This is a picture of a hand-printed wreath that my brothers and I made twenty-six years ago. I hang it up every year at Christmas time. I adore it. I remember with fondness the day we created them (we made eight, one for each kid, parents and grandparents) And every year my mom would hang it up on the wall so that we could see how much our hands had grown each year. I cherished that!

So this year, I am doing this craft with my boys and giving them as gifts to their grandparents.  Now ironically, when visiting with my sister-in-law at Thanksgiving, she was sharing how they were making their 9 month-old's foot prints into a mistletoe picture. I also have a friend who used her baby's feet in the shape of a reindeer. Looks like DIY crafting is in the air.

First Things First

What kind of print will you do. Handprints or footprints? Wreath (see above), reindeer, or mistletoes?

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Examples of reindeer:

 
Original photo from
Babble.com


Original Image from BuggyandBuddy.com

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 Examples of mistletoes:


Original image from nikkayslife


Original image from keywordssuggest.com

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Canvas Type

Decide on the material to use for stamping their little hands and toes on. I have seen burlap, canvas and assorted clothes.

Size Matters

Choose the size that you would like. Is this going to be a large wall hanging or a smaller framed picture? The smaller ones are easier to package as gifts, but the wall hangings are just as cute.

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Other Supplies

-Paint (I used acrylic) red, brown, or green depending on which print you are doing.

-Paint brush, various sizes, larger for apply paint to hands and feet, smaller if using for detail work.

-Permanent markers in various colors, if you feel more comfortable using these for the detail work later instead of paint.

-Glue stick or glue-gun.

-Pom-poms (I used red.)

-Ribbon, this is optional if you would like add dimension to your artwork.

-Wash cloth wet and ready to wash paint off of hands or feet.

-Patience, this may not go according to plan, so expect the unexpected.

Ready, Set, GO!

I suggest doing this on your kitchen floor or even bathroom floor in case feet or hands get to wandering. Also make sure you do several practice prints on scrap paper to determine amount of paint to apply to hands or toes. Too much paint can make for a blurry print, and not enough can make for a do-over that forces you to re-align hands and feet "just-so." And let's face it, with a baby or toddler, that might not happen.

1. Set the canvas or fabric on the floor. If using paper, I suggest taping the sides to the floor so it doesn't move. You can even tape fabric down. A canvas is usually heavy enough that it won't move much when adding the pressure of the print.

2. Dip the paintbrush in the paint and then apply the paint to the hands or feet.

3. Bring the hands and feet to the canvas or fabric (do not attempt to bring the canvas to the baby, they can kick it or hit it and then you are starting over.) 

BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE: wash the paint off your child. If they get to wandering your whole house could be one big art project. 

4. Once the print is how you like it, set it aside to dry.

5. After it dries, add the detail that you desire with the ribbon, pom-poms or extra paint. This is your project, so make it look however you like. Use the examples simply as a launching pad for your craft masterpiece.

6. Wrap it up and send it to grandma and grandpa for a most treasured gift this holiday season.

Happy Holidays, and Happy Crafting!


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Lena Vogelgesang

Lena likes to define herself by the Seven C’s: Christ, Chris, Children, Comrades, Coffee, Cheese, & Cardio. Due to her love of coffee and cheese, she must also have a relationship with increasing her heart rate. The Lord has given her a wonderful husband in Chris and they have two young boys.



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