Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hand Print Christmas Tree

When Peyton was almost 3 years old, I was ambitious and we made this hand print Christmas tree:

And he loved it.
Somehow I packed it away carefully every year. And it still looks great and he's always so happy when we bring it out.

This year Ella is almost 4. We still hadn't made one for her, because somewhere along the line I lost the ambition that made me want to cut out 50,000 hand prints. But it was time for me to step up and do the right thing. She wanted one just like Peyton's, except with pink and purple ornaments. Of course.

Sometimes I'm all: "Yay! Crafts! Let's make something big!" And sometimes that's just dumb. These hand print trees are the perfect example of my stupidity. I love that they are really big - almost 3 feet tall, but the cutting, OH THE CUTTING! and the almost-blisters from all the cutting. The lesson being, you may want to make yours on a smaller scale. But since I had made Peyton's so big, you know, back in my ambitious days, I had to make Ella's the same size so that they couldn't accuse me of favoritism in therapy later. It's all about protecting myself.

Hand Print Christmas Tree

1 large piece poster paper
Lots of green card stock (depending on how big you make the tree)
1 piece brown card stock
1 piece yellow card stock
2-3 pieces colored card stock (for the ornaments - use the colors your child likes)
Markers or crayons
Glue Stick

Cut the poster paper into a large triangle. The bigger the triangle, the more hand prints you will need to cut out. I'm not sending you any blister salve should you choose to make a big tree, dang!

Cut a rectangle out of the brown card stock and glue it to the bottom of the triangle to make the tree trunk.
Cut a star out of the yellow card stock and set it aside.

Give your child the colored card stock and markers or crayons let the decorating begin!
For the younger kids: give your child the entire sheet of paper to mark on, then you can cut out circles when she's done.
For the older kids: Ella was able to trace a glass, cut the circle, and then decorate. I helped her out with some of the cutting, but she was pretty proud of what she accomplished on her own.

Trace your child's hands onto a piece of green card stock. Stack as many pieces of green card stock as you can and start cutting. We used three shades of green, because we're fancy like that.

Start at the bottom of the white poster paper triangle, and glue on a row of hand prints. You'll want them to overlap a little so that no white shows. Continue to glue rows of hand prints until you cover the entire white triangle.

Glue the star to the top and glue on your child's ornaments. And don't forget to write your child's name and date on the back!

Happy Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Good job, Mom! The larger trees may be a pain, but they really are more striking at that size!

Anonymous said...

This is a great project. I had some ideas I had while reading your entry.
Cut out a few of your child's hand each year and have the tree grow.
Have your child make a few ornaments each year.
Make it your advent calendar.
For a family with more than 1 child already, do a row for each family member, starting with the smallest hands on the top and growing to the largest on the bottom.
Could it be done in fabric?
Thanks for the project. I am tempted to do it with my (6 month old) son this year.

Nita said...

We made hand-print wreaths for my son's 1st grade class. And since they were in the 1st grade and the party is only an hour long, all the hand prints were my sons. Each wreath only needed 10 hands, but there were 22 kids in the class (220 cut-outs!). That was back in my "ambitious" days too. :) Love your great ideas!

Stephanie said...

How adorable. We made a hand tree with paint a few years back for grandparent gifts. They turned out beautifully, but wow I'm not sure I want to do that again! :)

corinne said...

I'm going to do this! I only have one little boy so don't have to do it but once. Thanks for the blog!

Jenna said...

I used to do things like this when i was little, and my mom could never part with them. I'm not sure how you store them, by art projects were always stored under the mattresses in my house. 25 years later, they still look great. Just a suggestion if you wanted to help them last longer :)

JennyMac said...

How adorable!!! love the pics and the trees turned out great.

From Marriage to Motherhood said...

What a TTOALLY CUTE project!!!

Katie, Kevin and kids said...

So cute, but my hand is cramping for you just thinking about all that cutting!!
Our Snowman kit already came today. We are so excited to give it a go. Thanks again!

Stephanie said...

Such a cute niece will have a blast doing this little project :)

Have a great day!


MomBabe said...

That is SUCH a cute idea! I'm going to have to do that with my kids this weekend.

JHS. said...


My boys are 22 & 18, but I put their hand-made ornaments on the tree. I love them! They get more precious as each year ticks by.

Be sure to stop by the Carnival of Family Life -- it's the final edition!


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