How to make handprint gifts

Nov 3, 2011 at 2:38 a.m. ET

Looking for an inexpensive way for your child to give Christmas gifts this year? Put Junior to work making these cute DIY handprint Christmas trees.

Step 1: Gather supplies

Supplies are simple for this handprint Christmas tree. At a minimum, round up the following:

  • Green paint
  • A paper plate
  • Sheets of large paper -- at least 11 x 18 inches

After making the tree itself, consider using these additional supplies to turn it extra-festive:

  • Glitter
  • Ribbon
  • Tinsel
  • Silver or gold paper
  • Paint in an assortment of colors

Read more: 4 Homemade Christmas gift ideas >>

Step 2: Prep for action

To prevent your child's sticky peanut-butter-and-jelly-hands from smearing all over the craft, send her to wash and thoroughly dry her hands before getting started. While she's cleaning herself up, squeeze the green paint onto the paper plate. You may also want to spread old newspapers over the crafting surface to prevent paint drips. You have to expect that when you mix kids with paint, accidents are bound to happen!

Step 3: Get down and dirty

Once the scene is set, have your child dip one hand into the paint and make a series of four overlapping handprints across the bottom of the sheet of paper, his fingers pointing down toward the bottom of the sheet. It's okay if the design looks a little messy because the fingers represent the leaves and branches.

Have your child dip his hand in the paint again and make a second row of three overlapping handprints just above the first row. These handprints should overlap one another while also slightly overlapping the first row to give the look of a cohesive tree.

In this same fashion, create a third row of two handprints before topping off the tree with a single handprint.

Christmas crafts for kids: 6 Easy homemade gifts >>

Step 4: Add pizzazz

Now that the tree is fully "grown," your child is free to decorate to her heart's content. She could paint ornaments, create "lights" out of strands of tinsel or simply dust the tree with snow-like glitter. This is the time to make the tree personalized and unique.

Christmas craft: Make your own Christmas ornament >>

Step 5: Top it off

No Christmas tree is complete without a topper. Glue a silver or gold star cutout to the top of the tree or help your child paint an angel on top.

More holiday craft ideas

How to make a candy stick vase
How to make luminarias
How to make homemade holiday place settings