Handprint Christmas Ornament

I needed the traditional “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament for my 10-month old son. These great handprint ideas have been floating around Pinterest all season:

 

There are a few different ways to pull this off. You can use clear embossing ink to make the print on the ornament, then glitter it. I’ve never used embossing ink — that’s probably some new thing I should try out one of these days — so I wasn’t sure about it. Or you can use a paint made for glass. There are jars of glass paint that require baking to be hardened. But I wanted a glittery paint!

I found Martha Stewart’s new line of multi-surface paint at Michael’s, which comes in glitter colors! I also had a Sharpie paint pen from a previous wedding project.

I used my stepson as my guinea pig so I could perfect the project before trying it out with my baby.  I “painted” his hand with the glitter paint, which tickled and made him giggle. After a few failed attempts at the hand print on the ball, I discovered the easiest thing to do was to let him keep his hand still in a small bowl shape with fingers out, and I rolled the ball carefully onto his hand to make the handprint. When I tried having him close his hand around the ball, he was squeezing too tight and smudging his fingers together.

Once the handprint was painted, I hung it upside down on a wood skewer that I had placed in a drinking glass to dry.

This is my stepson’s ball (I apologize for the terrible lighting — it’s really hard to take a good photo of a clear ball!):

 

 

I used the Sharpie pen to write his name and 2011 on it.

 

I considered “filling in” the handprint a little bit more, but I kind of like the more homemade feeling of a TRUE handprint on it, so I think I’ll leave it. I may also go over the writing with a black marker instead, so that it stands out a little. Another idea for an older kid would be to use a Sharpie paint pen to outline the hand (the kid could hold it while you trace the hand), then fill it in with glitter paint.

Next step: Try it on the baby. I painted his hand and he giggled and squished his fingers together – I was praying he wouldn’t try to eat it. Then I pried open his fingers, quickly placed the ball on it….and then he tried to squeeze the ball and smudged it. Rinse, dry, repeat. Rinse, dry, repeat. Rinse, dry, repeat. I really don’t know how those Pinterest people got them so perfect!

I have yet to conquer the “Baby’s First Christmas” handprint ball, but I’m going to attempt it one more time tonight. I may have to do it when he’s sleeping. :) I’ll update this post if I have some success!

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

UPDATE:

I managed to get somewhat of a handprint. But I had to cheat. I cleaned it up a little bit with a Q-Tip and then actually used my paint brush to sponge on the handprint a little better. It is still his handprint – the size and shape and such, but I just made it a little better-looking. It’s really hard to get a good photo of it, though!

 

Wyatt’s First Christmas:

Christmas Tree Cones

I have more Christmas spirit than I’ve ever had before, and I believe the reason is because this will be my baby’s first Christmas. And I also blame Pinterest. My first Christmas craft this year was decorative Christmas cone trees. Here’s the source of my inspiration, which has been pinned and re-pinned on Pinterest numerous times:

How do you make these beautiful trees? First, find that dunce hat you wore for most of second grade:

Oh, you didn’t save your dunce hat? In that case, follow this tutorial on how to make cones from poster board. (Hint: buy your poster board from the Dollar Store – it’s cheaper, even if it’s only a few cents. I also considered using cereal boxes.) For an alternative, you could use paper plates like this tutorial does, but to me this version actually looks like more work and less perfection. You may be thinking, Psht, who needs a tutorial on how to make a cone? Believe me, if you want your cone to sit straight, you want to follow the instructions!

Or, if you are willing to spend a little more cash, you can buy paper mache cones from a local craft store like Michael’s or online, like the ones here.

After you make or purchase your cones, make sure you try them on as hats first and laugh with your kids. My 4-year-old stepson thought they were great!

What can you cover your trees in? Practically anything. Flat sheets of fabric, bunched up fabric, strips of paper (you could mod podge and glitter!), ribbon, twine, foil, garland, pine cones, rocks, tissue paper, silk flowers – anything you can glue to the cone! What should you use to attach the “stuff” with? I’d say a hot glue gun is your best bet, but you could use spray adhesive if you want a smooth effect, like the inspiration photo.

For the largest tree, I wanted something glittery, a cross between gold and silver. I found this beautiful ribbon at Michael’s. The large cone was the most difficult to do — not only was it the first cone form I made from the poster board, but I had to completely revise how I planned to attach the ribbon. I originally thought, I’ll just wrap the ribbon around it – that will be awesomely easy! WRONG. When you wrap something straight around something cone-shaped, you end up with bunches and weirdness. I wanted it to lay flat, sleek, and smooth. It took a lot of cutting and gluing (and burning my fingers) to do it this way – with the ribbon running vertically – but I like the final product.

For the middle cone, I planned to use up some leftover white satin ribbon and do a similar wrap technique. Well, now that I realized that was a pain in the you-know-what, I had to be creative. I realized I also had some white satin left over from the wedding hairpieces I made for myself and my flower girl (will blog about those in the future!). I cut the satin into long, skinny strips. Starting at the top of the cone, I bunched and glued and bunched and glued, making sure any frayed edges were hidden.

The smallest cone was made specifically the right size to be covered in one piece of 10×10 paper. I found the beautiful, red, velvety-patterned paper at Hobby Lobby (originally $1.99, but of course it was 40% off). It was a very thick paper so I actually used the hot glue gun to adhere it to the cone, carefully cutting off the excess. Here’s a closer look:


I decided the hat/cones needed something extra. So I perused my ribbon drawer and found the silver and gold ribbon that I used as the “garland” around the cones. Voila! I do feel that I could add some more bling, but they’re okay for now.

I placed the white cone on top of  a pillar holder I already owned, and I love the effect. When the Christmas decorations come down, I’ll be able to nest these inside each other and store them.

How much did I spend? Under $8. Time commitment? About an hour.

What will/would/did you use to cover your Christmas tree cones?