Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Thanksgiving Handprint and Footprint Wall Hanging

In Halloween 2015, I created my first handprint and footprint artwork for Halloween.  Since then Lucky and Rowdy have helped me create a Valentine's/Spring montage and some sunflower hand/footprint art.  I really wanted to do some Thanksgiving prints right when Halloween ended, but decided that I wanted to wait for both of my boys to be present for further prints.  I didn't finish this project until just after Thanksgiving 2016 but I know that I will hang it proudly in my front hall every year from here on out.

Like my previous handprint/footprint artwork, I started with three 9"x12" canvases.

I mixed red, yellow and orange paint with some brown to mute the colors a bit.  I want the true colors to be able to show up on top in the handprints.  

The cheap acrylic paint required 2-3 coats of paint.  I really like how the colors are different from the holiday canvases I already have in rotation.  I also wish that I spread Lucky's "hand feathers" out a bit more.

Lucky's handprints

I mixed Red, Orange and Yellow together to do the turkey hand prints.  I had them create a semi-circle of feathers out of their fingers.  I wish that I had started this a little higher up on the canvas, but they are cute little starbursts.

After allowing the handprint starburst feathers to dry, I painted each boy's foot with brown paint and placed the turkey body on top of the feathers.  I used Lucky's left foot on the red and Rowdy's right foot on the yellow.  It was hard to position the foot prints on top of the hand prints, but I think it worked out in the end.  I wish the brown paint had come out a little thicker, but there is no mistaking that these are turkeys!

I used white paint dots for the eyes and red triangles to form the beaks.   All of these creatures look a little creepy in the above image as I waited for the white eyes to dry.  Once the eyes dried I added smaller black dots using the back of my paintbrush to form the pupils. 

I needed something else Thanksgiving-y to go on the middle panel. Since I couldn't come up with a third Thanksgiving print idea that I liked, I decided to make the middle canvas simple and say "Thankful".    I freehanded (gulp!) the word in the center of the canvas.  I picked the (approximate) halfway point and started by panting the N and K.  I worked my way out so this would be roughly centered. Now I just need to figure out how to decorate that further. 

This canvas has no handprints or footprints on it.  I decided to start writing the names of people I am thankful to have as a part of my life.  We have our immediate ChemKnits family, grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, dear friends, and teachers. 

Somehow I hit the end of my ideas and had exactly enough space to fit 2016 into the corner.  I am very thankful that I was able to complete this off the cuff and have it work so perfectly!

I added some additional embellishments to the turkey canvases: "gobble, gobble gobble!" and "Happy Thanksgiving".  I also added some decorations around the corners to help tie things together.  

Since Thanksgiving just ended when I had finished up this project, I was able to find some 3 yard - 5/8" ribbon in the clearance bin at a local craft store.

Previously I used craft glue to secure the ribbon to the cavases, but this time I took out my hot glue gun and quickly attached the ribbon to the the back of the canvases.  The glue cooled so fast that I was able to turn it over and hang it up within minutes.

I'm sure that the boys and I will do many version of these handprint turkeys over the next 17 years, but I am happy to have something to memorialize our first Thanksgiving as a family of 5.  (Sorry, Indy, someday I'll include your paws in the artwork, too!)  

I hope you enjoyed my latest handprint/footprint project!  I have a few more creatures that I created at the end of 2016 to share with you.  I have a whole pinterest board of handprint and footprint craft ideas.  If you come across anything fun please share it with me.  I'm always looking for more inspiration!

Happy Birthday, Mimi!

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