Mother's Day Craft: Handprint T-Shirt

Handprints on her heart

Hand prints. They mean so much, especially when they belong to the child in your life. A youngster's hand prints, preserved for posterity, will always remind her mother of when she really was little. You'll have a permanent reminder of just how small her hand was. Help your child make a hand print T-shirt this Mother's Day for Mom or Grandma. She'll love it -- guaranteed. Here's how.

Gather Your Supplies

You can find blank T-shirts in a variety of colors at any of your local craft stores. Or, just buy a plain one at your local department store. Here's what you'll need to make your T-shirt:
  • A plain white or pastel-colored pre-shrunk T-shirt in Mom's size
  • Fabric paint (one or more colors)
  • Permanent fabric glue (so add-ons won't come off in the wash)
  • Decorative sequins, rhinestones, etc
  • Piece of cardboard big enough to insert inside the shirt

Getting Ready for Your Project

A day in advance of doing your project, machine wash the T-shirt, then machine dry to just barely damp. Though the shirt has been pre-shrunk, you can't go wrong with this precaution. Fibers that shrink after the paint has been applied and dried will cause puckering in the area, or peeling of the paint -- two things you definitely don't want.

When the shirt is dried to just damp, place a large piece of cardboard inside and smooth the front area of the shirt so it will dry completely straight. Make sure the shirt is completely dry before starting your project (leaving it overnight is best).

Placing the Prints on the Shirt

When you're ready, pour the paint onto a small disposable plate. Have the child dip one hand into the paint. Place the hand firmly, straight down, onto the shirt and lift straight up again for a perfect print. Or, for a fool proof application use a paint brush and just paint their palm before printing!

Do the same with the other hand, lining the prints up. After the paint is dry, apply sequins or other decorations, gluing firmly in place. Allow to dry completely before folding and wrapping the shirt for gift presentation.

Decorative Ideas

Your T-shirt can be embellished in any number of ways. Try these variations for a unique shirt:
  • Use a variety of paint colors and have the child place a number of hand prints on the shirt. Wash the hand and dry well between colors.
  • Make a hand "flower." With your fabric paints, draw a stem and leaves. Allow to dry. Then have the child place colorful hand prints in a semicircle at the top of the stem to imitate flower petals.
  • Make a handprint heart. Have the child curl each hand and touch at the thumbs for the bottom of the heart, and at the tops of the other fingers for the top, rounded parts of the heart. Dip the sides of the hands down into paint and lift up. Now touch them down onto the shirt to form the heart shape. (See the photo of the child's hands to view how this is done.)
  • For a mom of more than one child, place one print from each child on either the front or back of the shirt. Write "Happy Mother's Day!" or another saying on the opposite side.

Package For Mom

There are a number of great ways to package the T-shirt. You can get a large Chinese takeout box (or buy one at the craft store) and place it inside. You could fold the shirt then tie it with a pretty bow. Or, use an empty coffee can for an usual shape.

Don't forget the card! Browse our collection of darling Mother's day card templates for a design that's sure to please. The best part is you can edit the words online and print it from home. What could be easier?

Written by: Melanie Henson