All in the Family: Restoring an Heirloom Baby Carriage

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Restoring a family heirloom baby carriage

I’m officially 37 weeks, and I can’t believe it! I’m so excited to be entering these final weeks, especially because I just finished up a major DIY that has quite a special family meaning: restoring our family baby carriage. Originating with my paternal grandmother, the carriage looks like it rolled right out of the pages of Mary Poppins. It’s a white wicker “buggy” style carriage that was used when she was a child. She then used it for my father, and my mother used it with me. Now, I’ll get to use it for my baby girl. I’m so excited!

Baby carriage in the 1940s

The two photos above are of my father in summer of 1942 sunning in the baby carriage in Texas. I just love that I have these special photos.

Restoring a family heirloom carriage

The photos above are yours truly in the 1980s both as a newborn (bottom right) and a toddler. I am so thrilled to have these photos because I can recreate them with my baby girl. This carriage has held so many memories for my family.

Similar to my mother’s family bassinet, the carriage needed some restoration. If you have any family antiques in your attic or basement that need a little DIY love, hopefully these restoration tips will help. My mom restored this carriage 35 years ago, but it needed a new fresh coat of paint and padding.

Restoring an antique baby carriage

The carriage had yellowed and the batting used as padding was deteriorating. So I got to work restoring it. I really like Rust-Oleum white gloss spray paint because it goes on smoothly and leaves the perfect clean, white shine. I do suggest using painter’s tape to wrap around the rubber wheels before spray painting. I found the batting at a local fabric store and re-lined the inside of the carriage.

Restoring an antique baby carriage

I suggest spraying two coats of the paint in order to get all the “nooks and crannies” of wicker. Thankfully, the top of the carriage unhooked so we were able to spray paint it very easily. It was amazing how much fresher it looked after painting. My mom saved all my childhood baby dolls that are now holding baby girl’s spot while we anxiously await her arrival!

Restoring a family heirloom baby carriage

Check back next week for my nursery reveal!

Photo credit: Courtney Whitmore

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