If you read my last post, then you know that I love handprints. However, one thing that I didn't mention is that handprint crafts make great gifts, especially for grandmothers. Keeping this in mind, I decided that I was going to design something with my son's handprints to use as presents for Mother's Day. I wanted these gifts to have a more substantial look and feel than my usual paper handprint crafts, so I decided to make them from felt.
My son James is the only grandchild on my side of the family, so I created this design for my mother using tracings of my handprint and James' handprint.
I used Photoshop Elements to make patterns for the letters and hand cut them from felt. The patterns for the flower stems were just drawn free hand. After everything was cut out, I hand stitched each element in place. I didn't have any embroidery thread at the time, so I used doubled over all-purpose thread. If you want to do this, it's really simple. When you are threading your needle, just keep pulling the thread through until the two ends are even.
Once I finished the gift for my mother, it was time to start on the one for my mother-in-law. At first, I was just going to repeat the same project, only replacing my handprint with my husband's. However, I quickly realized that that what mother-in-law would really love was a wall hanging featuring ALL of her grandchildren's handprints.
I even included the two yet-to-be-born grandbabies, one of which my mother-in-law didn't even know about until she received this gift. Can you spot them? Yep. They're the flower buds. Each bud is one inch long, because that is approximately how big the babies were on Mother's Day.
The greatest challange of this project was collecting all of the handprints. My nieces and nephews are scattered all over the country, so I couldn't just drive to their houses and trace their hands. Thankfully, technology came to the rescue. My wonderful sisters-in-law traced their children's handprints, then scanned and emailed them to me. They even included a measurement from the bottom of the hand tracing to the top of the middle finger, so that I could make sure that everything printed in the correct scale.
My intention from the beginning was to frame each gift. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I finished the first one that I realized that the easiest (and least expensive) way to accomplish this would have been to cut the background piece of felt to a standard frame size. So, my mother's gift has to be custom framed, while the gift for my mother-in-law is a nice, standard 18 by 20.
Oh, well. You live. You learn.