Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Make A Father's Day Picture Frame!

So this is a little belated, but I do want to share the fun craft we did for Father's Day this year. We made this for Billy:

It was simple and really fun to do!

You need:
- Fimo, Sculpey or a similar polymer modeling clay in whatever colors you and the kids prefer. Babyman chose green. We used about 3 1/2 packages for three handprints.

- A suitable unfinished wood picture frame- it needs to have a wide flat surface for decorating. I found this one at a craft store for a few bucks.

- Liquid Nails Small Projects adhesive glue, or a similar permanent bonding agent.

- Thin strong wood scraps- I used a paint stirrer.

- Utility knife or small saw to cut the scrap wood (paint stirrer).

- Rubber stamps in designs suitable for layering. I found a set of 4 stamps that depicted pinecones and evergreen branches, perfect for overlapping and layering. The set was on sale, plus I had a coupon. Score!

- Stamp inkpads in whatever colors you want. They can match or contrast with the clay colors. Also remember that the stamps will be overlapping, so keep this in mind when choosing ink colors. Some blending will occur.

- A rolling pin, small knife and a baking sheet. (Optional: baking parchment paper)

- Some fine sandpaper, if necessary.

- A permanent marker and a pencil.

Ready? Let's get started!

First, the polymer clay needs to be softened up.

For the Pirate's, we tried blending equal amounts of light and dark green, thinking we'd get a nice medium green. Instead the dark green was much stronger than the light, so The Pirate's handprint looks the same color as Littleman's dark green one. Oh, well!

The kids pushed, rolled and squished to their hearts' content. It's really hard at first!

But soon it was ready to be rolled out.

We rolled the clay to a thickness of approximately 1/4". Try not to get bubbles! Then one at a time, the kids pressed their handprints into their color of clay. The clay is still hard, so I helped by holding their hands still and pressing them down firmly to get a good clear impression. Next, I cut around each handprint carefully.

Next it was time to bake the handprints.

I used parchment paper on my cookie sheet, and followed the Fimo package instructions for baking. Meanwhile, we cleaned up our clay mess.

When the handprints were baked hard and cooled, I sanded a few edges that I'd missed smoothing out before baking. Then, we arranged the handprints on the frame until we liked the arrangement.

Try to keep as much of the handprints on the actual frame as possible, without obscuring the place where the picture goes. Some overlap off the outside edge is OK. Lightly trace the hands with a pencil.

If the handprints hang off the outside edge of the frame much, they will need to be reinforced. You don't want to lose a finger sometime later! This is where the paint stirrer (or other strong, thin scrap wood) comes in. Cut small pieces of the paint stirrer and glue them strategically onto the picture frame, where they will support the outside edges of the handprints but remain hidden beneath them.
Like this:

Be sure to rearrange everything just the way you want before gluing, so you can be absolutely sure you've got it right!

Once all the supports are glued securely and the glue is dry (it takes awhile- you might want to leave it overnight) then you are ready to decorate the frame! Give the kids the stamps, inkpads (and some scraps of paper for blotting in between colors) and let them go to town.

Remind them that a lot of the decoration will later be covered up with the handprints, but it's OK to stamp in the hidden spots just for fun.

"Wait- why are we doing this, again?"

Once the stamping is completed to everyone's satisfaction, it's time to glue the handprints on permanently! Again, leave plenty of time to dry.

Next the kids get to sign their handprints with a permanent marker (well supervised, of course!) and "Happy Father's Day" is added with the year. Finally, put your chosen picture into the frame and voila! A fun little gift for Daddy on Father's Day.

(Of course, this can be modified as a gift for anyone- Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, even from one friend to another.) Enjoy!

1 comment:

aCapturedMoment said...

lovely idea... you have now given me a little idea for my photography business. what beautiful kids you have too.