With Halloween coming up, we have been on a spider kick of late with our Edible Glowing Spiderwebs and Spiderweb Window Art. When I saw this adorable Handprint Spider Art from Housing a Forest, I thought it would be fun to make a 3D handprint spider as a decoration and a keepsake!
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When we previously made our own dinosaur fossils, we used Crayola Model Magic. I decided to give our homemade playdough a try because it was too challenging to get the kids' hands pressed far enough into the Model Magic. And guess what? It TOTALLY worked. I don't know that any playdough will work - I think the key to our playdough working is the amount of oil in the dough. It makes it so the plaster mix doesn't dissolve the dough. So feel free to try it with other playdoughs if you want, but I can't guarantee results. :)
To get started, flatten your playdough out on some wax paper. If you have an older child, have them hold their thumb in the air and help them press their four fingers and palm down into the dough. The imprint should be pretty deep to make strong spider legs. :) If you have a younger child -- I found that X really wanted to curl his fingers once they were in the dough (can't blame him there - playdough is super fun!), so I found it more effective to make his imprint with his palm up.
Once you've made one impression, flip the wax paper around, overlap the palms, and press four fingers in the opposite direction. Mix your Plaster of Paris with a little less water than it says to on the directions on your package (I found the thicker plaster mix set more quickly and was easier to pour into the mold). Pour it into the mold (ha - we had some overflow - this is where the wax paper comes in handy)
Once your plaster has set, flip the entire set up over and carefully peel back the playdough. If your plaster has completely set, it will peel off beautifully. We jumped the gun on one of our spiders (the plaster was still damp) and had a few small bits of playdough left behind that we quickly scraped off. We opted to use acrylic paints on our spider guys to make sure that the paint lasted. S wanted green, purple, and black paint.
She ultimately decided to just use green and black though. Ha! I was in charge of painting X's handprint spider, so I used the purple. We figured it's what he would have wanted.
S was in charge of adding googly eyes - and here's our finished crew. The purple spider is made of X's handprint and S had so much fun she needed to make and decorate two handprint spiders on two different days. Since their creation, our handprint spiders have happily joined the ranks of our other Halloween decorations. It will be so fun to pull them out next Halloween and see how much the kids' hands have grown!
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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children. As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family. I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.