a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Creative Gifts for Grandparents ---Part Two

Long, long ago in the days before fabric crayons and fabric paints and transfer paper, permanent marking pens did exist and we found they did the job quite well. With today's choices you can pick the medium that matches your comfort level and your financial level.  If you go with those, the project will go faster---and probably cost more. Be sure to watch the sales and the coupons!!!

Bed Sheets that Warm the Heart . . . One year we gave both sets of grandparents a top sheet for their bed. I collected a variety of pictures that our children had drawn and a few one or two line stories they had written in school. I turned each paper over and taped it to a window on a sunny day.        I followed the lines of the drawings and the letters of the words with a broad soft lead pencil, creating  transfers.
  1. I pre-washed the sheet.
  2. With the sheet spread flat over our kitchen table, I placed one picture at a time right side up, randomly on the sheet and drew over the original lines, pressing firmly. (The lead on the bottom side of the paper leaves a light transfer line.)  
  3. Placing paper or plastic under the sheet to protect the table, I would then go over these light lines with wide-line permanent marking pens in a variety of bright colors.
  4. Using the markers we wrote an appropriate greeting along the wide upper hem of the sheet and dated it. We had the children "sign" their names on the sheet.
While both sets of grandparents loved their sheets it was interesting to discover, many years later when they were deceased and we were going through their personal things, what each couple did with their sheet. Dave's parents used the sheet until it was barely readable. My parent's carefully packed it away for safe keeping.  

Continuing the Tradition
As our kids started to leave home for college, military, and religious service we had the other family members decorate a sheet for them to take with them.

We, and now our kids, have continued to use sheets and permanent markers in lieu of guest books when the occasion presents itself.

Pillowcases . . . One year we traced the hand prints of each child on pre-washed pillowcases and let the kids color them in using the newly available fabric crayons. 

And More . . . Sixteen years ago when they had three boys 5, 3, and 9 months, our daughter-in-law Cheri made a memorable gift for us. She printed the following poem on a sheet of paper and helped the boys place their hands into saucers of washable craft paints and press them on the paper surrounding the poem. She added their names and ages along side of their prints and framed it.

Sometimes you get discouraged because I am so small
and always leave my fingerprints on furniture and walls.

But everyday I'm growing --- I'll be grown someday
and all those tiny hand prints will surely fade away.

So here's a special hand print, just so you can recall
exactly how my fingers looked when I was very small.

I can assure you----simple little things do mean a lot!

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