How to Make Handprint Ornaments in 3 Easy Steps

One of my favorite things about preschool is that the teachers really know how to tug at the heartstrings, especially around holidays like Mother’s Day and Christmas. They of all people really get how precious our little ones are, and I’m always delighted by all the handprint crafts they send home. Unfortunately, moisture got into our Christmas storage container the year before last, and we lost a lot of our salt dough handprint ornaments. So, this year I decided to make our own handprint ornaments at home!

3 Easy Steps to DIY Handprint Ornaments

Child to Cherish Handprint Ornaments

Follow the steps below or make it from this kit from Child to Cherish!

What You’ll Need

  • White polymer clay (oven bake)
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking tray
  • Rolling pin (substitute drinking glass turned on its side)
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Permanent marker
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush

You may find you have some or all of these on hand at home. If not, I’ve put everything together in a convenient list on Amazon. Check out the list here and add whatever you need right to your cart!

How to Make Your Handprint Ornaments

3 Quick and Easy Steps

  1. Preheat your oven according to your clay package instructions and begin kneading your clay until soft.
  2. Form your clay into a ball, roll out into circles on parchment paper, and press your child’s hand into the clay. Don’t forget to make a hole for your ribbon.
  3. Bake according to directions, completely cool, and decorate with acrylic paint and ribbon.

The Extended Version*

*Ideal if you’ve never worked with polymer/oven-bake clay before.

  1. Preheat your oven according to the directions on the back of your oven-bake clay box.
  2. Cut parchment paper into squares (or buy pre-cut parchment paper).
  3. Unwrap your clay and divide into palm-size pieces. Roll your clay between your hands and knead until it becomes warm and pliable.
  4. Once clay is easy to manipulate, form a ball and place on a parchment square. You’ll want one ball and parchment square per child.
  5. Using the rolling pin, roll out each ball into a circle until it is about 1/2″ thick. You want it thick enough to hold a handprint and still be sturdy.
  6. Carefully press each child’s hand onto the clay circle. You may need to physically press each finger firmly to make sure it leaves a good impression. Lift the hand straight up once finished.
  7. Using a pencil, dowel, or the end of your permanent marker, make a hole in the top of your ornament. You’ll want to make your hole about 1/2″ from the edge.
  8. Lift the parchment paper with the clay circle on it and transfer it to your baking sheet. Bake according to your clay’s package directions.
  9. Once baked, allow the clay to cool completely before handling. This insures no one is burned and that the clay fully hardens.
  10. Once cool, use your permanent marker to write your child’s name, age, and the year on the back of the ornament. Flip it over, and use your favorite acrylic paint to optionally paint the imprint of your child’s handprint.
  11. Cut a small length of ribbon, and run it through the ornament’s hole.

Now you’re ready for hanging! These handprint ornaments make amazing keepsakes and are a wonderful wintry craft for kids. Mine absolutely loved the idea of creating something so special, and each of them chose a metallic paint to fill in their handprint. I really love how it made them pop when hung on our tree!

If you’re not a DIY queen—and trust me, that’s definitely not always me—you can also grab these kits and make your handprint ornaments using their included materials and steps.

14 thoughts on “How to Make Handprint Ornaments in 3 Easy Steps

  1. N4Mummy says:

    What a wonderful idea for a gift for Christmas, can I just ask does it make a huge amount of mess? It’s just my two littlies are very good at making huge messes!!

    • Tiffany Barry says:

      I actually really love oven bake clay because it’s not messy at all! Whenever we use it, we use regular cutting boards the get scrubbed down with Dawn before going right into the dishwasher. The clay has a consistency like thick playdoh. It leaves a bit of a residue on your hands, so I’d just make sure everyone washes down afterwards, but it’s a great mess-free craft!

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