- Sophie &Friends
This craft classic is great hands-on fun for young children! There's nothing more fun than squishing your hands into clay -- and then admiring your beautiful work afterward! Parents and grandparents will also love having a memento of their children's unique handprints.
Air-dry clay, such as Crayola's Air-Dry Clay
A sturdy paper plate
Rolling pin (or other even, cylindrical object)
Pencil or stick
Decorative items, such as beads and jewels
Texture tools, such as cookie cutters, cookie stamps, and clay molding tools
Heavy gardening wire or other thick wire
Before you begin, it's a good idea to protect your work surface with newspaper or a tablecloth. Start with a ball of clay like Crayola's Air-Dry Clay, using about two handfuls. Knead it until it is soft and malleable, then roll it into a ball. Place it in your paper plate.
Using your hands, squish the ball flat in the center of your paper plate. Push the clay out into the edges of the plate. When you've covered most of the plate with clay, even out the surface by using your rolling pin. You can also use other even, cylindrical tools like a can or drinking cup if you don't have a rolling pin. If your clay is "overflowing" over the edges of the plate, use a plastic knife to trim away the excess. If you need more clay, it's advised that you ball up the clay, knead in more with a tiny bit of water, and put it back into the plate and re-roll.
Once your clay is of even thickness and has a nice smooth surface, press your hand into the clay to create your handprint.
The fresher your clay, the softer it will be and the easier it will be to make a handprint. If you need extra help, push your hand down with your other hand. Adult might want to help younger kids by gently pressing their hands further into the clay for a clear impression.
Take away your hand, and you should have a perfect handprint!
Using a pencil or other stick, poke two parallel holes near the edge of the plate. Push all the way through the clay so that you can see the plate underneath. You'll use these holes later to hang your creation!
Now to decorate! You can push things like beads and jewels into the clay to bling it up! Be sure to press them in deeply to ensure that they stay! If you like, you can also add a little bit of water to the clay beneath the jewel before pushing it in to help it stick.
You can go to town decorating your handprint! In addition to jewels and beads, you can use small cookie cutters, cookie stamps, and other clay modeling tools to write your name, make designs, or create textures.
When you've finished decorating your handprint, set it aside in a room-temperature, well-ventilated area that's safe from being accidentally knocked over! Depending on the size of your handprint, it might take a day or two for it to dry.
Your clay should dry and harden so that it is solid to the touch, and pulls away from the edges of your paper plate. Very gently remove the clay from the plate.
With your wire cutters, snip a piece of gardening wire or other stiff wire that's about 8 inches in length.
Bend the wire into a U-shape, and poke the two prongs through the two holes from the back.
Bend the prongs in the front up, securing the hanging wire to the clay handprint.
Your handprint is ready to hang on the wall! It's a perfect memento that captures your very unique handprint!
You can really get creative when decorating your clay handprint! In addition to using jewels, beads, stamps, and texture tools, you can paint the handprint once it is dry.