Children grow so fast. It’s such a cliché, but the time between a child’s birth and high school graduation goes by in what feels like the blink of an eye. One day you’re holding your child’s hand as they enter a kindergarten classroom, and the next thing you know you’re helping them pack for college.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What You’ll Need to Make a DIY Handprint Keepsake
- DIY Handprint Keepsake Ideas for a Baby’s Handprint
- DIY Handprint Keepsake Ideas for a Child’s Handprint
- DIY Handprint Keepsake Ideas for Adults
Preserve a bit of your child or grandchild’s early life by creating handprint crafts. These make great keepsakes to look back on after your children are grown, or you could also give them as gifts to grandparents.
What You’ll Need to Make a DIY Handprint Keepsake
The most important thing you need when making a DIY handprint keepsake is a lot of patience. Babies and toddlers often don’t want to cooperate on projects like this. Babies usually keep their hands in fists, so getting them to flatten out their hands to press it in wet cement or ink can be extremely tricky. Some toddlers may want to grab at the materials or put their hands in their mouths when covered in a foreign substance.
Besides patience, you’ll need other materials. Of course, the exact list is dependent upon the project. Here are some general things to have on hand if you are attempting to create this one-of-a-kind keepsake.
Count on getting paint or wet cement on the floor surrounding your workspace. If you need to protect that surface, purchase a disposable paint tarp to use for the project.
Of course, don’t dress the baby in their best when completing a project of this type. While you may consider undressing the child during the process, this may not be the best way to protect your baby’s delicate skin.
Hypoallergenic paint and materials
Use the least caustic materials possible when creating a handprint keepsake. Your baby may have never been in contact with some of the ingredients used in craft supplies, and you don’t know if they may have an allergic reaction to one of the substances used.
Immediately clean your child’s hands with gentle baby wipes. You may need to be prepared to take an unscheduled bath if the project turns extra messy.
A project like this goes a lot smoother if you have some sort of assistance. In fact, this may be a project for both parents or additional family members. It may take one person to prepare the materials, and the other person to prepare the child and clean them up when finished.
Please note that this list is not intended to discourage you from completing this DIY project. Handprint projects make lovely baby keepsakes and gifts. This list is just to prepare you for the possibility of a mess. But if you’ve had kids for any length of time, you already know of this likelihood.
DIY Handprint Keepsake Ideas for a Baby’s Handprint
Your baby’s tiny, precious hands will grow into the chubby little hand of a toddler’s before you know it. If you would like to celebrate the ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes, consider creating a hand (or foot) print keepsake. Here are some ideas to consider.
1. Baby fingerprint necklace
You can complete this project yourself or hire a company to do it for you. Ink your baby’s tiny finger, and press it firmly on a flat pendant. You may need to cover it with a clear, protective coat to keep the ink from wearing off the pendant.
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2. Baby handprint and footprint frame
Using heavy cardstock and safe ink, take both the handprint and footprint of your child. Purchase a frame that has three openings. Put the handprint in one, the footprint in another, and a photograph of your child in the middle slot.
3. Baby fingerprint mud craft
Look for craft kits with everything you need to collect the impressions of your baby’s hand and foot. Some of these kits come with corresponding picture frames, which allows you to display a picture of your adorable baby while you preserve the size of their tiny hand and foot.
4. Footprint baby announcement
Obtain the footprint of both of your baby’s feet. Cut them out, and place them on a third piece of paper with both heels touching and the toes spread apart. Place a small cut out of a heart in the middle. This would be the perfect decoration to use for the birth announcement of your baby.
5. Baby handprint Christmas ornament
An infant’s hand is just the right size to place on a Christmas ornament. Add the child’s name and birth year to the ornament with a permanent marker. This is a much more personalized approach to the store-bought “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments.
DIY Handprint Keepsake Ideas for a Child’s Handprint
School-aged children may be a bit more cooperative for completing handprint or footprint crafts. Here are some ideas for projects you might consider.
6. Handprint stepping stone
There are plenty of craft kits available that will help you create a stepping stone using the handprint of your child (or children). Your kids might want to get in on the act by adding pieces of glass or marbles when the cement is still wet. Add your child’s name and age to the stepping stone, and give the completed project to a grandparent on their birthday, or on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
7. Cookie plate
Using blue ink, create a handprint “Cookie Monster” on the bottom of a white ceramic plate. Paint on the googly eyes and surround the monster with painted cookies. Use this plate to serve cookies at home or give it as a gift to the grandparents.
8. Handprint wall art
We love creative people who share their ideas. Look online for ways to turn fingerprints, handprints, and footprints into artwork, and use these pieces to decorate your child’s room.
Is your toddler really into vehicles? Make footprint police cars, fire trucks, and school buses to hand on the wall. Does your school-aged child love the ocean? There are plenty of ideas online on how to turn prints into octopus or crab.
Your child will love being part of the art, and you’ll be able to decorate their room on a budget.
9. Family handprint craft
You’ll find plenty of ideas online on how to use all the handprints in the family to create a handprint craft. This layered craft starts with whoever has the largest hands. Other handprints are layered on top to show the progression of biggest to smallest.
You may consider adding a cat or dog paw print to the family craft project. Paw Print keepsakes are fun to create too!
10. Holiday handprint crafts
We’ve come a long way from adding googly eyes to a child’s handprint to create a Thanksgiving turkey craft. Creative people have handprint ideas for every holiday imaginable. Create a handprint Christmas tree using everyone’s handprint in the family. Use your baby’s green footprints to make holiday mistletoe.
Easter bunnies, Halloween ghosts, and Mother’s Day flowers are just a few ideas to consider to celebrate the holidays by making a personalized craft. These can be placed on t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, or dish towels.
DIY Handprint Keepsake Ideas for Adults
We all remember the touch of our mother’s hands. If you want to remember the handprint of a parent or grandparent, here are some keepsake ideas to consider.
11. Grandparent or grandchild handprint family tree
Create a family tree using the handprints of each of your family members. Start with great-grandma. Ask her to sign her name next to her handprint, so you’ll preserve her signature as well. Take photos of the family as you complete this project to preserve memories of this family activity.
12. Photographs of your grandparents’ or parents’ hands
A person’s hands show character as they age. Your parents or grandparents may not be pleased with the age spots or scars on their hands but ask to take a photo of them. You’ll appreciate having the photograph, especially after they pass. In fact, the picture could be used to create a memorial gift for your siblings or children.
There’s No Time Like the Present
There are many craft kits online and at your local craft store that will include all the materials you need to complete a handprint project. Buying the kit will take no time at all, but finding time to complete the project will be another story.
How many projects are you going to get around to “someday?” If you have an infant or preschool children, you may feel that you can barely get dinner on the table each night. The idea of creating a messy craft that requires you to collect a handprint or footprint may sound overwhelming.
Remember, your child is growing every day. The cute craft project you wanted to complete using your infant’s tiny footprint may be a little more than just cute when you use the print of a seven-year-old.
The clock is ticking. There’s no better time than the present to complete those cute handprint and footprint art projects.