To mark Teddy’s second Christmas while getting ourselves in the festive mood, this year we’ve been making some super easy Father Christmas decorations using Teddy’s handprint, which we plan to hang from our tree (if we ever get it up!) and give as presents to all the grandparents and extended family on the day itself.
Just a little keepsake to remember how small he once was, and an excuse to get our craft on (and keeping little hands busy) in the run up to the 25th.
We did the same last year – a load of snowmen decorations using Teddy’s footprint, which went down a treat – but this year, we’re upping our game and doing an army of Santas instead!
They’re really easy to make, using ingredients you’ll almost certainly have in your store cupboard already. Plus, you can get your kiddos involved as much or as little as you like, depending on how much of a perfectionist/clean freak you are…
So, if you fancy having a go, here are the step by step instructions and everything you’ll need to make your own set of these totally unique personalised gifts.
Father Christmas Handprint Decorations
- 4 cups of flour
- 1.5 cups of water
- 1 cup of table salt
- A large mixing bowl
- A rolling pin
- A few paint brushes of varying sizes
- Red, white and black poster paints (or acrylic if you plan on painting them yourselves – recommended!)
- Spray varnish (not essential but good if you have it!)
- A willing baby/toddler
Step by step instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.
2. Measure out all the ingredients before pouring them into your mixing bowl.
3. Mix thoroughly and knead for 5 minutes until you have a nice pliable salt dough.
4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface approximately 4mm thick.
5. Imprint your baby or toddler’s hand on the dough as many times as they’ll let you, leaving about a centimetre space between each, before cutting each one out.
6. Make a hole in each salt dough handprint just above the palm of the hand (not the finger end), so that you can attach string or ribbon for hanging once they’re finished.
7. Carefully transfer each of the handprint pieces onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
8. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Watch them carefully though as each oven is different and you don’t want them to burn! Cooking them too quickly will cause them to bubble up – which you want to avoid, so if you notice any bubbles forming, turn the oven down to 130 degrees for a nice even bake. They should be a very pale beige colour and rock solid when they come out.
9. Let them cool completely on a rack before painting.
10. If you plan on painting the handprint decorations yourself, then acrylic paints give the best results. But if your kids want to have a go, then make sure you use poster paints instead! First up, paint the shapes white on the front and back to give them a good base colour, before leaving them to dry.
11. Draw out the Father Christmas design in pencil first, then paint over the outline with black paint using a thin brush. Leave to dry before the next stage…a couple of minutes is usually enough!
12. Then fill in the rest of the design with red paint for his Santa hat and nose, before mixing a dash of red into your white paint to make a light pink colour for his face. Leave to dry again!
13. Once the painting’s finished, spray varnish them if you can – this will make them last longer and gives them a nice shine.
14. Thread some string or red ribbon through the hole at the top of your finished handprint decorations, before writing your baby’s name and age on the back, so you can remember when you made them in the years ahead.
15. Hang them on your Christmas tree, use them as labels for all your Christmas presents, or give them as little keepsakes to all the family…it’s totally up to you!
So simple, seriously Christmassy and something you and the family can keep forever.
If you fancy having a go at your own set of Father Christmas handprint decorations, let us know how you get on!