This Christmas tree handprint apron makes a cute gift for kids to give their Grandparents or their Mom.
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I’ve always loved handprint and footprint gifts. They are such a special way to remember your children’s size at various ages. For years, I had a hand print flower garden that hung on my bathroom door. It was just a piece of laminated construction paper. Nothing fancy. But it made me smile every time I saw it.
One year when my boys were young, I wanted to do something special for their Grandmothers. So I came up with this handprint apron. Of course, I had to make one for myself too! I get it out every Christmas and it always brings a smile to my face (And maybe a bit of sadness too.) remembering how little they used to be.
I made this Christmas tree handprint apron very simple. However, you could embellish it with all sorts of cute things. You could sew on buttons for ornaments. Or glue on pompoms. Even adding the kids thumbprints in different colors would make cute ornaments for your handprint tree.
I had written each of my children’s names in the middle of each handprint. However, for privacy purposes, I have blurred out their names.
To make the apron look like a Christmas tree, (smaller at the top and larger at the bottom) you will want to put the biggest hands toward the bottom. We have 3 boys, so we just used their handprints however, you could do Mom, Dad, and a child or two if you prefer.
This easy Christmas gift is quick to make and keep reading for a trick if you don’t want to get your kid’s hands all dirty with the paint.
How to Apply the Paint
The least messy way to get the paint on their hands, is to use a sponge and dot the the paint on their hands. This ensures you don’t get too much paint on the apron or drip it across your work area. Hold their hand and press it gently on the area of the apron. I started with the largest hand at the bottom and worked my way to the smallest at the top.
If your kids are really little, and you don’t want to spread paint all over their hands, trace their hands on a piece of card stock. Cut out the hand shape, leaving the outside of the card stock intact so it can be used as a stencil. Alternatively, you can just lightly trace around the handprint on the apron.This is the way the top hand was done on my apron because my youngest son was only 6 months old at the time.
You definitely want to overlap the hands a bit. To test out the hands for spacing purposes, just trace each child’s hand on a sheet of paper and cut it out. This will help you decide how much to overlap the handprints. Keep in mind, slight imperfections are what makes gifts like these unique and special.
For each hand print, you can choose to use the same color green or slightly different shades. For this project, I used 3 different greens but you could also choose one color and add a little black to make it a darker shade (Go easy on the black though-just a drop at a time.) and a little white to make it lighter.
I really wish I had used paint colors that were a little more distinct. See below for my recommendations. You’ll notice in the photo that I actually used a sharpie to trace over the fingertips where the handprints overlapped since my color choices weren’t distinct enough.
And to make cleanup simple, I usually mix my paints on a paper plate. Then it all goes in the trash when I’m done.
- green acrylic paint-This set contains 2 greens and the yellow you need for the star.
- yellow acrylic paint
- textile medium
- paper plates
- newspaper and a piece of cardboard to over your work suface
How to Make A Christmas Tree Handprint Apron
First, wash and dry the apron. Iron it smooth to make the stenciling easier.
Cover your work surface with a piece of cardboard. Top the cardboard with newspaper. Gather your supplies. Decide whether you are going to use actual hand prints or stencils of their hands.
If you are doing a test run with handprint cutouts, lay them on the apron so you can get a feel for where you want your kids to place their hands. You can mark the approximate position of each hand using Frixion pens on the fabric. When you iron the final product, the pen marks will disappear. (These pens are eraseable so they are great to use in planners for messy people like me!)
Mix the green paint for the largest hand print with the textile medium, following the usage instructions. I just mix them together right on the paper plate using one of the sponges. Pat the paint on the first hand. Gently place the hand where you want it to go on the apron.
Immediately lift the hand and have the subject wash their hands. You can go ahead and do the next hand but I have found it works better to let the first print dry for about 15 minutes.
Once the first handprint has dried slightly, do the next one using the same method. Continue until you have done all the handprints. Let the “tree” dry before adding the star or any other paint embellishments.
After you have finished with the paint on the apron and it is thoroughly dry, you will most likely need to iron the apron to set the paint so it doesn’t wash out. (Check the bottle of textile medium to be sure how to “set” the paint.) Place the apron on an ironing board and cover with a press cloth or tea towel. Iron the apron for 30 seconds, keeping the iron moving constantly so you don’t burn the fabric. After ironing your design should be washable.
If you don’t want to do an apron, this handprint Christmas tree could also be done on a large sheet of cardstock or canvas and framed for an adorable gift.
A handprint apron makes a useful gift that Mom or Grandma is sure to love. Don’t forget to make one for yourself too!