If you love the charming, one-of-a-kind look of boutique clothing but you don't want to replace everything you already have, personalize the items that your son or daughter already owns. Even if you're not crafty, you can still enhance clothing with everyday items that you most likely have on hand.
You don't even have to own a sewing machine to give your daughter's apparel a personalized look—a needle, thread and some fabric glue is all it will take to transform the pieces in most cases. These customized clothing pieces will also make ideal baby shower, birthday and holiday gifts without emptying your wallet.
Here are some ways to create boutique-inspired clothing at home using everyday items:
Get a boutique-worthy look for less with colorful and patterned grosgrain ribbons. As one idea, if your child has a sundress with spaghetti straps, tie ribbons into bows around each strap. Make sure to choose ribbons in colors that coordinate with the dress, and don't be afraid to mix patterns, such as polka-dotted or chevron-printed ribbons with a striped dress.
You can also use the ribbons to create a personalized holiday dress for your daughter or as a gift. Use red ribbons with a blue-and-white striped dress for a 4th of July look, or orange ribbons with a black dress for a Halloween party.
As another option, wrap a 3-inch wide grosgrain or satin ribbon around the middle of a plain dress and tie it into a bow in the back, allowing the ends to hang down. You can also tie the ribbon in the front if you prefer.
Easy-to-apply iron-on appliques from a craft store will work best with sweet smocked dresses. You can customize the top portion of the front of the frock with any design you'd like, such as frogs or bumblebees for summer, or pumpkins and scarecrows for autumn. Choose letter-shaped appliques for a monogrammed look.
Simply follow the manufacturer's directions for applying the designs and you'll have a boutique-inspired dress in a matter of minutes.
Another easy and inexpensive way to personalize a shirt or dress is by swapping out plain buttons with more interesting versions. For example, remove the basic buttons on a girls' jumper dress or a boy's dress shirt with cute cat- or dog-shaped ones.
As a baby shower gift, use pacifier-, baby bottle- or rattle-shaped buttons. You can also choose buttons in designs such as baseballs, dinosaurs, flowers or bugs to reflect your son's or daughter's interests.