Since this is my daughter’s first Christmas, of course I had to make some type of ornament to immortalize her tiny little size! I have seen a bunch of ornaments, plates, mugs, and other objects that have different hand and footprints adorned on them. I fell in love with the “mistleTOES” idea, but noticed most of the ideas I saw were on large plates and not on ornaments. I debated back and forth about if I should do clay, or paint, and finally settled on paint, which I am glad I did. These make great gifts for grandparents too!
- Flat ornament big enough to fit your baby’s feet (could be made of wood, plastic, metal, or ceramic)
- Green acrylic paint
- Sponge brush (or any brush could work)
- Red and green paint pens
- Wipes/wet paper towels/paper bowl or plate
- Baby feet!
- Suggested: Booster seat/toys to occupy child
- Gather your materials. I got the ornament at Hobby Lobby in the ceramic section. The rest I had at home, however you can get everything at any craft store.
- Timing is key. Making the ornament is easy. Getting a young child to cooperate is hard. The bigger they are, the more wiggly they are, and therefore the less likely they will sit still. Choose to make the ornament during a time where you know your baby will be less active and more likely to cooperate. For us, that was right after she woke up from her morning nap, right after she was fed. Remember, it is ok if you have to postpone your crafting due to your baby. I would much rather wait a few hours or a day and get less messy footprints!
- Get everything set up before you set up your baby. This kind of ties into #2. Your baby will be happier the less time they are sitting still. This means get your ornament(s) ready, the paint poured, brushes set up, and wipes, lots of wipes!!
- Set up your baby. My daughter is about 5.5 months old, which means she is in a prime wiggly stage. She can’t crawl let, and she is unstable sitting on her own. I thought it would be easiest to utilize her feet if she was sitting in her booster chair on the edge of the couch, which meant her feet would be dangling freely. (I know this goes without saying, but I would normally NEVER put her in her chair on the edge of the couch. I sat on the ground right in front of her and NEVER left, so if something were to happen I would be able to catch her. Please don’t leave your baby unattended on the edge of any couch/counter/table/etc.) I didn’t want to get paint on her clothes, but it is too cold to get her fully undressed, so I unsnapped her pjs from the waste down and moved the pants out of the way. I would have given her a toy to hold and play with, but she was pretty entertained by my odd actions, so that was entertainment enough.
- Practice. If you are uncertain, practice what you are going to do first, including positioning, before you add the paint. I wanted the feet to look like mistletoe, so I wanted the heels to be on the top, overlapping, and the toes hanging down “branching” out.
- Sponge green paint onto the bottom of ONE foot. I didn’t want it too wet because it will turn into a blob, but I wanted to make sure there was enough to cover.
- Roll their foot onto the ornament. It worked best for me to plant her heel, and then quickly roll her foot down from heel to toes. Then immediately lift off so you reduce your risk of smearing.
- Repeat. If you are doing more than one ornament, sponge more paint on and then continue with the same foot on the next ornament. Repeat until the first foot is finished on all ornaments.
- IMMEDIATELY wipe green paint off. Just trust me with this one.
- Repeat steps 6-9 with the other foot.
- Decorate with paint pens. Wait a few hours until the green paint is dry. Then decorate your mistletoes however you like. I added a bow on the top of the mistletoes, and wrote “Torey’s First Mistletoes 2015” around the edge. I wanted to write a cute little quote on the back, so I waited for the front to dry (paint pens dry very quickly) and then flipped it over and wrote “Candy cane wishes and mistletoe kisses” on the back. Let it dry fully.
- Wrap, unwrap, hang, and enjoy for years!
*Don’t get discouraged if your feet turn out smeared or messy. Look at it fondly and remember a special wiggly time in your baby’s life!!