Every year since my son has been born, I have made a hand or footprint ornament of his little paw. Last year, as my local craft store started filling with Christmas goodies, I found myself underwhelmed with the selection of wooden ornaments. So, being the DIY maker that I am, I decided to make one myself. And with an ever-growing little hand, this turned out to be the perfect solution because I was able to customize the size just for him!
Keep reading and I will walk you guys through this easy-peasy mini sign keepsake so you can make one of your very own!
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Supplies you will need:
- 1/4″ thick craft wood – square big enough for child’s handprint
- 2′ small trim (mine was 5/16″ thick and 5/8″ wide)
- wood glue
- white paint (I used Zinsser Cover Stain primer and Waverly Inspirations Matte Chalk Finish Acrylic Paint by Plaid)
- wood stain (I used Varathane Briarsmoke)
- colored acrylic paint (I used Martha Stewart acrylic paint in Tartan red)
- nail gun (optional)
- twine & glue gun (optional)
- table saw
- miter saw
- rag and gloves
- little person
Measure little person’s hand to get the measurement for your backboard – my son was three and my board is 4 3/4″ square. Use table saw to cut to size.
Measure trim for sides. Two sides will be equivalent to the backboard – 4 3/4″ in my case. The other two sides, you will add the width of the first two side pieces to the width of the backboard – 4 3/4″ + 5/16″ + 5/16″” in my case – equaling 5 3/8″. Use miter saw to cut to size.
Sand all wood pieces. I sanded by hand so I didn’t take off too much wood with my orbital sander.
Prime and paint backboard white and stain trim pieces. I love Zinsser Cover Stain primer because it keeps the white paint from yellowing over time.
After backboard is dry, put a generous amount of colored paint onto a paper plate. Stamp little person’s hand into the paint, have them make a “five”, with fingers slightly separated and press down on backboard. Lift gently and allow to dry overnight.
Once handprint is dry, glue trim pieces so that they are flush with the back of the backboard and raised on the front side. I allow my glue to dry for about 20 minutes, then using 3/4″ brad nails, nail trim on each side for security. This step is optional… if you don’t have a nail gun, the glue should hold the trim on just fine since there won’t be any strain on it.
Optional step #2: hot glue a piece of twine to the back to hang from your tree! I left mine without twine so I can either set it on a tree branch or use it on a table in future years. I also wrote the date on the back of my sign 🙂
Enjoy and continue to remain shocked at how much your little person grows each year!