Monday, June 30, 2008

How to Make a Handprint Plaque

Handprint plaques are great for Mother's Day, but they can be great at any time. For instance, one center where I worked moved the kids up from one class to the next each June. I would do all the children's handprints at that time and then we'd do another right before graduation to see how much they'd grown over the year.

I love this method, too, because it doesn't require plaster of Paris, which can be quite a challenge if you're working with toddlers. Enter panic mode!

For each handprint, you'll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pie tin
  • pencil
  • Ribbon
  • Decorative materials like paint, markers, crayons, etc.

Making the dough:
  1. Mix the salt and water in a bowl and allow the salt to completely dissolve.
  2. Add the oil and flour and mix well.
  3. Knead the dough until very smooth.

Making the handprint:
  1. Press the dough into the pie tin until it reaches the edges.
  2. Have the child press their hand into the dough (though not too deep as to reach the bottom of the pan)
  3. Write the child's name in the remaining space around the handprint with a pencil or chop stick
  4. Make a hole in the top with a pencil so that a ribbon can be strung through (this is how it will hang on the wall)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour, depending on the thickness (watch carefully to avoid over browning)
  6. Decorate with paints, etc. and string ribbon through hole and it's ready to go.