While searching through the Christmas Tree Shop, for something completely unimportant but something I'm sure I NEEDED to have (haha), I came across some ornament kits in a clearance bin. They were only $1.99 - sweet deal!! Handprint ornament kits....
I'd never worked with plaster before, but these seemed like the perfect special gift to give to my son's grandparents! The kits came with plastic molds and little bags of plaster that you mix with water. I added too much water by accident, so I had to let the molds set for much longer than the instructions recommended before my son could stick his hand in... (It was a soppy plastery mess! Ewww!)
Eventually the molds did start to harden, and my son had a blast while I pressed each of his fingers into the plaster. He seemed very excited when he lifted his hand out, and the impression of his hand was still there :)
After the molds were dry (I left them out overnight), I carefully popped them out of the plastic. The plaster was super smooth and bright white! I gave my son some red and green acrylic paint, and let him paint in the hands. He was very meticulous, and made sure to get inside each finger!
When he was done, I went around the edges with contrasting color paint just to give them an extra boost. I made sure to leave his markings intact! When the paint was dry (which was only a few minutes), I had him write his name on the back of each one with a permanent black marker. I added his age and the date. If I had more time in my holiday rush, I would have loved to seal them with an acrylic sealer... But they turned out just fine anyway.
The molds allowed for a hole in the top, and I strung them with ribbon. The grandparents loved them!! When my mother opened hers, she took my son into my old bedroom and showed him a plaque on the wall... It was an ink handprint I had made in kindergarten, same age as my son is now. It was very special. Perfect memories - worth much more than that $2.00! :)