The Crafty Crap

Mother’s Day Handprint Project

My mom always said that the older her kids got, the more she was truly able to enjoy them. Then she would have to clarify that she loved us when we were little, but blah, blah, blah… My kids are still pretty small(ish) and I can totally agree that the older they get, the more I can do with them, but I just cannot get enough of their babyness. Their eyelashes, their chubby toes, the way they smother themselves with a blanket to go to sleep, I just love it all so much I want to burst. If it’s not obvious, I’m kind of obsessed with preserving memories. Recently, my sister wanted to make some sort of footprint craft with her kids as a gift for my mom, and when she started looking on Pinterest she said I had already done them all. Shrug. You snooze you lose, sister.

Remember my post about finding the best photo printing sites? Well, I miiiight have had ulterior motives. Or at least, figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone. I had come up with this genius idea to take a canvas print of a picture of my kids, and then decorate it with hand/finger/toe print pictures. That’s it. That’s the craft. You can stop reading now if you want.

But if you’re still interested, I decided it needed to be a bluebonnet picture (non-Texans will never understand), so we drove forever away, without my working husband, so that I could get THE picture. Looking back, I’m sure we were a sight to see that day. Hudson, crawling all over the place, getting dirty, eating flowers and completely ignoring my extreme efforts to get him to look at me and/or smile. Harper, fake smiling, watching her brother out of the corner of her eye, also getting as dusty as possible in her white dress, and looking as awkward as is humanly possible. Me, crazy hair, crazy eyes, chasing my children with my camera, yelling one second, making fart noises the next in a vain effort to get something that resembles a smile, throwing out empty threats, and making promises I hoped would be forgotten.

I took lots of pictures, but most of them turned out like this:

I did get one decent picture out of the zillions I took that evening, and while it wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for since harper wasn’t looking, it worked.

So I did a little research, ordered my canvases and waited. Then I took pictures of my pictures and decided on which photo printing service really is the best of the best. At this point, I was ready to start my project.

Let me just say that doing a hand/footprint project with a 5-year-old is a breeze. Doing it with a baby, whose tiny hands and feet you just want to preserve forever, is difficult. Actually, no. Doing a baby footprint is difficult. Doing a baby handprint is downright impossible. Here is a prime example of our difficulties, courtesy of said 5-year-old’s photography skills.

My advice is this: Have someone to hold the baby, and someone else to do the stamping. We’ve done this at all ages and just trust me, it takes 2 people. Minimum.

Also, everyone involved, no matter how skilled you are, should wear old clothes (or none in Hudson’s case). I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten bits of paint on good clothes. It sounds like common sense but for me, it apparently is not. Maybe one day I’ll take my own advice.

This is also a project that takes a lot of time. Especially when you do it like we did with different colors layered on top of each other. For us, this took multiple days between drying and painting sessions. Don’t plan on this being something you can whip up real quick. It’s worth it, but it just takes a while.

I scoured Pinterest for bug/flower/creature ideas to include and finally decided to make a Pinterest board for all of my favorite handprint project ideas. I don’t know why it took me so long to do that. Go there. I’ve saved you lots of time looking for ideas. You’re welcome.

Most of my hand/footprint projects have been on fabric of one sort or another, so they generally involve fabric paint. I did the first one in fabric paint and I really like how it kinda leaves that texture. For this one, I painted their names on it too. So here it is. The first of our finished projects.

If I had better handwriting and could paint pretty letters, I would have kept the rest of them just like this. But because I don’t, I decided to nix the names and just have more fingerprint bluebonnets. I also decided to go with acrylic paint because… I don’t really know I just did. This second picture looks like the colors were more vibrant, but that wasn’t actually the case. It’s just my photography skills (or lack thereof) on different days in different lighting.

We gave these away as Mother’s Day gifts and they were such a hit with the grandmothers and great-grandmothers. I wish I had made one for myself but I still get to see it whenever I visit any one of these lovely ladies.

Now I want to see pictures of your completed handprint projects! Just know that I may copy you and make my own!

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