Ever since my oldest son was born, we had a Thanksgiving tradition of tracing our children's hands every year for Thanksgiving and writing on the feathers and neck the five favorite things that they are (or would probably say if they could talk at the time) thankful for. I love this tradition because not only does it bring a spirit of thanksgiving and it's easy, but it also is a nice way to a record the things that they loved while their hands were so small. My oldest is now four and I am amazed at how quickly his little hand print turkey has grown already! This year, I decided to take it a step further and put my three son's turkey's in a frame to decorate our home with. As I was getting this post ready, I was surprised to see that one of my favorite blogs, Eighteen25, posted a similar idea. I love how theirs turned out and I'm glad to see that I am in good company! This is how I made my turkey hand print art.
After I helped the boys sketch around their, we colored them in and then wrote on each one the five top things in their life at this time. I then cut them out and set them aside while I got the rest of the project ready. I wanted to have the word, Thankful, as part of the framed piece but since I didn't win a Silhouette machine during this last round of giveaways all over blogland (poor baby me), I decided to use the old fashioned method of Freezer paper and paint. Normally I only do this when I am trying to make a custom t-shirt (like here and here) but luckily it worked! I typed out the word in a font that I liked on my computer (this time on picasa but I regularly scan the internet for free fonts that I like) and then used the computer screen to help trace the word on a piece of freezer paper with a pencil. Then I used an x-acto knife to carefully cut out each letter.
Be sure to only cut on some sort of cutting board or cardboard and also be sure to keep the center shapes from letters (like "a" and "o", etc.) that you will need later.
I decided to use watercolor paper for this project. After placing the freezer paper in the exact spot I wanted, I ironed it on my paper (with the shiny side of the freezer paper facing down) with my iron on the cotton setting and no steam. I then added the center of the letter A back into place and ironed that.
Once I got that done (although I obviously didn't iron down the beginning of my word too great) I used a paintbrush to lightly paint over my stencil. I used a very cheep and watery paint but I would recommend a thicker craft paint so that it doesn't run like mine did.
After it dried for a moment, I peeled back the freezer paper:
(The heavy paper made it so it didn't rip when the freezer paper pulled off)
I then got my turkey hands and added a little tape to the back....
...and stuck them into place!
I stuck my turkey's in a frame and plopped them in my kitchen where I have been enjoying them ever since! Not only does it decorate my kitchen, but it also is a wonderful reminder of three of my greatest blessings of all.