So this is the week before Father’s day and my husband is a sentimental guy so I always try to give him something special. We already have one thing ready (a plate with hand prints) but wanted to do something else. I had in mind what I wanted to do so I just had to figure my game plan to execute it. Son #1 recently quit daycare to stay home with me but he spent the first two Father’s day at Primrose and they always make fantastic crafts especially for holidays and special days. So not to be out done I worked to make a similar item we got the first year he was at Primrose.
We made imprints of both boys hands and feet. This may sound simple enough but I tried this last year with plaster of paris and it was a ROCK HARD MESS! We did it on the driveway and left remnants of the plaster all over the place. Then I let it dry on a paper plate thinking it would easily peel off but then couldn’t get it off the paper plate. The husband thought it was wonderful and it sits on the paper plate in his office (in the drawer actually). You could hardly tell what it was, not my finest crafting moment.
So this time I started with Crayola Air-Dry Clay, White, that I bought from Wal-Mart (very reasonable for a 5 lb tub). This stuff is awesome. It is easy to mold and it air drys if you leave it out or you can let the kids re-use over and over again. I am going to use this for other projects to come!!!
We had all our materials: the clay, parchment paper, saran wrap, and my rolling pin so we got started.
With the parchment paper laid out we put a good size clump of clay on the paper and then put the saran wrap on top. This made sure the clay didn’t stick to the rolling pin or the table (learned this making sugar cookies!)
Next I put Son #1 on the job to roll out the clay (with a little help of course). We left it about 1/2″ thick evenly across the rolled clay. I made it in a sort of oval/circular shape with enough room for my 2 year olds foot and hand as well as room to write on it.
Once you have the thickness/shape/size you want slowly remove the saran wrap. I flipped the clay over and the surface that was on the parchment paper is much smoother to do the imprint. I took Son #1’s foot and hand and pressed down pretty hard. We practiced a couple times making the imprints and he was having fun rolling the dough so we played a little bit with ours.
After a couple rounds we got one of his hand and foot we liked (left foot, right hand) we did Son #2 which was much easier than doing the ink stamped plate! You have a little room to move the hand or foot around before pressing hard so if you have a wiggly baby you don’t have to worry about ruining this like you do with paint hand print projects.We did it the exact same way we did Son #1’s so that dad will have matching plaques.
I took the finished product to a secret, secure location (haha! the spare closet) where the husband wouldn’t find it so it could dry. The tub said 2-3 days to dry but I think it takes a little less. We kept it there for 3 days.
I went in and checked on it every day to see how it was drying, just out of curiosity. It slightly lightened in color which I really liked and I was happy with how it looked.
I used a sharpie to write each boys’ name and the year at the top. The Sharpie didn’t write the best but it was all I had. Another type of pen or marker may work better. Then we wrapped them up and are ready to give to dad!
This is a great gift to do year after year or even just to have as a memento. I am really happy with the end result and will do this again each year for my husband. He wants to put them all on a shelf to see how they grow each year.
I really like this clay and also think that I could have the boys paint it for another project…hmmm next craft project maybe???? LOL
I was thinking about getting a shadowbox and putting the imprints in the frame. Not sure if it will work or not but will try and keep you posted!
Happy Father’s Day and Happy Crafting!!