Last night, I made a quick post about the various kinds of baby handprint ornament ideas I’ve found while browsing around on Pinterest and the internet at large. The last one, a glittery handprint on a clear glass ornament, struck me as really elegant and pretty, and I wanted to try making something like it.
From the start, though, I decided to make a few changes from that original project: instead of a glass ornament, I’d use a shatter-proof plastic one, and instead of messing with ink and glitter and embossing heat guns, I would just use some glittery paint. With that in mind, I gathered together some craft supplies:
The clear ornament really resembles a glass one, so it’s nice to get that unbreakable cat-proof durability without compromising on the look of it. As far as costs go, this was a pretty inexpensive little project. Below is a list of stuff gotten at Michael’s along with the prices:
- Clear Shatterproof Ornament (4″ Diameter) – $1.49
- Multi-surface Glitter Acrylic Craft Paint (Green) – $2.99
- Multi-surface Glitter Acrylic Craft Paint (Red) – $2.99
Total craft supply cost: $7.47
I didn’t have a coupon or take advantage of a half-off sale or anything, so I imagine that this could be done even more cheaply with some minimal bargain-hunting effort. That being said, I did end up using a few other non-craft-store items when all was said and done, but it’s all the sort of stuff you’d probably already have lying around in your kitchen / home office / diaper bag. The list:
- Paper Towels
- Baby Wipes
- Plastic Cups
- Narrow-tipped Paint Brush
- Ink Pad (Optional)
- Red & Green Curling Ribbon (Optional)
The paint is water-based and non-toxic according to the label, and I arranged to do this little project right before I was planning on giving Lily a bath. The plan was simple: dip her little hand in paint, press it against the ornament, and voila, done in five minutes. I figured I would spend more time cleaning up than it took to make the thing.
But… yeah, I kind of underestimated it a bit. Just getting Lily to straighten out her fingers was a challenge (she likes making fists) and it turns out paint smears really, really easily on that smooth surface of the ornament. The slightest movement would distort the handprint beyond recognition.
Luckily, baby wipes worked really well for cleaning the wet paint off of the ornament, so every time it got messed up, I would just wipe it off and try again. And again. And after about six tries and a very glittery baby, I decided that it simply wasn’t possible. So, I tried to devise some other way of getting her handprint on the ornament.
Here’s what I came up with:
Basically I had the idea to create the handprint on another less slippery surface, in this case a paper towel, and then transfer it to the ornament. In order to make the handprint on the paper towel, I used an ink pad (the kind you’d use for rubber stamps or making baby footprints in the hospital) to get a good outline, then glopped a thick layer of paint over it with a paint brush. This step might be unnecessary if you can get a good handprint directly with the paint, but I found that to be pretty difficult too.
Anyway, from there I was able to (very slowly) press the paper towel against the ornament to get a clear, non-smeared-up handprint. Maybe this indirect method could be considered cheating a little, but it was the only thing I could figure out to make it work, and I think the end result looked reasonably passable:
The finished ornament is so shiny and reflective that I actually had kind of a hard time photographing it. After the handprint was made in the green glitter paint, I took a brush and wrote Lillian’s name along with the year in sparkly red. I also tied a loop of red ribbon to the top for hanging purposes, and added some curly bits of red and green ribbon just for show.
A few other notes: this particular paint dries pretty much clear except for the glitter, so it takes several coats to get any good solid color. (And I did have to touch up the handprint with a brush quite a bit to get it that dark.) It also seems to wash off of surfaces like skin, brushes, and plastic very easily with just some warm water, so I wouldn’t try to run an ornament like this through the dishwasher or anything.
Anyway, there you have it — baby’s first Christmas ornament, featuring her handprint, her name, and the year in shiny glittery paint. It was really fun making it, even though it wasn’t as easy as I originally expected, and I’m almost tempted to try making a bonus ornament using one of the other techniques from that last post full of baby handprint ornament ideas. I’m pretty sure we already have all of the ingredients for the dough in our kitchen…