Four years ago the children and I created a fall themed table cloth incorporating the hand prints of everyone in our family. Every year we get it out, marvel at how much they have grown and enjoy remembering the fun time we had making it.
Since we’ve added 2 children to our family since 2006 we decided it was time to make another family table cloth.
To make a table cloth you’ll need:
- newspaper or something to put under the table cloth to protect your table while you’re painting it (we use an old vinyl tablecloth)
- fabric paint (we used acrylic craft paint)
- fabric markers
- a table cloth to decorate
- something to trace around (optional) We used real leaves for our fall themed table cloth and cookie cutters for one we made as a Christmas gift.
First spread the table with newspaper (or whatever your going to use to protect it from the paint) and gather some kids around.
Next spread the tablecloth you’re going to be decorating on the table and set it with plates. The plates will help you determine hand print placement.
Oh and gather up a few more kids.
We have everyone put their hand prints at their regular place at the table. This changes every so often, so it’s been fun to look back at our old table cloth and remember who used to sit where.
Determine who is going to go first and what color their hand prints are going to be, then squirt the appropriate color paint onto a large plate. If the child is young, I prefer to strip them down or have them use a paint shirt, but that is completely up to your discretion.
Help the child smoosh their hand into the paint and then onto the table cloth.
This part is messy, so be prepared.Repeat with the other hand.
When it comes to hand prints and babies I’ve learned three things. It helps to have two adults, one to hold the baby and one to try and get the hand prints. Relax, it will get messy.
Patience nearly always pays off.
With the fabric markers, write or have the child write their name with their hand prints and write the year in the center of the table.
If I were to do this over I would have the names written UNDER the hand prints rather than above them. That way the names will be under the plates and the table cloth will be a bit less busy, but that’s me.
You can certainly stop there and it will be lovely, but it’s more fun if you allow the children to decorate it a bit further.
For the table cloth that we made in 2006 we gathered leaves from the yard and the children traced them onto the table cloth with the fabric markers. Then they drew details within the leaves.
When we made a Christmas themed table cloth we traced around cookie cutters.
This year we wanted to make it more personal and less seasonal, so we had each of the children draw their best picture under their hand prints.
I think our table cloth turned out beautifully and we will probably make another one in a few more years. They are a practical way to record, use and enjoy the kid’s hand prints.
You don’t need to stop at table cloths. Pot holders, aprons, hand towels and more are fun items to decorate with hand prints.