5 Easy Handprint/Footprint Gifts for Mother’s Day

Photo courtesy Whitney Tang.

Photo courtesy Whitney Tang.

by amanda dunyak.

Throughout my career in childcare, I have had to come up with countless art projects, including special gifts for the children to make for their parents and caregivers when holidays approach. One thing that I have learned is that parents will never tire of receiving gifts with their little ones’ hand or footprint on it. Children grow too fast! Gifts like this are so special because it preserves a piece of their child from a precious moment in time. Here are some of my favorite craft gift ideas using handprints and footprints.

1. Handprint Flower. Paint your charge’s hand and put the prints in a circular pattern on paper or a canvas in a circular shape. These prints will represent the petals on a flower. Paint in a stem and leaves. When paint is dry, have the child tell you one thing they love about their mother, for each petal there is. Using a Sharpie marker, write these sentiments down on the petal.

2. Salt Dough Keepsakes. Also a great recipe for making homemade Christmas ornaments, salt dough is a terrific way to preserve those little hands and feet! You can make these in whatever size you wish, from a small keychain or pendants to a larger wall plaque or ornament. Mix 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, and a ½ cup of water into a doughy consistency. Roll the dough out onto parchment paper and make an imprint of your little one’s hands, feet, or even one of each! If you want to make it into an ornament for hanging, make a hole in it before you bake it. You can use a straw to do this easily. If you would like to carve the child’s name or a message into the dough, you can also do this before you bake. When ready, bake in oven at 200F for about three hours. When it is cool, your charge can paint it however they wish!

3. Potholder or Apron. You can buy a blank apron at most craft stores or a plain, solid colored pot holder from any home goods store. Using acrylic paint (careful - it stains!), you can paint your charge's hands and/or feet and make an imprint on your apron or pot holder, adding their name and date if you wish. MomBoss will love using her handmade accessories in the kitchen!

4. Cards. Two of my favorite sayings to put on keepsakes for parents are “These hands hold my heart forever” and “I love you from the bottom of my heart to the tips of my toes.” I put these on a large piece of construction paper or cardstock or on a blank canvas, purchased at a craft store. Two handprints touching the points of their thumbs and forefingers make a sort of heart shape. Two footprints touching at the heel, painted inside of a heart, adds a nice touch. This can also make a great card!

5. Handprint/Footprint Keychain. I made this last year with my charges and it came out so cute! Plus, it was a blast from the past, using shrink plastic (anyone else remember Shrinky Dinks?!). All you need is shrink plastic, a large stamp pad in the color of your choosing, embossing powder, and jump rings and lobster claws to make it into a keychain. All of the supplies can be found at your local craft store. Stamp your charge’s hand or foot onto the shrink plastic, then sprinkle a light layer of embossing powder (we used a translucent, sparkly powder) to help set the ink. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole in the print where you would like the key ring to go. Then, cut out the print and put it into the oven on a baking sheet, following the directions on the shrink plastic package. Check out this blog for detailed instructions: http://pluckingdaisies.com/mothers-day-craft-for-kids-hand-print-charms/

No matter what your charges decide to make for their mother for Mother’s Day, it is guaranteed to be something that their mother will love with all her heart because it was MADE from the heart of her little one!