great advantage and can be enjoyed by family members. Have you thought about doing that? Or are you simply keeping your kids shoes, clothes and the like waiting to see what they might wish to do with them?

      As to the bronzing of baby shoes...long after we are gone they will probably be purchased by someone as this was a slice of history and is also kind of a cute little decorative item for those that it might suit as such. A little different from the norm... Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      Celesta  6 years ago

      Bronzing is a great idea. I still have my son's first and second pair of walking shoes from thirty-five years ago, but have not bronzed yet. This served as a reminder.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Billy,

      Obviously both of your parents thought enough of your baby shoes to keep them and pass them on to you and your wife...and you kept your boys also for sentimental reasons. Nice! Bronzing the baby shoes was very popular for a while back when my parents had it done. Are you doing anything special with all of yours?

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Oooh I remember this when I was growing up - it was so popular for quite awhile. I will look into it again. Such a good idea.

      Loooove your baby photo!

      Thanks a million for this reminder - and rated up of course!

    • Truly Different profile image

      Truly Different 6 years ago from Israel.

      Maybe it's because I am different, but I find bronzed baby shoes useless and lifeless. I'd rather keep babies clothes and shoes for memories as they are, natural and soft. If you keep them in dry ventilated drawer, they will last for a long time. This memorabilia is very personal and when people die, nobody needs these memories to last forever, unless they are preserved for historical purposes.

      I keep my kids' baby dresses, socks and soft shoes, they are very personalized and alive, unlike bronzed shoes that all look alike and lifeless.

      But it is just my personal opinion and as I can see, the rare one.

      Nevertheless, your hub is great and I voted it up.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 6 years ago

      Wonderful memories - my wife has hers - not bronzed and we have our boys - I guess mine are somewhere :) What a wonderful idea to bronze them - certainly they will last forever.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello LindaJM,

      Not too late if you have grandkids (great-grandkids?) to have shoe bronzing done. I did not even know if it was still being done when I decided to write this hub, but found out that people are still cementing memories with bronzing and other processes. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • LindaJM profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      It has been a long time since I've heard of baby shoe bronzing! When my children were young I couldn't afford to have it done... so, no keepsakes there!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Hello, hello,

      Apparently not everyone is familiar with the bronzing of baby shoes. Glad that through this hub I could introduce you to the idea of creating cherished memories in this fashion.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      A fabulous idea I would have never thought of and it is such a mementum.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Happyboomernurse,

      At least your baby's shoes were put to good use in that others could hopefully wear them. I am a big believer in passing along useable items to thrift shops! It may be too late for you to have baby things bronzed but this just might give other people reading this the idea as you pointed out. I know that I cherish the bronzed baby shoes and my niece will do the same knowing that her father also wore them at one time prior to them being bronzed and preserved. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      Bronzing baby shoes was apparently a popular thing to do many years ago and new parents or grandparents just might want to consider doing that as a special remembrance of their little ones. Apparently some people are still in the business of bronzing baby shoes, pacifiers and the like. Thanks for the comment!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow Peggy, This was another great hub, touching and at the same time extremely informative. I love the way you included and displayed baby photos of youself and brothers. I remember seeing bronzed baby shoes in other friends' houses but don't recall seeing any lately. I love the way yours will be passed down as a family heirloom. I wish I had bronzed my son's baby shoes and turned them into bookends but unfortunately I gave them away to a thrift store. Thanks for sharing this hub and perhaps inspiring young parents or grandparents to do something that preserves a prescious piece of their children's babyhood.

    • profile image

      Cheryl 6 years ago

      A great way to keep precious heirlooms. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and the valuable information regarding family items that can be treasured and rememered for generations.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello DREAM ON,

      In addition to bronzing baby shoes, now that this many years have passed, you might also want to consider having your baby shoes framed with perhaps some pictures and other mementoes you might have in a shadow box. That could also be quite special!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi samsons1,

      Costs have certainly increased since the time you were bronzing baby shoes and other things in the 1970's. As to who is doing it now, I have included a number of links but invited interested parties to research this topic further. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello DiamondRN,

      According to what I read the popularity of bronzing baby shoes fell off in the 1970's and 1980's but apparently is having a bit of a resurgence in popularity. I have no idea how many people are doing it these days but there are certainly a number of companies offering to do it so there must be enough demand. Thanks for being the first to read and comment on this bronzing baby shoes hub.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 6 years ago

      My mother saved mine but never could afford to have it done.Maybe I will finally do it after all these years.Great memories.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

      up & beautiful! well written, enjoyable read. American Bronzing in Bexley Ohio use to do this for $ 9.95 a pair I believe, but that was probably earlier. In the early '70's I use to bronze baby shoes, combat boots for veterans, ball gloves and I even finished the little cloth booties in clear, bronze, silver or gold. Being a photographer by trade I would even take a pic of the baby for a little extra. But that was long ago. Don't know who does this now...

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Good idea. Great keepsake. Bronzed baby shoes used to be a lot more common that they have been recently.