As I await the arrival of my first child, a lot of my making has been babycentric. Here’s a look at one creation.
 
Teeny, tiny embroidery. 
I nabbed this wonderful embroidered portrait last summer at the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market. I didn’t have plans for it then (this was pre-pregnancy), but the tiny stitches bowled me over, and I couldn’t go home without it. I believe it set me back about $5, and it languished in my collection of items with decorative potential for months.
Enter Das Baby. (Well not literally. Yet.) Looking at my collection of items with decorative potential through a new, babycentric lens revealed a theme: old-timey animals — perfect for a gender-neutral nursery.
 
Gluing loops to the back of the wall hanging.
I decided to hang the embroidered portrait without a frame. The detail of the embroidery would have been lost behind glass, it definitely would have been more expensive, and because the portrait backing is not entirely straight (see last photo), it would have looked awkward in a frame with perfect, 90-degree corners.
   Stringing a dowel through the loops while the glue dries makes sure they are aligned.

To hang the portrait, I cut three fabric loops and ran a dowel through them. (MVH produced the thin rod with the commentary, “See? Aren’t you glad your husband is a pack rat who doesn’t throw anything away?” My answer: “Sometimes, like today.”)

I picked a neutral fabric from my stash to make sure the loops wouldn’t show through the front of the hanging. I opted to glue them instead of stitching them for the sake of time and because I don’t trust myself to produce “invisible” stitches on the front of the portrait. Moreover, the hanging is decorative, not a functional piece that will witness a lot of physical abuse. (I say that now before DB starts pulling at everything and/or the naughtier of our two cats jumps at it.)

Fawns.
Hanging the portrait was a two-person job. Because it isn’t square, there was a lot of trial and error, with one of us holding the portrait, the other standing back and offering corrections, and then switching positions to double-check work. I think hanging a non-square object is harder than hanging something with 90-degree angles! Lots more guessing and checking, and using a level (one of my favorite tools) isn’t particularly useful.

The full portrait shows a buck (which is sort of strange) with three fawns.
The hanging appears near the changing table and is centered over the laundry chute. It hangs low because of the angle of the neighboring wall.

I love its rich detail and wonky edges, which likely will level out a bit over time. The deer fit nicely with the other animal art in the room (blog posts forthcoming!), and I hope DB will enjoy it, too. It’s playful enough for a child’s room, yet not so cutesy that it would look out of place in a regular, grown-up house.

Have you integrated vintage finds into a child’s room? Please share!