Here’s an easy project whose beauty belies the effort required to complete it. Embroidered hand prints record your children’s growth in a way different from the standard mark on the door frame. It’s a beautiful piece to hang on a wall in your home. I made mine in 2008 and I see such a change in the size of the kids’ hands now in 2014. I get a little pang whenever I look at it because my kids are growing up so fast!
Here’s what you do: You need to purchase a half a yard of white kona cotton, embroidery thread in your choice of color, a marking pencil or pen (check out the quilting section) and a 12″x12″ shadowbox picture frame. (If your kids have big hands, or you have lots of hands to do, you should get a larger frame and more fabric. If you are doing only one hand, go for a smaller frame and less fabric. You need enough fabric to fill the opening in the frame and a few inches on each side to wrap the fabric around the back of the frame to secure it in place.) You will need white paper (printer paper will do), a pencil, embroidery needle, scissors and an embroidery hoop.
Trace each child’s hand on a piece of white paper. Go over the tracings with the pencil again if the lines aren’t dark. To add the date, go to your word processing software (like Word) and type in the numbers you want. In mine, I had 12/08. Futz around with your numbers until you get the font that you want at the size that you want. Now, keeping in mind that you have a 12×12 space because that’s the size of your frame opening, decide where you’re going to put the hand prints and the date on the fabric. Put the fabric over each hand drawing (one at a time) and the date and trace onto the fabric with a marking pencil or pen.
The hard part is done! Now insert your fabric into the embroidery hoop and go to town embroidering the lines. Do an Internet search on “backstitch” if you’re not familiar with embroidering. The backstitch is a basic stitch that’s easy to do and will get the job done. Once you’ve embroidered all the lines, insert the fabric into the frame, you will probably have to cut the fabric down to fit. Finally, hang your frame on a wall and stand back and admire your work. You now have a beautiful memento of when your children were young.