In the OLD days, when I was growing up (I can say that now, because I turned 30 a few days ago)… There was one thing we always did EVERY year in school. Every year without fail, there would be the dreaded handprint in clay present for parents. This was without a doubt one of my least favorite activities, because they had very little purpose, they were just to put on top of papers, hold them down in the rare case that the wind blew… inside your HOUSE… (Ok, maybe that might be a concern in Kansas, but not usually in most people’s everyday life.) I digress.
Anyway. My kids are getting older, and I have always loved documenting their handprints. I have done their handprints before… I made about four “good” handprints on a regular piece of paper then cut the whole handprint out and used it to cut (with an exacto knife) black vinyl into their handprints. This is one of the only times I have actually “liked” their handprints, because it is something that doesn’t weigh 3 pounds, documents their hand size when Loo was 6 months and Little Man was 2.
Until I saw this I never even thought there was anything available other than those huge bulky paperweights. Thank the Lord, I was wrong. These necklaces are the perfect present for a new parent, adoptions, even as the children grow. You can add different charms for different children, add a new one each year, six months, whatever. The possibilities are endless!
To do this, I started off with Sculpy oven bake clay. I am not a paid endorser, but I liked their colors. I got the pearl shade, and it was beautiful. I started out rolling a ball, as modeled by my little Loo.
After you roll it into a ball… (I did it a few times since I had “helpers”)… you take a rolling pin (or in my case since I don’t have one, a marker) and roll it to be flat, and about 1/4th inch. My little girl really did enjoy rolling it…
The ball should be the size of a quarter when flattened to 1/4th inch, but it is really up to your preference. Ok, so you have a clay “disk” with nothing on it. So now is the fun part. You can have your “subjects” stick their finger in, which my son enjoyed tremendously… or you can get a little creative. I found a few stamps, little ones, with letters, and wrote things on the circles, squares and various other shapes with them.
Little Man putting his finger in his, (which he ended up doing about 100 times more because he liked it). As soon as I would get one rolled out, step away, he would have his finger in it when I got back.
All three of ours… I put mine in the middle first and did theirs on the bottoms… Little Man on the left and Loo’s on the right. Then you take a saefty pin or whatever you want to make a hole make a circle at the top to put a ring through. After you get them the impressions like you want, then you carefully pick them up and put them on a foil lined sheet, and bake according to the instructions. Mine said to put them in a preheated 275 degree oven, for 15 minutes. Easy as can be. When they come out of the oven they are the same color you put them in as (mine were a pearly shade of white) and they came out the same. They are the same size… perfect. They do come out HOT, and they don’t cool immediately even if you pick them up… (yep, I am one of those people who just doesn’t wait). I wanted to make them silver to look like an expensive piece of jewelry. I took regular acrylic pant and painted both sides making sure to get the bottom of the numbers and letters, and get in all the nooks and kranies.
I then started experimenting with different things to make impressions of… I found an old stamp set and started writing out different things on each one.
All in all this was a perfect craft. Both kids REALLY enjoyed it. It was something non toxic, which is good for two little ones, and they both were able to do lots to help. Little Man now wants me to make him his own necklace… but, I am not prepared to explain to him that it was only a mommy present.
I am thinking of making a charm bracelet with the left over clay. All in all a pretty economical cool project that I am sure I will treasure more than a paperweight.