Creating Sentimental Holiday Crafts with Your Children

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Story and Photos By Amanda Causey Baity

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One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is unpacking the decorations and reflecting on all the memories each piece brings. I love finding the kids’ projects from holidays past tucked away in the ornaments and decor. We have gingerbread men, homemade ornaments, handcrafted wreaths, and—my personal favorite—holiday photo projects. I love seeing how the kids have grown from year to year.

Fingerprint crafts are another fun way to see how the kids have changed. They’re a great chance to capture a moment in time to create memories of creating art and making gifts. Having your child create a handmade gift is priceless. Gifting something to the family that will forever become part of their holiday décor is even better. Here are some great craft ideas, helpful crafting tips and display options for those festive fingerprint, handprint and footprint projects.

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Snowman Hand Ornament

Materials

  • Christmas balls (I used clear to add “snow” inside, but you can choose a solid color as well.)
  • White craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Sharpie markers in a few colors

Directions

  • Paint your child’s hand white with the paintbrush.
  • Carefully put the ornament in the palm of your child’s hand leaving their fingers flat.
  • Have your child slowly and gently close his/her fingers around the ornament.
  • Hold the top of the ornament and have the child open his/her fingers and lift the ornament from his/her hand. If you do not like how it turned out, quickly wipe clean with water and a paper towel or napkin; then start over.
  • Place the ornament on top of a cup or in an egg carton to dry.
  • Once dry, use sharpie markers to draw accents (i.e., arms, eyes, hat, etc.). Don’t press too hard or the paint will come off.
  • Be sure to include your child’s name and date at the bottom.
  • Here is a little poem you can write or type to go along with the ornament if it is a gift:

These aren’t just five snowmen As anyone can see.

I made them with my hand Which is a part of me.

Now each year when you trim the tree You’ll look back and recall

Christmas of 2016 When my hand was just this small!

Crafting Tips

  • I use latex paint when making hand print art. The downside is that it is not washable from clothing and carpets and can even stain some hard surfaces. We always use a painter’s cloth from the hardware store with our projects. Another tip is to add a shower curtain liner underneath, which helps protect from spills. When you are done with your crafting, let any wet areas dry and fold/roll it up to store for next time.
  • If you are creating a paper design, be sure to think about the life expectancy of the project when you are selecting your paper product. Construction paper seems like the best material for most projects, but it does fade rather quickly. Depending upon the type of paint you use, it also easily cracks when it dries. I use a heavy cardstock for most of my painting projects unless it is canvas worthy. You can pick up multi-color cardstock and canvases at a reasonable price from your local craft supply store.
  • When creating finger/hand/footprint projects, you may be thinking that dipping into the paint is best. I prefer to use a paint brush to ensure the perfect coverage, and it also allows you to mix colors a bit if the project calls for that. Watch out for little hands getting paint everywhere and make sure you have crafting clothes!

Amanda Causey Baity ([email protected]) is Director of Operations for Prince William Living and Brides & Weddings magazines. She is a cookbook author and publishes her blog with family-friendly recipes, crafts and décor ideas. You can find out more at HeyYallLetsEat.com.

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