Family Handprint Tree

We know I’m a sucker for meaningful art. Now that I think about it, I could probably count on one hand the pieces that decorate my walls that aren’t family photos, children’s masterpieces, words that mean something…I just prefer to look at things on my walls that tell our history, or something about us. Otherwise, I feel like a home feels more like a showcase house for sale, and less like the family that lives there. One of my (hilarious) friends once vented that she was tired of the art in her home and put it this way: “It looks like Kohl’s threw up in my house!” Now, I DO love me some Kohl’s, don’t get me wrong, but how many of us can relate to that?! Been there, let me tell you. I decided a while back that I was tired of looking at framed pictures of flowers in a vase or a still life of a bowl of fruit that mean nothing to me. I’ve been on an ongoing mission to fill these walls around us with things that reflect us. Our family, our lives, our story. This latest project pretty much fits the bill, I’d say.

I found this blogger over at Clean and Scentsible, who has some amazing ideas (and loves using handprints a lot – girl after my own heart!). I pinned quite a few of her ideas, for future projects and gift ideas (helloooo Father’s Day! Get on this blog and you are S-E-T!). Now, I’ve been seeing handprint trees all over the place lately – Pinterest has tons, my kids have been bringing home fall trees with their little hands all over them – they’re everywhere. But these words she used on hers are just perfect. I LOVE them. So this weekend, I busted out the paints and the fam and I got to work.

First, I picked up a frame at Michaels – couldn’t believe this deal! It was $8, and I had a coupon, so I paid a whopping $6 on this. Oh, and a piece of posterboard.

Talk about inexpensive art! I drew a tree in pencil on the posterboard (not as easy as it looks – kept looking like a hand??), and finally, after I was satisfied, I used my brown Elmer’s paint marker to color it in. (again, can’t tell you how much I love those paint markers!!) Now, I was going to just place our handprints on that same posterboard, but due to my lack of tree-drawing-skills, there were quite a few eraser marks there, so I cut it out and glued it onto another piece. Lucky for me, I had one on hand.

So then the fun part. The kids LOVED this!! I grabbed a bunch of colors from my stash of acrylic paints that I thought would look nice together, and each kid picked one. One at a time, I placed those cute lil’ prints onto the tree. Yep, I even guided my husband’s big ol’ hand on there as well;) He was happy to partake in the fun. This stuff doesn’t phase him in the slightest. He’s been married to the Naptime Decorator way too long to even raise an eyebrow when I say, “hey hon, could you come here a sec and let me paint your hand?”

Once the hands were on there (and dry), I wrote these words – I was going to write everything together underneath the tree, but I didn’t leave as much room as I thought. So I wrote the first line at the top:

And the second part at the bottom:

Can I say it again how much I love Elmer’s paint markers?! I’ve tried other brands, but these are in a class by themselves.

So there’s my $6 (ok, including posterboard, I guess more like $7;) piece of meaningful art that hangs in our home. And I could not love it more.


  1. I love this! I am a great grandmother with a huge family. Have been wanting a large colorful painting to hang over my mantel in the living room to replace the one that I’ve had forever and have been looking for at least a year. Nothing has quite suited me. And so I intend to buy a very large canvas, under paint it and as we can, put everyone’s print on it. Even new additions can be added as they come along. I’m thinking of adding the date and name on each print as it is applied. It will be a huge tree and wonderful memories for me! The sentiment is what sold me, by the way….

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