Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gifts for grandpa/papa

Today for the 12 weeks of Christmas crafts I have a craft for grandpa...but really it could be for anyone. I cheated a little bit with today's gift. I actually asked my mom and dad what they would be proud to display in their home that their grand kids had made for them. I told them I didn't want to make some totally cheesy craft that gets an "oh that's cute" and thrown away the minute December is over.

I wanted them to give me a few ideas for gifts that would mean something to them, something that the kids and I could make for them, and something that would be useful. My mom gave me lots of ideas and one that I really liked and have actually thought about doing before is the hand print calendar. My mom said she loves any gifts that include the kids hand or finger prints...she used to teach 2nd grade so she's gets it! So, I looked for a good starting point for my calendar and happened to find everything I needed at ABC Jesus Loves Me (which is the homeschooling curriculum I would use for my little ones if I was homeschooling). They have the hand print calendar all laid out for us! yeah! So, you don't have to reinvent the wheel and you don't even have to do any typing!

Now, there are different versions of the ever famous hand print calendar. I happen to like this one because it includes a scripture passage for every month and I love having scripture surrounding me! The cool thing, there are three different sizes all ready for you to print out! yeah! Like I said, fool proof! I used the small ones because I wanted the calendar to be 11x8.5 and it has two kiddos hand prints on it! If you're looking for one with poems on it just google hand print calendar and you'll see lots of different versions of the same thing!

I started with making the handprints. The great thing is, on the ABC Jesus Loves Me website she gives you some tips and pointers on how to easily do the handprints. Like do all the ones that include the same color together so you're not making more work for yourself. She also says to maybe do the handprints in two different sittings so the kids don't get worn out...well, that would have been nice to do but I knew I needed to get this done quickly (so I could post a finished craft for you...imagine that!). The kids did really well and actually enjoyed it. It's a great rainy/cold day activity. Naomi did get a little restless near the end but we prevailed and got everything done. And not only did I get enough hand prints for one calendar but I got enough for three. One for grammy and papa (my parents) one for grandma and grandpa (Greg's parents) and one for us! So, make sure to think about that as well while you're creating the handprints, better to get it all out of the way at once.

So, you need cardstock in white, blue and brown and some paints (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, white and brown), and a paint brush. Oh and some kids hands and foot! Follow the ideas on the ABC Jesus Loves Me site for how to make the handprints and then print out the scripture passages (or poems from another site). Then I made a new document in Microsoft Word and just created a calendar. There was no template for 2012 so I just used the 2011 calendar that was there and changed the dates. (If you want the calendar email me purejoycreative at gmail dot com and I'll forward you the calendar template in Word.) Then I just printed the calendar and after I made sure that everything was in the right order and facing the right way I taped the handprints down to the oposite side of the calendar page it was facing (does that make sense...hard to explain but I think you get what I mean). Then I took all my pages to Office Max and had them laminate the front page and bind them. They charge a lot for laminating so I decided to just do the front page and figure out something else for the other pages.

I was thinking that it might be neat to just make blank calendar pages, have it laminated and bound and then you could use the calendar for years and years. BUT...I'm not a big fan of white erase calendars...too easy to loose info. But if that's what you like...then there's an idea for you! So really, this is just a calendar to know what date it is and not anything special. I probably will add in the birthdays and such and then figure out how to make the handprints stay on better...hmmm...

Took a lot of counter space to let the handprints dry...so take that into account when you start this project.
 Here are our calendar pages. Let me know what you think. And I'd love to know what you would have done differently. I've still got to finish the other two and maybe you can help me with (laminate or not, dates or not) the details of the next ones!


  1. Very cute!! What a creative gift. And a sentimental gift too!

  2. how adorable. you should definetly laminate so gramma can keep them for many years to come.
    - ourhometoyours

  3. What a wonderful gift idea!

  4. This is so cute! I wish I had children to do this with. Filing away in my mind for the future! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love the calendars, was sent by tt&j

  6. How darling! Did you bind it yourself or buy it with blank paper? Just love it!


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