Little handprints are the cutest things, but they can be super hard to capture. While I find it really hard to get Bug hold her hand flat in order to get a clear print, and yet my mirrors have beautifully clear little prints all over (sigh). I have found, though that she thinks getting her hand traced is pretty cool. Yeah she still wiggles her fingers a bit, but you can edit the print (filling in gap's, straightening out wobbly bits) afterwards.
The beauty of tracing is you can cut the prints out from basic white card and use them as a template to make as many sets as you want. You also don't have to worry about where on the original paper your child puts her hand because your cutting the prints out anyway, so even if some overlap or are upside down it doesn't matter, just choose the best ones to cut out at the end.
I traced the template onto pretty paper giving me an instant grandma pressie, (I hope to mount on white card, along with Bebe's hands (when she arrives), date and frame). Another set will also make a great addition to Bugs photo album. There's loads of simple potential projects. A hand wreath, or bunting would be cute. And at Christmas time you could make simple, but effective gift tags.
But my main project became Bugs gift for Bebe. While on the Dolls in Dolls website I found a blank wobble toy (it has a little bell inside, Bug loves shaking it about), and decided it would make a great project. My problem tends to be settling on a particular theme or idea. I get overloaded with potential concepts and find it hard to settle on one. But eventually I decided on black and white and red themed based upon the theory that those are the colours babies see best. After using two coats of black acrylic I used a thick layer of gloss varnish to stick two of Bugs hand prints on.
Due to the pear shape of the doll the hand wrinkled a bit. Decoupage instructions suggest a damp sponge can smooth out bubbles and wrinkles but I think little nicks in the paper to accommodate the folds would have been a better plan. Over the next few days I applied several more layers of varnish, and I'm actually quite happy with finished result.
A word of warning though, now almost every time we colour I'm expected to trace around her hands, and once, her feet. Are you sure you don't want me to draw a cat I ask, no she replies, hand! OK Bugelicious you win...
The Facts and Figures
Costs: Depends on the project. For Bebe's gift, I used black acrylic and varnish I already had, same with the spotty wrapping paper, so it cost me $9.95 for the blank wobble doll. It might cost $15-$20 if you needed all the supplies.
Gift tags and paper bunting would be super cheap if you already have a craft stash of paper and ribbons.
I was thinking preschoolers would enjoy tracing the hands of each family member, and choosing paper to represent each person. Then after mum or any other adult helper has cut out the prints they can be sorted into size order or other patterns. They can be mounted and dated as a alternative snapshot of 'my family'.
Let me know if you come up with any other fun handy projects.