Thursday, April 26, 2007

May Day: Photo Flowers

We celebrate May Day by placing flowers from our yard on the neighbors' doorsteps, ringing the doorbell and running home, leaving a lovely surprise for our friends to discover. The ladies and gents love making a special flower surprise for their grandma too. Two years ago (look at those little faces! those cheeks! those pudgy little rolls!) we made a special May Day bouquet for Grandma who lives in town. She still has them hanging on her wall.

May Day Photo Flower Craft

You Need:

White posterboard, one large sheet per child (approximate, a baby will use less, an older child may need more)
Bright paint colors, your favorites
Green paint
Paintbrushes. The foam kind work really well because they aren't too tickley.
Wooden dowels
Rags for cleanup
Optional, but makes the project easier: Sunny day and a garden hose
Cardboard circles
A photo of your child
Glue stick or scrapbook tape
Green electrical tape (optional)

Step One: Handprints Choose your handprint color(s). Once your work area is prepared paint your child's hands and press the painted hands onto the posterboard to make the handprints. Leave room for 1-2 footprints, or set aside a separate sheet of posterboard for the child's footprints. Set the posterboard aside to dry. Indoors at the table works just as well for handprints, just make sure to cover surfaces and have lots of rags handy for wiping painty hands. As you can see in the youngest gent's picture, footprints might work best with the very littlest ones because it's hard to get those little hands flat enough for good handprints, and tiny baby arms flail around when they get excited, which makes a big mess. We just did baby's footprints the same way we did the older kids' handprints. The other kids took turns painting his feet.

Step Two: Footprints Head outdoors if you can for the footprints. If it's just too nasty outside, the tub is a fantastic place to work. Place the posterboard on a clean level surface. If you don't want the surface to get paint on it protect it with newspaper, allowing enough room to the side of your posterboard for your child to stand. Paint the child's foot or feet green and help them stamp footprints onto the posterboard. Careful: The paint is slippery. Walking on the posterboard creates slippery-slidy prints. For best results, press the foot gently onto the paper then lift, as though you're stamping. Clean those feet immediately unless you want green footprints on your sidewalk or deck or, God forbid, your carpet. Set the green footprints aside to dry. While you've got the green paint handy, paint the wooden dowels green too and set them aside to dry.

Like messy projects? For more footpainting fun, set out a few more colors and brushes, and a large roll of paper. My kids like to paint their feet different colors and make a foot painting.

Step Three: Assemble the flower. Cut out the hand- and footprints once they've dried. I labeled each child's on the back of the print as I cut so that I wouldn't get them mixed up. Cut a cardboard circle (I used cereal boxes) the size you'd like for the center of your flower. Cut your photo into a circle the same size as the cardboard circle and glue or tape the photo to the circle. While that's drying, get out your green dowels, green tape, and hand- and footprints. Create a flower by gluing or taping the handprints (petals) and footprints (leaves) to the photo center. Using the green electrical tape, attach the dowel to the back of the flower for a stem.

Step Four: Enjoy your bouquet.

1 comment:

Sara said...

This looks like a wonderful project - thanks for posting it!