DIY Handprint Ornaments

With a 3-month old bambino at home, it’s been fun to experience the holiday season “firsts” with him.  As we approach Christmas, I wanted to make things extra special.

As a Pinterest enthusiast, I pinned multiple recipes for handprint ornaments and much to my chagrin, tried three different recipes before finding the one that actually worked.  Thought I’d save you all some time because let me tell you… it’s not fun to get all psyched up to make the damn things and then not have it work out.

Though finding the right recipe is important, I have a much bigger tip… make sure the little tiny mood for the little tiny hand… is a happy one.  In our first attempt, we tried doing this project with a fussy baby and ended up putting his feet into the dough instead of the hands.  And then after all of that, the ornaments cracked.  My second attempt resulted in a soupy liquid instead of a dough.  And my third recipe is all thanks to THIS blog post by blog, American Grits.  The recipe projected to make 12 ornaments and since I wanted to aim for three to choose from, I divided it by four and have a few tips below as well.

Makes Three Ornaments

Ingredients for Dough:
1 Cup flour
1/4 Cup salt
1/3 Cup water
Flour for your surface

Additional items needed:
Acrylic Paint
Minwax Polyurethane Spray (or any type of clear coat)

1. Combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl and knead.  The original recipe said to do so for 15-20 minutes.  I got bored after about 4 minutes and it turned out fine.  Heat up your oven to 300 degrees.

2. Dump some flour onto a clean counter top and roll our your dough on it, using a rolling pin.  Probably because I skipped out on some of the kneading, the dough is a little tough so I’d recommend to roll it out far enough so that you can cut out each of your ornaments without re-rolling the dough.

3. Find something in your kitchen or home to use as an outline/cookie cutter type of item.  I used a small ramekin bowl for my 3-month old.  Cut out your three ornaments.

4. Wheel your adorable, happy-mood baby, to the middle of the kitchen.  Spray a plate with cooking spray and put one of the round ornaments on the plate.  While happy-mood baby is seated in his high chair and still in a good mood, press his hand into the ornament.  Press HARD.  I didn’t press hard enough and it made things a little more difficult for painting.  Repeat with all ornaments.

See?  Happy baby = suuuuuuuper important!

5. Using a straw, poke a hole all the way through the ornament.

Notice how hard it is to see the handprint - I didn't press hard enough!
Notice how hard it is to see the handprint – I didn’t press hard enough!

6. Using a toothpick, poke small holes along the outline of the hand print.  This will become especially helpful during painting if you didn’t get the hand print very deep.  It also prevents air bubbles.

7. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, place ornaments on it, and bake.  In my oven, I baked for about 30 minutes until the top just started to turn golden.

8. Let air dry completely.

By making three, I could pick my favorite :)


9. Using acrylic paint, paint the imprint for the hand print (and in my case, follow the toothpick holes).  I also used a black Sharpie to write the name and year.

Options, options.

10. When dry, spray one side with a clear coat spray.  I put down a piece of cardboard in our garage and used Minwax Polyurethane spray in Semi-Gloss.  It’s so dang cold here that it dried in less than 30 minutes so then I flipped them and sprayed the other side too.  This will prevent air bubbles and give a sexy little shine to the ornament.

10. Once dry, top off with a small piece of ribbon and place that bad boy on your tree.  Voila!

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

– Abigail –


2 responses to “DIY Handprint Ornaments

  1. You are the most fun writer AND that is the cutest kid on the planet!! Love it, love it, love it. Love you, love you, love you!!!

    Aunt Sherri


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