So my first tutorial is a bit out of season, but I've pretty much already created the tutorial, just never posted it anywhere. Plus, its never too early to start preparing for the holidays! These Santa hand prints are an easy and fun way to make a great keepsake for yourself or those doting grandparents.
Santa Hand Print Ornament
- White Model Magic by Crayola (4oz package makes about 2-3 handprints)
- Rolling Pin
- Wax Paper
- Straw (to make a hole for ribbon)
- Clay knife or small blade sharp kitchen knife
- Washable cutting board or flat work surface to roll your project out and use your knife
- Ribbon of your choice (1/4" or 3/8" work great - 3/8" is pictured)
- Acrylic craft paint
- Skin Color (flesh color)
- Acrylic Varnish in your choice of finish, gloss or matte
- Paint brushes - you'll need at leas 1 fine tip brush and 1 full coverage brush
- Extra fine point sharpie (unless you want to paint the name on the back)
5. Make a hole just under the bottom of the palm of the hand print using the straw (not at the fingers end). Push the end of the straw through the entire thickness, turn a bit and pull up. Don't forget this step or you won't have a way to hang your ornament!
6. Using a clay knife or a sharp kitchen knife (use a cutting board under surface if needed), cut around hand print leaving about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch edge from hand print. You may want to leave a bit more around the hole you made as this is where the ornament will hang from and you don’t want this to be a weak spot. The overall cut shape isn't very important. Pull away the scraps and save them for another project. You can smooth the edges where you cut by gently rubbing your finger on the surface. Like I mentioned before, MM is pretty forgiving, so you can gently pick up your print and work with it and it should hold its form.
7. Once you have the edges the way you want them, its time for the hardest part… let it dry. You will need to let your piece dry for at least 24 hours, if not longer. Depending on the humidity of your house, it may take up to 2 to 3 days to dry completely. If you have a cooling rack for cookies, this is a great way to allow air to reach all sides of your piece and will dry a bit faster. The dry product will still feel a bit spongy and bendable but should not conform to changes you try to make to it.
8. Once dry, its time to paint! I used traditional Santa colors, but you can do whatever you like.
- First paint the entire piece with a thin coat of white, front and back. You can skip this step, but I like to cover up any blemishes or fuzz that may have worked its way into the MM. Let paint dry completely between coats so colors don’t mix.
Hint: Don’t paint too thick over the hand print or you’ll cover up the fine details of the print.
- Now to paint the Santa. You can use a very fine point sharpie or pen if you don’t press too hard, to outline your areas of the hat, face and beard. Use the hand print impression and the finished picture as a guide to painting your Santa. I started with the hat and worked my way down. Work with thin coats of paint, as they will dry faster and not show streak marks. You will need to apply at least 3 coats of the red and skin color to get a good finish.
- On the back, paint or write with extra fine sharpie your child’s name and the date or year.
- Apply a varnish coat. This is optional, but I think it gives a nice finished look as well as protects your ornament.
9. Once the paint is completely dry, string a length of ribbon through the hole and tie the ends in a knot and hang it on your tree!
So the best thing about this project for me was the price. I ended up making one for each set of grandparents, aunts/uncles, our day care provider and even a great aunt. I had enough materials that I invited a friend over and she made some for her family too. We ended up making 15 ornaments.
Using a coupon for Joann Fabrics to get the big tub of Model Magic, I purchased all my supplies for about $20. I already had the rolling pin, wax paper, straw, knife, paint brushes and sharpie. As you can see in my supplies photo, I have purchased larger bottles of some of the paint, but for my cost breakdown, I estimated cost based on purchasing the small bottles.
So here's the breakdown: (estimates)
- Model Magic (2 pound tub) - $11 (using a 50% off coupon)
- Paint - about a $1/color
- Acrylic varnish - $2
- Ribbon - $1
- Fine paint brush - $3 (I already had one, but not everyone does, so I added the cost of one)