Creative Gift Wrap
* Paint - as many colors as you want
* Brown or white craft paper (large or on a roll)
* Paper plate or tin
* Cheap sponges (optional but recommended)
I read about this idea of using a child's hand prints to make unique wrapping paper years ago and finally got around to trying it with my 4-year-old daughter. Depending on how busy your holidays will be and how far behind you are - and how patient you and your child are - you might want to try this for a few key gifts or attempt it for another occasion.
But we were brave and had some time, so my daughter and I tried it. I took a big roll of the craft paper and rolled it out onto the kitchen floor. You can do Christmas colors if you want but my daughter loves pink and purple so that's what we did.
I took pink paint and poured it into a paper plate and then took a cheap sponge and dipped it into the paint and wiped off the excess. Then my daughter placed her hand on the wet sponge before placing it on the paper. You can have your child dip their hand directly into the paint but I find that this means more paint on the hands and potentially sloppier prints.
She did pink all around the paper with one hand and then we washed her hand. Then I poured purple paint onto another plate and used another sponge. Then my daughter used her other hand and repeated the process.
I don't know whether it was the type of paint (the pink was tempera and the purple was acrylic) or she got lazier over time but I thought the pink hand prints came out better. If it was the paint, then you might want to try tempera.
This is a messy craft, but fun. Also, find a place you can easily clean whether it's putting a tarp down or using a linoleum floor like ours. I also recommend you and your child wear old clothes or depending on the child's age, have them wear only a diaper or underwear to minimize clothes clean up.
You also can do foot prints as a change of pace and if you have multiple children this is a neat way to showcase the different sizes.
I think this is a creative and unique way to wrap gifts, especially for grandparents, which is how we plan to use the paper. And they can even save some of the paper if they want.
If your child is really young and you want to do this, I'd recommend taking one hand print impression (and an ink pad might be better) and scanning it into your computer. Then just copy and paste it in a word document and print. This method would work best with smaller gifts.
Sandra K. Lee is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom with a 8-year-old princess & a 4-year-old superhero in Middlesex County, New Jersey.