I’m not a crafty person. I’m definitely not an artsy person. I quit taking art electives in school after I earned a C in 9th grade art. We did ink drawings that term, and I just couldn’t get the pen to flow correctly. Instead of art, I created the world’s most screwed up Rorschach test. My art teacher didn’t agree, so I got a C.
I always shy away from art projects because I’m a mess, and nothing ever comes out the way it looks inside my head.
My head is chock full of pretty projects. My house is not.
The first handprints of the babies we have is from when they were already a month old. We had asked right after birth if we could get prints, but the nurses said no. I’m guessing it was some sort of infection risk or just that they were too small and their skin too fragile. Whatever the reason, we finally took home prints just after they celebrated a month of outside life.
Six months later, I wanted to see how they’d grown, so at 7 months old, we broke out a no-mess ink pad and regular card stock. I loved seeing the crazy size difference and decided then and there that I’d continue getting their handprints every six months. I just had no idea what I’d do with them. It wasn’t until after I had the third set that I decided on a plan.
It had to be something artsy, something crafty, something worthy of doing more with these tangible memories than tucking them away in a dust-covered box.
Enter Pinterest, stage right.
I saw a few projects using this mystical substance I’ve seen in craft stores – Mod Podge. People I follow kept pinning these Mod Podge crafts – pretty papers they covered vases with, quotes they printed out and covered tabletops with – pretty, easy-looking things.
I bought some of this Mod Podge stuff and did what any social media hoor does – I asked Twitter what the crap I do with it now that I have it.
Anything! Twitter replied.
Hoo-kay! I have these handprints. What can I put these handprints on? Oh, look at those cute little wooden plaques the craft store sells! Starting at $0.99, too – can’t beat that! I filled my basket with handprint-size plaques, picked out a couple different bottles of paint (orange for Toby, pink for Eleanor and green for Callista), grabbed a variety bag of paintbrushes (there are so many to choose from! which do I buy?!) and went home to get my craft on.
I used Photoshop to scan, clip and reprint the original handprints since they were a bit of a mess on paper. From here on out, I’ll do the handprints directly on the wood rather than all the runaround that took.
I started with the plain wood plaques and, since I didn’t think to use primer, the green paint needed a few coats to actually look green while the pink and orange covered pretty well. I then spread a bit of Mod Podge on the back of the cutout handprint (on stock photo paper from Mpix), centered it on the plaques and spread Mod Podge over top to seal and create a gloss finish.
That’s it. Seriously. I couldn’t handle art class for 14-year-old kids, but I made this project my bitch.
Even at a month old (33 weeks corrected gestational age, to be exact), my babies’ palms were just barely bigger than a US quarter. Their entire handprint, splayed out like this, measures at barely 2 inches. We owe a great deal of thanks to the March of Dimes for the research and procedures they continually develop to give babies like mine the best chance at a healthy life. We’re participating next week in the 2012 March for Babies and would love your support. Walk with us or donate to our team and help babies like mine grow to be bigger, healthier people.