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Make a memorable gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or a gift for grandparents too with these Child’s Handprint Keychains!
If you ever struggle to find something fun to do as a gift for Mother’s or Father’s Day, you are in good company! It isn’t easy, especially if you have a larger group of kids to do the project with. I’ve worked with large groups of children in my church and now as a teacher. The struggle is on every time those holidays roll around to find something different, easy to make, and memorable for parents. And what’s cuter than the handprint of little one?
As with all kids, they really LOVE crafts so I try to find things that they can make. This year, I was thinking about how much I love their hands. My little guy is getting older, and more and more I find myself taking pictures of our hands together or of his little chubby fingers.
These little Child’s Hand Keychains are perfect for capturing their precious hands into something that a mother, grandmother, father, etc. can take with them wherever they go. It’s perfect! Something usable and sentimental.
They are really easy to make. The main “ingredient” is Shrink Film, the magical material that shrinks when heat is applied. The kids not only have fun coloring their hands prints, they get to watch some magic happen when they shrink down!
Here’s what you need:
Sharpie or Permanent Markers or acrylic paint
Keychains or Keyrings
Scissors and Hole Punch
Help your kids trace their hands onto the Shrinky Dink Film. I used clear ink-jet film (so you can print onto it if you like!), but it comes in other colors. I found mine at Hobby Lobby but I’ve seen it at Michaels, Joanns, and on Amazon. You can trace on the film with a No.2 pencil to avoid smearing when you trace but then will need to trace over it with the markers. I had some Sharpies but we also tried Metallic Markers by American Crafts. The metallic markers gave them a fun sheen!
Once they have their hand traced, let them go to town and color it until their heart’s content. If you have little ones, you will want to supervise because Sharpies are permanent.
When they are done coloring, cut their handprints out. Next, punch a hole in the bottom with your hold punch. Use a 1/2″ or bigger or your keychain may not fit later.
Now, it’s time for the magic! You can either use your oven or an embossing heat gun. I used the latter because it was fun to see it happening right in front of us. Either way, follow the instructions for heating. The film does curl in on itself but it will start to flatten out once it’s absorbed some of the heat. Also, turning it over does help if you’re using an embossing gun. And don’t get the heat too close or it may scorch a little. It helps distribute the heat.
Once its shrunk, use a knife, cardboard, or whatever you have on hand to flatten out and edges that may still be curled. Be careful with them at this point, they will be hot! Also, they harden up once they heat is removed. Be sure to flatten out any curves immediately or you will lose your window.
Once they are ready, attach them to a keychain. I found these at Michaels in a package that contained plastic shapes to use as keychains too. They were in the kids’ craft section. When we made them in bulk, we used regular binder rings too. Unhook the clasp and attach it.
I am using some printables I designed (they will be up next week), and putting them in some cute little boxes. They are the perfect little gift for family.
If you are doing this as a group project as I did, I have a couple of tips. We decided to do this project for our Primary children’s gifts to their mothers on Mother’s Day. We let the older kids trace their hands and color them right on the film. By older, I mean 8-12. For the little ones (3-7), we thought it would get too messy, especially because we only had about 15 minutes for them to color. So, I gave each child a half sheet of regular white paper and we traced their hands on it. I had them color it this way so we didn’t have to deal with the mess of them using permanent markers. I took the papers home, traced the hands in a black sharpie, and then scanned the images. You can buy shrink film that is compatible with inkjet printers so I printed the scanned images and then cut them out. It was an extra step but I did everything in stages so it wasn’t overwhelming.