Call it a compilation of all the crazy projects I've come up with over the years. Call it a how-to for things around the house. Call it whatever you like :) It's what I do everyday. My blog is really just a way for me to share what I've learned over the years about home improvement, interior design, organization, diy, crafting and home repair. And most importantly it comes from always working on a budget and forever wanting to fend for myself when it comes to anything. I hope you enjoy (and learn a few things along the way :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Children's Christmas Crafts as family gifts...over the years

Christmas is on its way, and we are all looking for gift ideas for our family.  I have always had my children make a Christmas craft for our family as an "exchange" for all the gifts they receive.  Something personal that they make (with me of course) to show their relatives that they appreciate what they receive and have something to give in return.  Even though they can't afford to buy anything, they can make something that matters.

I've always been a fan of handprint/footprint crafts because they capture a snapshot in our children's lives.  They love comparing the hand/foot size and we enjoy the memory of how little they once were. 

Since my youngest daughter was born, I have created different Christmas themes with their prints and placed them on different items as time goes on.  The most important part is including their names/ages and the year : )  As they grow, they are able to contribute with the craft more and more independently. They are so excited to make them each year.

Year One - Snowmen with light blue footprints on a balsa wood rounded-corner tray.

Year Two - Christmas tree with green handprints on a sleigh.  This time I used darker green paint for my older daughter and light green for my younger daughter. so the prints could be differentiated in the pile : )
Year Three - Angels made with white handprints on a raised-side tray.
Year Four - Santas with handprints on a scalloped tray.  This one is a little more involved, as I painted their hands with all three colors then pressed them down (added the white dots for the fur hat trim after).
Year Five - Reindeer with brown footprints and black handprints on a curved side-tray.  Chose Rudolph and Clarice as the subjects : )
Year Six - Holly with green handprints on a curved-side tray.
Year Seven - Elves with green and apricot handprints on a raised-side tray.  Hat trim is added after again. 
This is the year I started making one tray for us and making ornaments for the family. I figured the trays were a little large, and the ornaments could simply be hung on a tree.  Not to mention their hands and feet were getting a little too big for the trays : )  I make them two-sided so each child has their own side.  This issimply scrap luan I cut into rectangles.
Year Eight - Snowmen with light blue handprints on a raised-side tray.  Snow landscape was added after.
For the ornaments this year, we used popsicle sticks glued "raft-style" and only their fingers show on the oraments (vs. their whole  hand).  My girls were able to build these on their own which is nice.

Year Nine - Reindeer done with brown fingerprints.  The ornament is one-sided, as ten fingerprints fit just fine on one side (the year is written on the back).  This is the year we dropped the tray all together (even I was running out of display space : )
Year Ten - Penguins done with black handprints.  The white bellies were added after.

So that's it.  My ten examples of handprint/footprint/fingerprint Christmas crafts for the kiddos to give as gifts.  I'll post each year's craft, as we make them, to keep you updated on the latest idea we have come up with : )

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