These air dry clay handprint ornaments make the most adorable keepsakes and Christmas gifts!
I love projects like these air dry clay handprint ornaments because they capture something truly special. These beautiful handprint ornaments are PERFECT to make with young children because while we can capture our kids in thousands of photographs and videos, it’s hard to really capture them physically.
It’s hard to REALLY remember what they were like when they were tiny. Do you remember what it was like to hold your little ones when they were babies? Of course we think we do, but it’s never until you hold up a teeeeeeny tiny little onesie or see something like this air dry clay handprint ornament that you really really really remember how itty bitty they really were.
I made these handprint ornaments the same year Baby V was born and O was 5. Looking at them even now, it’s shocking how small they both are. And the kids like to hold their hands up to them now and see how much they’ve grown!
And I absolutely cherish my handprint ornaments because I don’t have anything else like it. Maybe their little bitty ink handprints from the hospital? But nothing you can hold like this.
Oh and did I mention that if you give a clay handprint ornament to your kids’ grandparents, there are guaranteed to be some misty eyes come Christmas morning.
Now if someone can just find me a way to capture that newborn baby smell, I’ll be all set…
Air Dry Clay Handprint Ornament Supply List
- My absolute favorite air dry clay
- Craft knife or clay tools
- Clay rolling pin (or regular rolling pin that you can wash)
- Acrylic craft paint (champagne and gold)
- Gold paint pen
- 1/4 inch ribbon
- Paper and pen
Air Dry Clay Handprint Ornament Instructions
- If your child is younger (especially if they’re a baby), the best way to start this project is to trace their little hand on PAPER. Trust me on this one. You might think, like I did, that they could make a handprint on the clay and you could cut that out and it would be easy. But nope, you have to press too hard, it’s “cold and feels weird”, and if you’re making multiple handprint ornaments, it takes too long. Plus then you have to wash hands. Tracing on paper to make a handprint template is the way to go!
- Cut out your paper handprints
- Using a rolling pin, roll out your clay to about 1/4 inch thick slabs
- Lay the handprint template on top and cut around the handprint shape with the clay tool or non sharp edge of your craft knife.
- Lay the handprint on a flat surface where it can dry, I recommend something non-porous like this plastic placemat. Dip your fingertip in a little bit of water and gently smooth the surface and edges so it looks smooth and nice.
- Use either your craft knife, a toothpick or a pencil to poke the hole for the ribbon at the top of the palm. Don’t forget this step!!!
- Let the clay dry according to the package directions. I recommend letting it dry at least overnight and then flipping it over and letting the other side dry overnight too.
- When the clay is 100% completely dry all the way through, paint the entire handprint ornament with acrylic craft paint. I chose metallic champagne with gold along the edges.
- When the paint is dry, write your kids’ names on their handprints in a nice script with the paint pen. I recommend practicing how you’ll write it right on your handy paper handprint templates!
- Arrange the small hand on top of the big one and pull about 8 inches of ribbon through the holes to string them together. Tie in a knot to make a loop for hanging.
- Remember to pack these air dry clay handprint ornaments very carefully for gift giving and be careful as you handle them so none of the fingers break. This clay is fairly sturdy but will break if bumped!
And that’s it! Enjoy your adorable air dry clay handprint ornaments for many Christmases to come!
If you liked this, you may also like some of my other posts…
- How to Make Cards for Seniors & Nursing Home Residents - November 18, 2021
- Classic Christmas Tree Ornament Set Knitting Pattern - November 16, 2021
- Yearly Date Ornament Knitting Pattern - November 16, 2021