I've got an awesome tradition that you absolutely need to start for Christmas – while your children or grandchildren are young. Make a handprint ornament! This is a tradition that my mom and I started with her this year and we wish we would've started when she was very young. We have dreams of a handprint Christmas tree with tons of handprint ornaments all over it that start small and get bigger. I wonder if she would let us make ornaments with her hands until she was 18? That might be cute but I don't know that she'd be up for it!
I'm going to show you the easiest way to make a handprint ornament below. You don't have to mix anything which is okay by me! I'm showing you how to make a Santa, a Christmas tree, and a reindeer ornament the easy way. These are SO cute! Here's how it's done.
(don't forget to check out our other easy holiday handprint crafts!)
How to Make a Handprint Ornament
Gather These Supplies
- Crayola air dry clay
- Rolling pin
- Acrylic paint – washable/kid safe like Apple Barrel
- Mod Podge Gloss, Matte, or Satin (to seal) – I also used Mod Podge Sparkle on the Christmas tree
- Knife or craft knife
- Mini pom poms
- Sparkly foam
- Wiggly eyes
- Baker's twine
- Hot glue gun
You'll also want a cookie sheet and wax paper – trust me on this one.
First thing you'll do is grab a “hunk” of the air dry clay and place it on the wax paper. The amount you'll need just depends on the size of the hand or foot you're imprinting. You're going to roll out the air dry clay to about 1/2″ thick. If you find the air dry clay you've rolled out isn't big enough, add more! I actually picked the clay up, adding more, and rolled it out again as opposed to smushing another piece on the end and creating a line.
Place the hand down into the air dry clay and push. You'll probably want to help toddler age or small children with this by pushing each individual finger and then the base of the palm down.
Pull the hand out of the clay and then cut around the edge. Now – you can give your littles non-sharp knives and let them do this part depending on their ages. Otherwise, mom or dad or another adult should be cutting.
We did a handprint reindeer, Santa, and Christmas tree.
THEN let your clay dry. This is the long part that takes at least overnight and can take longer if you live in a humid area. Instructions on my container said DO NOT BAKE!! That's where having the wax paper and cookie sheet came in handy. I simply laid all the handprints (and the one footprint) on the wax paper and slid them onto the cookie sheet where I could easily transport them from location to location in my craft room if needed.
Once your handprints are fully dry, start painting! Note that the clay is NOT white – so if you want the edges white like I did (to make the painting pop), then you'll have to use white acrylic paint.
Paint your handprint ornaments with the acrylic paint colors as shown in the photos. Of course you can use any colors you like, and you can paint them or your kids can do them. I'll leave that up to you!
Don't forget to add accents like Santa's nose. I also used a Sharpie on the Santa ornament as you can see, to trace around the edges and accent the beard and hat. Then I used the Sharpie to draw a face on the reindeer ornament.
Seal your handprint ornament with Mod Podge. I used regular Gloss on the reindeer and the Santa, but I used Mod Podge Sparkle on the Christmas tree!
After the Mod Podge has dried, add embellishments with your hot glue gun. Add wiggly eyes, pom pom noses, pom pom ornaments, and even cut a star out of craft foam for the tree!
Then cut a length of baker's twine and hot glue to the back. One thing I did was stick the baker's twine into a hot glue dab I put on the back of the ornament, then put more hot glue on top to really secure it. The handprint ornaments are kind of heavy and I didn't want them falling off the tree.
Here are my finished ornaments:
What do you think? Which handprint ornament is your favorite? I'd love to know in the comments!