Friday, January 6, 2012

Handprint Calendars

This year we made a lot of our Christmas presents.  One that Sammy was very involved in was handprint calendars for his Gigi (my mom, Grandma (Tim’s mom), and Tim.  This project was HUGE and if I did it again I would start earlier and I worked out all of the issues we ran into this year!  Some things I learned this year.  I will do some tips at the bottom. 

Here are our calendars drying on the kitchen floor:


Here is the cover:


Snowmen – we painted the whole hand white and printed it on the back of the cover page.  While the paint was wet I sprinkled glitter on top so it would get stuck in the paint while it dried.  Once it was dry I painted the details on each finger:


Heart- Painted each hand red and then layered the prints to make a heart:


St. Patrick – I painted his fingers white for the beard, painted the palm pink, then painted his thumb and the base of his palm green.  Once it was dry I drew on the features.


The Easter bunny: I painted his whole white but left his thumb un-painted.  Then I helped Sammy separate his fingers and make this print.  We added a thumbprint for the bunny tail.  While the paint was wet I sprinkled on some glitter. Later I painted on pink paint for the inside of the ears and drew on the features.


A tulip – I painted all but his thumb yellow.  I then painted on the stem and leaves after it was dry.


Fish – I painted his whole hand orange and drew on the features.  The water bubbles were finger prints.


American flag- This one was a little hard to paint.  I painted the thumb and base of the hand brown for a flag pole.  I then painted a small blue square under his pinky and ring finger.  I then painted his fingers and part of his palm with a red and white stripes.  Afterwards I added white dots for stars and outlined the flag.


Butterfly- I painted the side of Sammy’s hand green  and made that print for the body.  The head was a thumbprint.  Next we painted each hand blue and made the wings.  While they were still wet we sprinkled on the glitter.


apple – I painted the palm of his hand red.  After it was dry I painted on a stem and added a green thumbprint for the leaf.


Pumpkin patch- For this one I had Sammy make a fist then painted his knuckles orange.  The key to this one is to roll the hand from one side to the other to make it look like a pumpkin.  I added the green vines and thumbprint leaves after the pumpkins were dry.  On one of the calendars I only added green stems and I liked how that turned out even better.


Turkey- This one is a classic.  Paint the palm and thumb brown, then paint each finger a different color.  Once it was dry I added an eye, beak, and a smile (per Sammy’s request).


Christmas Tree – I painted his whole foot and toes green.  Then painted on a white garland.  The red ornaments were finger tip prints.  I drew a star and some presents to make it look a little more like a Christmas tree Smile


My husband’s office has a spiral binder so we took all of the pages in and punched them down and bound them.  These turned into wonderful gifts and I think I might just do them again next year!

Some tips from the trenches:

  • Don’t do your prints on construction paper the paper will wrinkle when it dries and there is no pretty way to attach it to the calendar with out wrinkles and bubbles through out.
  • Use an extra set of hands – Tim helped with this whole thing (yes he knew he was getting one).  He took Sammy to the bathroom and washed all the paint off when we were done with that color.   He also helped Sammy remain still when I was painting the more detailed handprints.
  • Have all of your paint read and enough brushes for each different color.  This spreads things up so you aren’t having to rinse out your bowl and brush each time. 
  • Give yourself a huge space to dry your calendars
  • Spiral punch your calendar before you do the prints.  This is so you don’t lose any of your print and to keep the calendar the correct direction.
  • Use thick cardstock so the details don’t bleed through.  Mine was not thick enough and when I drew some details on they bled through the pages a little bit.

I am linking this up to Preschool Corner, TGIF, and Fun Stuff Fridays.