Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day Crafties

Happy Mother's Day [in advance] to all the mom readers out there!  I hope you are getting something delicious, special, or comfy this Sunday. Josh asked me a couple days ago what I wanted; truth is, I have no clue.  Maybe to sleep in. Or a day where calories literally didn't count.

These gifts were actually a specific request from the grandmothers last Father's Day.  For that holiday I decorated dishes with handprints smooshed all over by a 5 month old.  Wouldn't recommend it, but our dads loved it anyway.  This year's Mom's Day make was a similar idea, but instead I smooshed 15 month old footprints on tea towels.  My best guess is our moms are going to love it too.

I learned a lot from this craft!  One, our child really is a neat freak.  Painting the bottoms of her feet was not fun at all for her.  Neither was being asked to walk in a particular direction.  However, with proper motivation [aka sugary snacks] we all survived with a couple of cute and totally homemade gifts. Second, I learned that fabric paint works especially well on fabric you don't want to get painted.  So do this project naked.

Footprint Tea Towels

You will need:
  • tea towels  
  • fabric paint, your choice of colors
  • fabric paint pen [if you want to write sentiments on them]
  • masking tape
  • paper plates 
  • paint brushes
  • lots and lots of wipes
  • a child
  • a friend and her children, because the more the messier!

How it works:

1. Wash your towels and iron them well.  The washing is to get them, well, clean.  The ironing is to get rid of crinkles that would otherwise mess with the foot-painting.

2. When you're ready to begin, tape your towels down to the floor so they won't shift during the painting process.  Again, this gets messy, so do it in a place where you're comfortable with the amount of cleanup you will eventually be doing.

3. Strip your children, and yourself, of any clothing you would like to keep nice.

4. Paint the bottoms of their feet, then let them walk around on the towels. We had to repaint our kids' feet a good 3 times for each color.

5.When you like what you see, clean yourself and your child off thoroughly [I resorted to the bath tub method] and let your towels dry.

*At this point, follow the manufacturer directions for how to make sure the fabric paint sets.  The stuff I used, for example, recommends steam-ironing 1/2 inch over the fabric once the paint is dry.*

6. Add some sentiments or write the year if you want to.  I wrote a couple of appropriate verses about feet and grandparents on the towels I made.

My friend and fellow risk-taker had her children do handprints for a couple of the towels she made.  It was a nice combination for feet and hands to send to her mom and mom-in-law.

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this project [and I think my friend did too!].  Easy enough to make with a one year old, easy to wrap up and mail, and a little more personal than another bouquet of flowers.

What's the best gift you've ever gotten for Mother's Day?

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