A decorative garland for a children's room using their hand and foot prints!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Yippee for my first instructable! This instructable will show you how to make a decorative garland for a child's room using their hand and foot prints. I use prints from my two daughters for their garland in this example.
Here are the materials necessary for this project:
Finger or other craft paints
Coordinating ribbon and wide-mouth beads
Micron Pen or find point marker
Sponge applicator ink (I use Colorbox)
Paper/craft grommets and setter
Wooden block or cutting board
One small child volunteer
Step 2: Make Some Prints!
Allow the child to play in the finger paints and become relaxed. My daughter is just under two, so I started making handprints about 3/4 of the way through her first picture and then throughout her second picture. This way, she had ample time to explore the paint and feel it's texture before I wanted her little hand print. I swapped out the cardstock very quickly and took one hand at a time and pressed them to the paper. Then I switched her picture back to her quickly. I get the prints quickly without her even noticing really what I'm doing, and she gets her paper back with the blobs of paint on it so we can get a "refill"Â on her hands before the next hand printing round. I got three pages of prints before she was done painting, and had plenty for my garland with a couple left over for hand made cards.
If you have an infant, it's very easy to get footprints. Pour a mixture of different colored paints into a recycled plastic container and swirl the colors around a bit. Hold the baby in front of you and press her feet/foot into the paint as if he or she were standing in it. Then press their little feet onto the paper the same way. Press quickly and pull up off the paper, before they get the opportunity to wiggle those toes! If you want to get tiny hand prints, it's best to do this when your wee babe is sleeping, or during a nursing session if you have a partner to work with you. Hold out their little hand and open the fingers up gently. Press it into the paint and then again onto the paper.
Step 3: Punch Holes and Add Grommets
Allow your prints to dry completely. This can take up to 24 hours depending on the kind of paint you are using and the "gloppiness" of your print (gloppiness being my contribution to Webster's, by the way.) When dry, cut them out, allowing for a bit of space on either side for your grommets. Use the grommet setter's hole punching tool and punch holes on either side of your print cutouts. Be sure not to punch too near the edge or it will tear when you string them on the ribbon. After punching the hole, turn the print over and insert the grommet. Center your grommet setter squarely in the open grommet and hammer gently until it spreads out evenly against the card stock. I've learned that it's best to have a piece of scrap wood to do this on (and the hole punching as well) to protect my table!
Step 4: Add Word Tags
If you like, you may also create a couple of word tags to go on your garland. I chose my daughter's names and the word "sisters". I don't always have the best handwriting...my writing always has a silly slant to it. So, I wrote everything lightly in pencil first until I got it the way I wanted it, then went over it with a micron fine point pen and erased the graphite afterwards. You can embellish them any way you like, I used a Colorbox ink pad and rubbed it on the sides and corners of my tags in a coordinating ink.
Step 5: String the Garland
Next, layout your garland and place your prints and word tags in the order that you would like to have them displayed on the garland. Choose beads or other additions now, and place them in order so that you can get an overall feel for your piece and to line things up for stringing. Take your ribbon and begin to thread the pieces together. With your prints, thread down from the top side on the left, and then up from the rear on the right so that the ribbon does not cover your precious print. Pull the print along the ribbon gently, leaving some at the end for a bow or tie for hanging. I left about a foot on either end. String the beads and word tags the same way, pulling carefully all the way to the end, and leaving 1/4 inch to 1 inch between pieces.
Step 6: You're Finished! Hang Your Garland!
Tie bows at the end of your ribbon, and hang your garland with tacks on the wall for everyone to enjoy! Variations: Have every member of your family make prints and make a family garland to hang in the house or send to grandparents. Make a "Get Well" garland or a "We Miss You" or "Welcome Home" garlands!
For more like this, visit my blog at http://www.yourimpactmatters.com