Hanging around the house for the holidays? Spend an afternoon or two working on a handprint calendar for 2017. It’s an easy project anyone can complete, and little helpers will love to lend a hand or two. After all, you’ve got a long winter break to fill with activities, and by New Year’s Eve you’ll have reached the point where painting your kids’ hands sounds like a rational idea!

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What You’ll Need

Heavyweight paper

Washable paint

Paper plate

Brushes

Glue

Laminating sheets (optional)

Hole punch (optional)

String (optional)

Plan It Out

We love this project because there’s no right way to make one. Keep it simple, or get super crafty— it’s all up to your kids’ imagination. Use the guide below to get started, and be sure to decide in advance what you’ll make out of each handprint. This is much easier to do before your little helper has paint all over her hands!  

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The Painting Part

Paint your kids’ hands with the selected colors and have them make a print on each piece of paper. Colored paper is also an option, if you want to use white paint (see January and October). You may need just one handprint, a fingerprint, or even a footprint, depending on your design. Be sure to wash and dry hands between each month, and continue through the year, from January to December. If you think it doesn’t look like much, don’t worry! After each month has dried, and you add the details, it’ll look awesome.

Insider Tip: Let your kids have some input with this project. While you may have a perfect vision in mind for how to execute a gorgeous Christmas tree using their sweet little hands, they might have another idea, and that’s okay. 

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Put It Together

Now that you have all of the months ready to go (and dry!), it’s time to put your calendar together. The easiest way to go is to order a ready-made blank calendar, such as this Karen Foster Design Scrapbook Blank Wall Calendar from Amazon. For under $10, you won’t have to mess with binding or stapling or fussing with the assembly of the calendar– just glue or use double sided tape to attach your own homemade monthly pictures to the blank template and you’re good to go.

If you want to go DIY-style and be a handmade superstar, check out the simple steps below.

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Print out a blank 2017 calendar from Calendar Labs. One by one, place the pages behind the handprint, so when it flips upward, you’ll have the right picture and month. For example: the calendar days for January should be glued to the February picture, the calendar days for February should be glued to March, and so on.

Insider Tip: Make sure to place the calendar month on the backside and bottom of the handprint, so as you flip each month, the painted picture is positioned the correct way.  

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Once you’ve glued all the calendar pages to the handprints, use the laminating sleeves to seal each one. Follow the instructions on the package, and use a ruler to eliminate any air pockets or creases.

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Using a hole punch, make three holes at the top of each page (the calendar month should have the holes at the top) and one hole at the bottom (this is where the calendar will hang on the wall).

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Then, using string or thin twine, run a length through each of the three holes and tie up like you would a book (it should open from the right side).

That’s it! You’ll have a fun keepsake that will hang around for an entire year.

Flip through the gallery below to look at each month of the calendar!

July

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Have you made handprint calendars at home? Share what you made for each month in the comments section below, plus, any tips or tricks you have!

All images by Gabby Cullen

—Gabby Cullen & Katie Kavulla

For more fun kids project ideas like this click HERE