Lasting Holiday Keepsake

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Lots of BirminghamMoms wouldn’t take anything for the sweet art projects and ornaments their kids have made over the years. They pack away these fragile little creations of construction paper and glitter as if they were made of the finest crystal. Trouble is, another summer stored away in the attic just accelerates the decay and brings them one step closer to sawdust. School budgets certainly don’t allow for archival quality materials, and truthfully, I wouldn’t want it to be any harder to decide which crafts to keep or toss.

That’s why this is one of my favorite kid-made holiday decorations: A pillow with handprints shaped like a Christmas tree. It won’t break or decay and can even be laundered.

This wasn’t a school production; I made it at home with a white square of sturdy fabric, green pom pom trim and a red backing. The ribbon atop the tree is a simple satin ribbon tacked on with a couple of stitches at its center. You could easily do something similar by having your kids apply their handprints to a plain pillow.

Use acrylic paint from any craft store for the handprints. The trick for future laundering is to add a product called Aleen’es Okay to Wash It to the paint (it’ only takes a few drops and instructions are on the bottle).

Start with the bottom row of the tree first, with one less handprint per row until you get to the top. Two contrasting colors are more interesting, and you could always add colorful buttons as “ornaments” on your tree.  I’ve also done a handprint wreath that worked out well. Talk about a perfect grandparent gift!  

There’s certainlyl a place for all those masterpieces from chenille straws, tongue depressors, and craft foam. But this pillow is -literally – a comfortable back up plan.