Hand print artwork makes a beautiful Christmas gift

Four paintings made of children's hand printsLast Christmas, we made some beautiful artwork as gifts for Grandparents.

I thought of them as an extension of some handprint ideas I’ve seen before (a single handprint with a poem or a group of children’s prints randomly across a farewell card) and was really pleased with how they turned out. It’s just taken me a while to edit the photos and write about them!

Making the artwork

We bought some canvasses cheaply, along with some nice quality acrylic paints.

I painted each canvas in a colour suited to the gift recipient (eg yellow for the grandparents with a yellow feature wall in their lounge room and pink for the grandparents with a dusky pink lounge room.)

 Once the canvases were dry, the kids got involved.

Due to the paint and likelihood of mess, I controlled this artwork closely. I went from youngest to eldest as the older children were more patient and better at spreading the paint over their hands. I also held their wrists as we made the prints to minimise smudges and errors.

Again, I chose a paint colour to suit the home of the recipient plus the canvas colour (ie choosing enough contrast to be visually effective).

One by one, I painted a hand of each child and we created a row of handprints. We did a test first, without paint, to decide on a pattern that looked good and included all four prints – you will need to find a pattern to fit the number of people and canvas size.

And that was it!

We wrapped them and the paintings were well received on Christmas Day by three sets of grandparents – and a surprised Daddy who hadn’t realised we made four!

Kids’ artwork = wrapping paper

Child made wrapping paperKids often make a lot of art pieces – often a lot in one art session!

I’ve often heard of people using some of the larger art pieces as wrapping paper. What do you think – is that a good idea?

Artistic wrapping paper is good

I like this idea because:

  • it is bright and cheerful – and stands out under the Christmas tree
  • I like the personal touch over the commercial shiny paper
  • it’s good for the environment to use artwork you already have rather than buy more paper that will just be thrown out. Especially given much of the paper children paint and draw on is recycled in the first place!
  • it’s positive to display their artwork this way, and  negative to just throw out artwork when it builds up
  • children can be very proud of the gift they carry to someone if they see their artwork is on view to all
  • kids learn that their efforts (ie painting in this case) is appreciated and probably given more attention than a shop bought gift

 Artistic paper is cheap

Using your  children’s art work is certainly cheaper than buying rolls of gift wrapping paper – I think that’s a positive as it makes your Christmas budget go further (I could spend $15 on a gift and $5 on wrappings and cards or $20 on a gift, or $15 on a gift and have $5 still in my pocket for necessities).

Yet some people think gifts must have pretty wrapping to pass some unknown standard, so would see ‘cheap’ wrappings as a negative.

Do you think kids artwork is a cheap cop-out for gifts or something good?

Are there other negatives of using artwork this way?

Have you ever received a gift wrapped this way – did you like it? How did others respond to it?


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