Handprint Wreath Banner

In preparation for the upcoming Christmas season, many people choose to make crafts, not only as decorations, but also as gifts. Consider creating a handprint wreath banner with your children. This craft is as simple as it is economic. Use it in your personal holiday decorating, or give it as a gift to relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles, teachers, or other individuals close to your family.

Begin by gathering the materials you will need, which include cloth material, green and red craft paint, a small dowel rod, fabric glue, and any other decorative materials you'd like to incorporate, such as small jingle bells. The cloth material best suited for this craft is a solid pattern of light color, as printed patterns will make the wreath difficult to identify and dark colors will hinder the visibility of the finger paint. Solid, light-colored cloth napkins are great choice.

Allow children, or the entire family, to dip their hands into the green paint until the entire hand is covered. Consider using a paint brush to brush in areas that are not easily covered. Each person should place their paint-covered hand (s) flat onto the material, fingers extending outwardly. Each hand should be placed next one another in a circular fashion. If you have a rather large family, do not be afraid to allow the handprints to overlap one another, as this benefits the appearance of a wreath. Allow the paint to dry.

Next, allow each participant to cover their fingertips in red paint and add to the handprint wreath in a hit or miss pattern. This gives the appearance of holly or other seasonal berries. If you'd like, you can also use the red paint to hand paint or stencil a ribbon atop the wreath. (Or if it is more convenient, appealing, and economic, design your own using actual red ribbon, then use the fabric glue to secure it to the wreath after the paint has completely dried.) Again, allow the paint to dry.

If you have other decorations you'd like to apply, such as small ribbons or bells, use fabric or hot glue to put them in place and allow time for the glue to dry.

Use this drying time to cut, sand (if necessary), and paint or otherwise decorate the wood dowel . Solid white, red or green would represent the season well. Or paint the dowel with white and red stripes, reflective of a candy cane.

From front to back, even fold the material onto itself. To ensure that the material is even, use a straight edge and a pencil to lightly mark the material if necessary. Also, be certain to ensure that the pocket that remains is sufficient to accommodate the circumference of the hardwood dowel. Once this is achieved, apply fabric glue along the top seam of the material and fold it evenly along the back. Allow time for the fabric glue to dry. Then, insert the dowel.

Tie or glue Christmas ribbon or twine to the outer edges of the dowel to hang from a door, wall, or other selected area. Or wrap the completed craft and present it to a loved one for the holiday.