Grandparents Day Gift Project

Grandparents Day Gift Project

With Grandparents Day just around the corner, we wanted to share this adorable project my son made for his grandparents several years ago. As you can see, it continues to be a favorite and has survived several years hanging up in their house. 

This project does need a few supplies but the good news is that they are all readily available in a wide variety of stores. We did make a day of this by going to hang out with my parents (he named them Grandwii and Papa when he was a toddler and the names stuck) for the afternoon and tracing all three hands on one sheet of colored computer paper. The largest hand went first, then the next smallest, then my son was last (my son was 6 years old when we made this so his hand was smallest). After the tracing was done, we took the paper home with us so the end project would be a surprise for them. He had so much fun keeping his project “secret” from them and is one of the many fun memories we talk about when we get together now that he is grown up. The great thing about this project is that it can be made for multiple sets of grandparents, but also for aunts, uncles, or anyone who is special to your family. 

When my son and I got home, we got to work on his “secret” project. This needs to be done in stages, so be mindful it will take more than one day to allow things to dry. Here’s what we did:


  • Canvas on a Frame (any size is fine as long as the traced hands fits on it with some room to decorate around it)
  • Paint or Tissue Paper in a variety of colors 
  • Colored pencils for coloring in the hands (crayon does not allow for the ModgePodge to protect it)
  • ModgePodge
  • Paintbrushes


  1. We started by getting the handprints traced since that was the most time consuming and hardest to get coordinated with busy schedules. Once they are traced, color in each handprint with a different color using colored pencils. In the one my son made, Papa was orange, Grandwii was green, and he was blue. Have your child or children write the date on the picture and their name, and the names of the other handprints ( in our case it was Grandwii and Papa)
  2. Next, decorate the canvas the handprints would be laid over. My son was very into decoupage at this time so we used pieces of different color tissue paper that he tore into various size pieces (you can use paint or cut your tissue paper with scissors too, he just decided this was how he wanted to do it). I helped him paint a coat of the modge podge on the canvas, then he laid the pieces of tissue over the top, making sure they overlapped. We let that dry, then GENTLY put another layer of modge podge over the top. Let the canvas dry completely before moving to the next step.
  3. Once the decorated canvas is completely dry, use a small amount of modge podge on the BACK of the colored handprints and carefully lay it on the canvas where you want it to be. Let it dry one more time (this is so none of the paper tears and the layers stay distinct).
  4. Once dry, you are ready for the FINAL coat of modge podge. Gently apply a top layer of modge podge over the whole canvas. Once it is dry, your project is ready to give as a one of a kind gift!

Please note: This project was done MANY yeast ago as a gift, and there may be other techniques out there now that are more efficient or fewer steps. Also, this can be sticky or tacky for a bit so be mindful of wrapping this up (we didn't wrap it since he was so excited and wanted to drive it over to give to his grandparents right away).

We would love to see your projects and hear your feedback! Please leave us a note in the comments section.

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