As Christmas draws nearer, it becomes time to dust off the paint and glitter and create some homemade Christmas cards. For those special people in our lives, nothing says Christmas more than a homemade card, made with love by our children. Handprint Christmas cards are a great way to celebrate Christmas and they are a lovely memento of the time when your child was little. We have a number of handprint Christmas cards in our children’s memory boxes that are delightful to look back at and trigger some wonderful memories of when they were little. My children love to compare the size of their hands now to the size they were when they made their cards.

A girl smiling at the camera holding her palms up which are covered in red paint.

What do I need to make a handprint Christmas card?

There are lots of ideas out there for handprint Christmas cards, many of which use similar resources. Once you’ve got everything you need for one design, you can easily try your hand at another or put your own unique twist on it.

Useful resources for handprint cards include:

  • Poster paints in different colours (brown, white, red and black are handy for Christmas cards) and washable paints are essential such as Crayola washable kids paints.
  • Paint brushes
  • Handprint sponges
  • Ink pads in different colours (as an alternative to paint)
  • White and coloured card
  • Pom poms
  • Cotton wool
  • Felt tip pens
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Sequins and glitter (optional)

How to make a handprint

A close up shot of a child's hand covered in red paint pressing down on white paper to create a handprint.

The trickiest part of the handprint Christmas card is making the handprint itself. You can use ink or paint. Have a practise first on a spare piece of paper to get the feel of how to do it. Press your hand or your child’s hand down from the bottom of the palm and gently work your way up the hand pressing gently as you go. Take care to press each finger down all the way up to the fingertips. Try and keep the hand still throughout and lift off the hand straight up when you are finished.

If you are finding it difficult, it can be useful to grab another helper. Have one person hold the hand in the right place and another person gently press each part of the hand down.

An alternative to printing with paint or ink is to draw around the hand with a pencil and then cut it out instead. Some people find this easier as any mistakes can be easily rectified with a rubber.

What pictures can I make on my handprint Christmas cards?

There are a number of different Christmas images you can use on the front of your cards. The handprint can be used in many ways to make different images. Using your child’s hand they look especially cute and will be sure to make everyone smile.

Christmas handprint pictures include:

  • Santa
  • Reindeer
  • Snowmen
  • A Christmas tree
  • An elf
  • An angel
  • A robin

You can adapt the suggestions here and think about your own ideas too. Consider what else the different parts of your hand could be in the picture or could you turn it into a picture of another Christmas character?

Handprint Christmas card inspiration

We have rounded up some of the best designs to inspire you to have a go yourself.

A red robin

This is a great design that uses the fingers as feathers. A googly eye and a card beak are added and finally pen is used to draw on the legs.

An angel

This card uses the child’s hand as a template for the wings. The cutout card on this design means that the card can stand by itself, which is very effective.

A row of snowmen


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This design is a favourite of mine as the children can make it unique to them by decorating the snowmen with different faces, buttons, arms, hats and scarves. Paint, card, sequins and pen can all be used to add more features.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

Here the children’s cut-out prints are added to a Rudolph template. The cut-out handprints can be painted or made out of coloured card. The children can also decorate Rudolph with red pom poms.

Christmas trees

As you can see Christmas trees can be made in different ways with handprints, either using one or lots of handprints in the picture. Both designs are very effective and look great when decorated with paint, sequins, stickers or glitter.

Santa Claus


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An upside-down handprint creates this picture of Santa. Paint the white, skin colour and red directly onto the hand with a paintbrush before printing onto the paper. You can add extra details with pom poms, googly eyes or eye stickers and felt for the moustache.

A Christmas elf

The shape of the hand here, with the thumb and little finger pointing out, creates great elf ears. A little more paint is used for smaller details with some cotton wool to finish off the hat.

A very big thank you to all of the contributors to this roundup post.  All the cards look very effective and certainly have that adorable factor. This year we are going to try an elf handprint Christmas card to go along with our naughty elf on the shelf. Which handprint design are you going to try? Do you have a favourite?