If you’re a parent you’ve displayed it, and if you were a kid you made it. There’s no denying that children’s art projects can get a little “homely.” The displays at my home (and my mom’s home) are no exception!
I saw a picture of homemade Santa ornaments made from children’s handprints, and I knew immediately that I wanted to make them. It is a super easy salt dough recipe, and they are adorable! Though I knew they wouldn’t turn out quite like the picture…
My son was so excited to do these! He loved pressing his hands in the dough, and couldn’t wait to paint them. It’s hard for me to just let go and be messy sometimes, but I knew that in the long run, these would be so much better if I let him paint them his way. I gave him guidelines on where to paint so it still looked like a Santa, and then I just let him paint.
He had white paint all over his shirt and pants and hands and arms, and even one of his ears, but I didn’t give him a hard time because he was so proud of his paint job. And I had paint on my arms and pants too. I used a latex paint so it washed easy, no big woop. I did the baby’s ornaments and supervised the project.
Quite honestly the worst looking one is my favorite. He wanted to make it green, and I didn’t want to stifle the creativity. (I can’t even blame all of the ugly on the kids, I drew the black lines!) We made a set of ornaments for both sets of grandparents for Christmas, and made a set for us as well. I love these, and I know that later on I will really miss their little hand prints being this small.
This is a Santa craft that I did in Kindergarten in 1979.
It is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, but my mom proudly displayed it every year, and she’s since passed it on to me and now I display it every year. Goofy Santa has lost a few details but he’s in amazing shape for being over 3 decades.
I also made these clay angels. I’m not sure what happened with Lumpy McGee there on the end, but I made them all, and they are on display right now as a set at my moms house. Kind of a buy 2 get 1 free kind of a deal if you ask me, but she loves them! She says when she’s ready, I will inherit these as well.
My brother and sister and I used to always joke about how embarrassing it was to have our young works of art laid out for everyone to see at family gatherings, but it really did make us feel special that our mom loved them so much. Here’s another elementary creation:
Now that I have little ones of my own I fully understand why the homely ones mean so much. It is art created by a child that put a lot of effort into it and thought it looked beautiful.
He is really proud of these! He picked the hanging ribbons and I let him choose who got which ornaments, and he helped pack them in pretty boxes for shipping to the grandparents. And he hung his favorite one on the tree. The green one.
It was a special time that we had together making them, and to me they are beautiful. They have names and dates on the back, and I hope to still have them when they are grown so I can pass them on as well. (And so I can show all of his friends that come over what he made when he was 6.)
So if you ever visit my house during the holidays, you can fully expect a whole lotta ugly and a REALLY proud mom!
Here are a few more bonus kids art projects I have hanging up!
Don’t be shy! Please share any stories or pictures of the unfortunate children’s art you’ve made or proudly display at your house!