Better Late Than Never

For the past two years around Christmas time, I have gone to a shop near our old home in Northern California to have handprints made from Patrick’s hands and last year we took Danny too. The prints look like Santa heads and are super cute.

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From left to right, that’s Patrick’s hand at 10 months and 22 months and Danny’s hand at 5 days (he was born December 21 and we got the prints done the day after Christmas).

This year, being very far from California, I decided to make my own holiday handprint ornaments. A few days before Christmas, Mercedes helped me to make a few sets of handprints of both boys. I had intended to paint them and turn them into something looking like Santa heads and then send them home with our Christmas visitors, Brian’s brother Jay and his wife Michele (Aunt Shelf).

That plan didn’t quite work out. After the handprints baked in the oven, they sat on the baking sheet on the floor of the office for several weeks.

Only this past weekend (more than a month after making the handprints) did I finally get to work on painting the red hats, the white beards, the rosy cheeks, and attaching the googley eyes and pompom noses and sprinkling glitter on the beards.

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Finally, after a little help from my little friends, they are all done!

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Here are the six handprints I made for Danny.

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And here are the five handprints I made for Patrick. (I didn’t have enough dough for a sixth!)

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Godparents and grandparents – act surprised when you receive these belated Christmas gifts in the mail!

Here’s the recipe I used:

4 cups salt
4 cups plain flour
1 cup water

Mix and knead until dough forms. May need to add more flour or water to get the right consistency. Divide into 10-12 equal portions (I made 5 toddler prints and 6 baby prints). Make handprint impressions. It helps to put parchment paper down in a baking sheet and make the impressions on the parchment paper to eliminate damage from transferring the imprints. It also helps to dust parchment paper with flour and put a little flour on kids’ hands (which should be clean and dry).

Cut out hand shape with a knife, leaving a border.

Poke a hole in the top for hanging (I used a plastic straw). Bake at 200°F for 3 hours, or until prints are completely hardened.

Paint and decorate. Seal with Mod Podge and add a ribbon for hanging. Don’t forget to write the child’s name and the date on the back!

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