Monday, December 26, 2011

DIY Handprint Calendar

I have been dying to post about the handprint calendar that the kids and I put together for a few Christmas gifts! Of course, I had to wait until they opened their presents so I wouldn’t ruin the surprise. But I wanted to share it as soon as I could—there is still time for you to make one for the new year!!
I have always liked the idea of personalizing a calendar, but with kids—they grow so fast—that is seems weird to make one. Like, for next December Belle will be almost two {weird thought}, a walking, babbling toddler so pictures from her little baby self will be so… outdated! After seeing different handprint activities on pinterest, it dawned on me to make a calendar and so I scoured the interwebs high and low to find calendar ideas and my favorite handprint/footprint pictures!
Without further ado… I introduce the calendar!
















{I don’t have sources for each of this month as I gathered ideas from several places and compiled them into “scenes” I liked most and I even came up with a few by myself.}

How I made my calendar
First, I ordered a calendar {three actually} from Snapfish and I used their seasons template. I’m not a fan of the look of most homemade projects and so I wanted a real looking calendar {not one printed at home and bound together, which would have been fine, just not what I like}. I created an all white image {Microsoft Publisher"} that was the size of a typical 4x6 and I inserted it into each page of the calendar where most people would be including actual pictures of people. This is how I got the border, but also a blank white space.

I made a list of each month and the handprint idea so once my calendars arrived we got started! I used acrylic paint that I picked up from Wal-mart craft section  and then I just started doing one {technically three} at at time. I painted the kids hands/feet instead of having them dip into a plate of paint. This got easier with practice. Well, for Jackson. Belle, not so much.

Planning was the tricky. We couldn’t just take a morning and knock these all out. Because we were working with calendars that were already assembled, we could only do one page at a time—allow it to dry, and then move to the next one. I started at the end of November, so I had plenty of time. From start to finish, it took about two weeks… but could easily be done in a shorter period of time if you were diligent about getting a new page done as soon as the previous one dried.

The biggest challenge was accepting the imperfections that occur when doing art projects with little ones. In my head, I have visions of perfect, un-smudged prints with no accidental paint splotches on the page. Well, that didn’t happen. After having Jackson shut the calendars while February was still drying—leaving pink paint all over the actual calendar grid and the chaotic experience of dealing with a painted, squirmy nine-month old, I had to come to the conclusion that smudges and blotches are okay. The calendars may not be perfect, but they are homemade.

I love that we did the hand/footprints on an actual real-looking calendar and that it doesn’t look like something I put together in my basement. I also like the borders each month. I planned my picture so they’d kind of match! However, there was no grace when it came to a mess-up. All attempts were final. I still think I’d take the same route with the premade calendar if I were to do this again.

Glitter—I’m not a fan of how it turned out, which is why it only got used in the February and July. I would buy glittery paint and/or do a handprint in glue and then add the glitter.

Making three at a time was a challenge. Like when I needed four handprints for the clover in March—that was 12 handprints! But honestly I wish I had twice as many to hand out as gifts. I’ve considered maybe doing one and then getting a good photo and then adding the photo to a calendar. This would help with the paint smudges, but I think it’d take away of the cute, homemade project feel.
Overall, this was definitely one of my favorite gifts we gave this year! If you make one {or any handprint activity} be sure to let me know so I can check it out!


  1. Those calendar pages are adorable! And, the hand/foot prints came out so clear! What an awesome grandparent gift that would make!

  2. i love this! an idea for next year...(especially now that you have your camera back!) you could do the hand/foot prints on individual papers, photograph them, & insert them via Shutterfly. This way you could do as many in a day as needed AND you could print off as many calendars as you'd like but it would still be the kiddos work. i think i'll be doing this next year!

  3. Such a cute idea! I'd love to have you link up to my party at Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is genius! I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to this. I'll have to make one next year for Christmas gifts for grandparents.

    And thanks for linking up to the!


  5. All I can say is WOW! This is such an incredible idea!! What could be sweeter than seeing your childrens' handprints and footprints?! What a keepsake, not just for this year but every year! Thanks for linking up to Oopsey Daisy!

  6. Love this!!! After seeing this I have decided to do a canvas for each month. I have 3 boys and I think they can contribute to each month. I will then add a ribbon to the canvas and hang them on a door in my kitchen. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. I'm late to the game, but this is super cute. Found you through Mommy Moments and start browsing. Very cute.


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