Monday, December 12, 2011

Creative Gift Ideas for Grandparents

Our oldest son was 6 months old for his first Christmas.  Jim and I were living in Florida and we were trying to be "creative" with our Christmas gifts to our parents. I was racking my brain one day about what to buy them when the idea came to me to paint his hands and feet to make a reindeer.  I bought two canvases, painted a red border to make it look like a frame, and then put his handprints/footprints in the middle.  The grandmothers loved it and a new tradition was born!

I would paint his hands and feet for the next six years and give them to his grandmothers.  We made reindeer, Santas, angels and Christmas trees over the years.  We soon added our niece, nephew and our second and third sons to the collection. I would also make one for myself and my sister-in-law.  I wish I had a picture of the very first one so you could see how they have evolved over the years.  I love displaying them each Christmas and the boys like seeing how much their hands and feet have grown.

I have painted them for many friends and have enjoyed creating these keepsakes for their families.

Below you will see my latest collection.  I was inspired by a plate that I saw on Pinterest.  This is my version on an 11"x14" canvas.  I created the garland border with four shades of green and then added white highlights at the end. 

I then added the red berries.  I love how they pop against the blue.

Isn't this the cutest little foot that you have ever seen?  I love baby toes!

Here is an example without the angels.  I love how this turned out!

Here are some examples of what I have done with my boys over the years.  Every year I display them somewhere different.  One year I hung them on my cabinet doors.  Another year, I had them hanging on the staircase wall.

This is a very easy project for anyone to do, and your children will love creating it with you.  It would be cute with just a solid color background.  I am sure you could use scrapbook paper somehow to make it even more interesting.

I hope this give you some inspiration.  If you decide to give it a try, please send me a picture!  I would love to see what you come up with!

Thanks for stopping by,
Our Southern Nest


Anonymous said...


I love these ideas!
Just wondering what type of paint you used? And how did you apply the paint to your children's hands and feet?


Our Southern Nest said...

I used acrylic paint that you would buy at Michaels or Hobby Lobby in the craft section. I always paint the background and/or borders first and spray an acrylic sealer over the canvas when it is dry. I have learned over the years that little hands get anxious and excited and sometimes the handprint doesn't quite end up where you want it. Sometimes this is great and you love it ...especially the baby hands. But sometimes you want to do it again. If you spray it with a sealer, you can wipe off the handprint with a baby wipe and start over. You have to be quick and do it before it dries. As far as getting the paint on the hands and feet, I just use a brush to paint it on. The children like it because it tickles and it is less messy than dipping their hands. Another tip is to wipe their hands/feet with a baby wipe before putting the paint on. Sometimes their skin is very dry and their skin will soak up the moisture in the paint and you will not get a good print. Getting the skin moist with the wipe helps with this problem. That is how I also clean them up after we are done. You will need a bunch of wipes!:)