Holiday Craft: Handprint Tree
The graceful branches of these evergreens are made from tracings of your child's hands. To create one, coat office paper with green paint (the reverse side will also show, so we used light green paper). You'll need five to ten sheets (and roughly ten to 20 tracings), depending on the size of your child's hands and the height of your tree. While the paint dries, roll and tape a sheet of green card stock into a 9- or 12 1/2-inch-tall cone, then trim the bottom edge so that it sits flat. Trace your child's hands onto the paper and cut out the shapes. Glue the hands to the cone, starting at the bottom and overlapping them as you go. To top the tree, tape a yellow card stock star to a toothpick and insert it into the cone.
Originally published in the December/January 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.
Photograph by Aaron Dyer
Costumes on Parade
This add-on photo book lets you display your child's Halloween disguises through the years.
You will need:
- Craft knife
- Mat board
- Patterned paper
- Double-sided tape
- 19- by 25-inch sheet of art paper (ours was $2.69 at Hobby Lobby)
- Bamboo skewer
- 4- by 6-inch photos
- Rubber stamps and ink pad
- Adhesive-backed photo corners
1. For a cover, use a craft knife (adults only) to cut out a 5- by 7 1/2-inch piece of mat board. Cover the board with patterned paper, attached with double-sided tape. Decorate as desired.
2. Cut a 7 1/2- by 25-inch strip from the art paper. Cut a second piece that's 7 1/2 by 10 inches.
3. For neat folds, use a ruler and a bamboo skewer to score a fold line every 5 inches along each piece of paper.
4. Accordion-fold the pages along the creases. For a seamless look, join the two pieces of paper by overlapping the last page of the first with the first page of the second. Attach the cover and join the pages with double-sided tape.
5. Use photo corners to attach a print to each page. Once you fill the front pages, add prints to the back.
6. Mark the year each photo was taken; we used rubber stamps and ink.
7. Tie the book closed with a ribbon when it's not on display.
Originally published in the October 2013 issue of FamilyFun magazine.
A Colorful Clan
This modern take on the family tree helps teach your child about his lineage.
1. On a computer, type the names and family nicknames of your child and his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, along with each person's year of birth (and death, if applicable). Make sure the printed names will fit well within the paper rectangles. (Our rectangles are 1 3/4 inches wide to fit a 4- by 12-inch panoramic frame; the font is Helvetica in sizes 9 and 7.)
2. Print the names on paper in coordinating colors.
3. With a craft knife or scissors, cut the names into rectangles. Get our cutting template below.
4. Use double-sided tape to attach the rectangles to the base of the frame.
Originally published in the September 2013 issue of FamilyFun
Photograph by Doug Merriam, Idea by Helen Bird
A Thank-You Note Gift for Teachers
1. Download our flower circle template (below). Make copies so that you'll have one flower per student.
2. Cut out the circles. Give one to each student in your child's class, with a note asking them to decorate their flower and write a thank-you message on it.
3. Decorate a 4-inch-wide round papier-mâché box (found at many craft stores). Include a note inside the lid for the teacher, as shown.
4. Fill the box with the finished flowers. Give it to the teacher along with a gift card to an office supply store or a coffee shop, if you like.
Originally published in the May 2013 issue of FamilyFun
Photograph by Doug Merriam
A Craft That Maps Out Family History
Show the way to loved ones and favorite vacation spots with our tabletop signpost.
1. With strong scissors, trim regular and jumbo-size craft sticks into arrow-shaped signs. Paint them with acrylic paint and let them dry. If desired, paint a plastic animal for the top.
2. Shape a dome base from air-drying clay and insert a 1/2-inch-wide dowel.
3. For the directions, press letter stamps (N, S, E, W) into the base or use a pencil to etch the letters. Let the clay dry (it may take a few days).
4.Paint the base, then color the letters with permanent marker.
5. Use an online tool, such as Google Maps, to determine the distance from your home to your chosen locations. Write the place names and mileage on the signs with permanent marker.
6. Attach each sign to the dowel with a glue dot. With tacky glue and a paintbrush, fill in any gaps around the glue dot, signs, and dowel. Use the glue sparingly so that it doesn't drip.
7. Attach the animal to the top with a glue dot, plus tacky glue if needed.
Originally published in the April 2013 issue of FamilyFun.
1. Photograph your child's head from the side.
2. Enlarge the photo on your computer to a size you like, then print it in black and white. (Or you can enlarge an existing print on a copier.)
3. Lay the image on top of a sheet of black paper. Cut around the head and shoulders, through both pieces of paper.
4. Remove the back panel from a frame. Cover the panel with glue stick, then lay on of a piece of fabric for a background. Trim the fabric to fit the panel.
5. Attach the silhouette to the fabric with glue stick. Reassemble the frame, and your art is ready to display.
Bright Idea: Photo Candle Holder
1. Choose a digital photograph that's horizontal (not vertical).
2. Print it in black-and- white on an 8 1/2- by 11-inch sheet of plain vellum paper, available at craft and office supply stores.
3. Wrap the vellum around a tall, cylindrical glass vase (we got ours at Michaels for $3) and adhere the overlapping edges with double-sided tape. Trim any excess paper.
4. Put a battery-operated tea light inside the vase.
Photograph by Peter LaMastro
Sweet Sock Art
This memento from your tot's early days will help you remember her teeny tiny tootsies long after she's graduated to shoes.
You Will Need:
- foam core
- shadow box (ours is 20 inches square)
- colorful fabric or paper
- duct tape
- 6 to 10 baby socks
- glue dots
- card stock and marker
1. Cut the foam core to fit inside your shadow box.
2. Fold the fabric or paper around the foam core and secure it with duct tape.
3. Arrange the socks as shown, then attach them with glue dots.
4. Write your child's name and birth date on a piece of card stock (ours is 3 inches across) and attach it with glue dots.
5. Place the foam core in the shadow box and hang it on the wall.
Originally published in the October 2012, December/January 2013, and February 2013 issues of FamilyFun