Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Winter Handprint and Footprint Wall Hanging

When it was time to (finally) write the post about my winter handprint and footprint art wall hanging, I couldn't stop smiling.  Currently the Valentine's Day and Spring handprint hanging is in my hallway.  Rowdy's little feet were so tiny since he was under a month old when we made that one.  At almost a year, the Thanksgiving and Winter hangings show just how much the boys have grown.    I'm sure that someday the boys might object to having their baby footprints on the wall, but I hope to continue rotating out this holiday artwork for many years.

For all of these handprint projects, I use three 9" x 12" canvases.  I like to buy them in big packs when they are on sale so I have them at home for when inspiration strikes.

Since I've done multiple canvas panels, I wanted to mix up the colors a bit.  I didn't want the colors to be exactly the same as a different holiday season.  I knew that I wanted some shades of blue and purple, but to brighten the colors I added some white to the mixtures.  Each canvas required two coats of paint to get an even coverage.

This ended up being the most subtle color change yet, but it was a nice change.  I wanted something that would be appropriate for the whole winter, not just Christmas.  Our Christmas decorations are purple and silver, so this would fit right in with our celebrations.  

For the Halloween handprint project, I added the prints and then decorated them.  The planned middle panel for this project will have some handprint birds sitting on branches.   I thought that I would need to draw the branches first, but then looking back at I realized that the feet are on the branches, both of which can be drawn after than handprints are done.  Phew! I'm much more nervous drawing things freehand than I am stamping hands and feet.

I wish that I had been able to get the bird handprints a little higher up on the canvas, but I think I should be able to manage drawing branches under them.  I wasn't nervous about makign the snowman and penguin details, but I was nervous about painting the snowy branches for the birds.

I started with the bird faces.  Awe, they really did look like birds!  Maybe this will help me feel more confident.  Not quite, but I knew I needed to just go for the branches.

The branches came out WAY better than I had expected.  I did a Paint Bar mom's night out recently where we painted trees.  They gave us some god tips on how to taper the branches to make them look a little more realistic.  If I were going to do this again, I would definitely put the handprints up higher, but I still think that this looks very branchlike.

I practiced the snowflake on my drop cloth before I got a design I liked enough to paint on the canvas.  I think that it helps make my white globs look more like snow. I think that the snow piles look really cute.  I'm not 100% happy with the feet, but there is no mistaking that these little hands are birds.  

Compared to the birds, the snowmen footprints were a piece of cake to finish up.  I added some text and dots to make the canvas feel more complete.  I like to add the year to these hangings so I can remember how old the boys were at the time.  I have a feeling I will add more handprint and footprint art to my collection over the next few years.

After embellishing the snowmen, the penguins started to feel a little empty.  I didn't want to add any more text so I start thinking about what I could draw to add some decoration.  I decided to add a "knit scarf" to the bottom and some earmuffs to the small penguin.  This should finish off that canvas nicely and then I'd be ready to glue the ribbons onto it.

The penguin canvas is purple, so I decided to make the scarf blue and silver.  

The blue is more visible to the eye than it is to the pictures, but I thought it would be worth making the earmuffs stand out a little more so I swapped the silver and blue.  

My artwork trio is complete.  I think that the birds are the most special but I also really enjoy the snowmen.  

I normally like to use 5/8" ribbon to hang these canvases but I had trouble finding a snowflake ribbon.  I ended up gluing two ribbons to the canvas.  First I used hot glue to add the snowflake ribbon, and then I glued the glitter mesh ribbon to the back.

I finished these projects up just after Thanksgiving was done.  After taking pictures of the Thanksgiving artwork I was able to hang up the winter set immediately.  Instant gratification!

The double ribbon made the bow at the top of the set especially cute.  It almost looks like a wrapped present, which is very appropriate for the winter holiday season.  

I hang these rotating canvases in my front hallway next to the bathroom.  This is a spot that I pass multiple times a day and it is also visible when you open the front door.  I love using my childrens' hands and feet to welcome people into our home.  

I'm not really sure what kind of canvas I should do next.  Instead of doing a summer trio we made a 16x20 sunflower hanging which currently lives permanently in our playroom.  The rotation is heavy in from October through February and then I don't have anything new for the summer.  If you have any ideas let me know in the comments.  I'd rather focus on a season more than a specific holiday.  Maybe we can do animals for summertime.  What do you think?

Do you want to see my inspiration for these canvases?  Checkout my handprint and footprint art Pinterest page.