Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! We’ve just started unpacking all of our decorations, and I couldn’t help but smile when I came across the handprint Christmas tree keepsake I made with the kids last year.
It’s only been 12 months, but I can tell the kids have grown so much since we made it! I just love that I can pull it out each year as a decoration and as a reminder of a time when my kids were so little!
You'll need canvas, acrylic paint, a wooden star and some Gorilla glue for this project, which I first saw on the Five Whites blog.
I had never used canvas before this project, but was pleased to find you can buy two-packs of “economy” canvas at craft stores. I got ours when they were 50 percent off and each one cost just a little over $1. I had no idea you could get them so cheaply!
I did opt for the high quality acrylic paint from the art section of the store rather than the little bottles of craft acrylic paint, but I’m not sure that it matters. For our tree trunk, I lightly sketched what I wanted it to look like with a brown colored pencil and then filled it in with brown acrylic paint and a paintbrush. I also found a glittery, wooden star for the top of our tree instead of painting one. It cost about 30 cents, and I used Gorilla glue to attach it to the canvas. I wrote the year on the bottom using a red permanent marker, and the kids’ names on the back.
Acrylic paint will stain clothing, so keep that in mind when planning for the project. It washed off the kids’ hands pretty easily.
We went on to make several of these as gifts because they turned out so cute and were so cheap to make! Each one turned out totally unique. We even made one for my mom using all her grandkids’ hands; she loved it so much she left it hanging up year round!
I think these handprint Christmas trees look very classic as is, but it’d be fun to add pom poms, buttons, or even fingerprints to mimic ornaments or lights. If you want something simpler, or need an activity for a large group, you could easily just do the project with washable paint on paper. If you’re looking for a Christmas card idea, you could create a handprint tree with your child, take a photo of the completed project, and use it to create your cards. Lots of possibilities!
Let the Christmas crafting begin!!
Genny is a former Wake County Public School System elementary and reading teacher, who is now a stay-at-home mom of two preschoolers in Cary. Read more on her blog In Lieu of Preschool and Facebook page.