Monthly Archives: June 2013

Kids’ Handprint Plaque Inside A Storage Chest


We have kids, and those kids have hands.

On mother’s day this year, the kids and I bought mom a keepsake storage chest that she has been wanting for years.  She mainly wanted to store kids’ items like blankets, special stuffed animals and things we always associated with each kid.  Because this would store kid stuff, I decided to personalize it a bit by adding a plaque with the kids handprints mounted to the inside of the lid.  That way, every time she opens it she will get a little reminder that she has kids, and those kids have hands.


For this little project, I wanted to make the wood plaque look like weathered wood instead of trying to match the stain of the storage chest.  I first tried the baking soda/water/sun trick that is all over the internet but only succeeded in turning my pine board yellow.  What I ended up doing was a sort of a hodge podge of stains.  I first used Minwax Classic Gray with a very light application.  It was too gray, so I added two coats of Minwax Cherry (which is very very light brown on pine).  This added just a tinge of brown to get the look I wanted.

Before doing the handprints, I had the kids each write their name on the bottom of the board (in pencil) so I could trace it later.  For the handprints, I just mixed up some black and white tempera paint to make a nice charcoal gray color that blended well with the “weathered” wood.  The kids really enjoyed me smearing paint all over their hands and they each got to do it twice… one for a practice, one on the plaque.  I was worried that the tempera paint would not react well with the oil based stain I had used, but it turned out fine with no bubbling or pooling.  I didn’t have a paint brush thin enough to trace their names, so I used a toothpick dipped in paint to methodically trace their signatures, and add “mother’s day 2013” to the top.  After all the handprints had dried, I sprayed on 2 coats of Minwax Polyurethane to preserve the handprints.


I mounted the plaque with 4 oil rubbed bronze screws I found at Home Depot, being very very careful not to drill through the lid of the storage chest.  Just to make sure, I used some painters tape to mark the depth on my drill bit.  I also pre-drilled the plaque before drilling into the storage chest lid.


All that was left was to tighten up a couple of screws and now mom will always have a reminder that she has kids, and those kids have hands!




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