Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Easy DIY Baby Handprint Box (Dollar Store Craft)

Matt has been working hard and feeling pretty stressed lately, so Benjamin and I decided to make him a little something just because we love him. I'm calling it an easy DIY baby handprint box. Yes, I know that it could probably benefit from a catchier name. Oh well.

This was actually a very fast, easy, and super cheap project. And I love it. Like many parents, Matt and I are really getting to know the meaning of the old adage, "The days are long but the years are short." In our case, not exactly years, but the weeks and months feel like they are flying by and I can hardly believe how big our little boy is getting. Soon he'll be eight months! But I digress...

Back to this little project. Here is the before and after:

To recreate this, you'll need the following supplies - all of which can be purchased at the Dollar Store. 
(For all the details, just click "read more")

Acrylic paint in a colour of your choice, a wooden box, paint brushes or foam brushes (I chose foam so that I could use them for both paint and glue - plus, I was going for a rougher, more rustic finish rather than a sleek one so the foam was a good choice as it leaves little drag marks), and little rubber things for the bottom so it won't scratch furniture. Not pictured is mod podge, which you'll also need, as well as a screwdriver if you want to remove the box hardware like I did. 
Since I didn't love the little brass clasp on the box, I removed it. 
 I initially started painting without filling the holes or sanding, but then after one coat realized that was dumb. I used a nail file to do a quick sanding job and hoped for the best. It worked out well, surprisingly, and the paint filled in the holes. But if you do this, it would be better to just fill 'em first. 
In between coats of drying paint, you'll need to decide what's going on your box. I chose a handprint and a little note that I used my alphabet stamps to create (I can't seem to get enough of them - other alphabet stamp projects can be seen here, here, and here). 
 I used this ink to stamp Ben's hand onto a piece of cardstock. 
Next, I popped the box on top of my stamped cardstock so I could trace it and cut out my stamp. 
 Just pop the box on top, and trace. Then, cut on the inside of your drawn line. 
(Aren't baby handprints the cutest!?)
I also made something for the inner lid of the box - just stamped it out, then freehanded the "love Benjamin" with a thin sharpie. 
I finished painting the box, then applied mod podge and glued on my stamped cardstock pieces to the front and back of the lid. Once that dried (or not quite -- I waited about 4 mins), I applied mod podge on top and in a thin layer all over the box. I repeated this a few times. The ink from the stamps ran a little, but I think it adds to the look of the box in a nice way. Lastly, I popped on four rubber feet so that it won't damage anything that it sits on.

Here is the finished product:
You could make a million variations of this box. Some that I am dying to make include:
- using maps on top that are meaningful (from a trip, a place you've lived together, etc)
- using photos on top or inside
- using print-outs of readings from our weddings (from leftover wedding programs - like the ones I used in these easy DIY ornaments)

Made any little sentimental trinkets lately?

Jenny xo

I'm joining some of these parties -- you should too! 

Cutting Edge Stencils is offering one lucky reader a stencil of their choice. The possibilities are endless! Check it out here and enter to win!


  1. What a sweet little project and so easy! I'm sure Matt loved it. The time flies by so fast, I can hardly believe I have an eleven year old, for real! Wait until they are in school, it goes even faster!

  2. Oh my goodness. So sweet! Maybe I could do one with the puppy's paw print. Although I've printed his paw twice and I think he knows the signs that it's about to happen now so I doubt he would stick around. This is a really sweet idea for a baby though. And I love the idea of doing maps on top!

  3. That is the cutest and most thoughtful little gift, I'm sure your husband loved it! It's so true everytime I am feeling overwhelmed I try to keep things into perspective and realize that these days are going to pass by so fast!l

  4. I love this! I'm going to make one to be a keepsake box for my new baby once they arrive in April!

  5. Sweet gift!! I'm your newest follower!!!

  6. What a sweet gift for your hubby! nice keepsake too.

  7. You can put all kinds of things on top of that box Jenny but that hand print will always be the best! And you will love it all the more 20 years from now. My oldest is 38 and I have his nursery school hand print in the book case. I smile every time I see it. I sent you an email. xo

  8. Hi! I love this little box. I think I might try this with my grandchildren. Thanks for sharing your great idea.

  9. That is really sweet, Jenny! Such a great grandparent gift idea, too!

  10. Such a sweet project, you're right, Baby hand prints are
    Perfect.... Thanks for sharing, I invite you to come on
    over to my blog sometime soon...

  11. What an adorable project...and so sentimental. I would love it if you could come by today to enter my giveaway for a $50 Lowe's gift card and to link up to my very first party!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

  12. Oh this is so precious and such a perfect present. I love it. The hand print is such a special keepsake. Love it. Hugs, Marty

  13. Oh I forgot to thank you for linking to TTT. Hugs, Marty

  14. Awww, what a sweet present. Your husband will treasure that cute little handprint. Time passes so quickly and then they are big!


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