Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



handprints: display ideas


Yesterday I shared our tradition and process for creating a handprint canvas for each kid, each year. As a follow-up to all of that, today I’m sharing how I currently have the respective sets displayed in our home. We have 3 children, so there are 3 sets of canvases, 3 different ways we have them on display, in 3 different areas of our home.


Idea 1 – Crew’s Collection

Our little guy is 5 years old, so he has 5 canvases so far. We simply have the handprints sitting on a shelf in the playroom. There’s not much else to explain. It’s pretty straight forward. And it’s a fun & colorful addition to a space that we love. I’ll just mention some of the other things you see in case anyone was going to inquire. Those are all of our family 8.5 x 11 scrapbooks in the sides of this unit.

  • Wooden animals – World Market
  • Green boxes – IKEA
  • Furniture – Razmataz (in Arizona)
  • Zebra print picture frames – Hobby Lobby (I think?)




Idea 2 – Claire’s Collection

This is the “vision” that I caught many years ago … a GRID. I love grids. I love the clean lines and the feeling of order and the visual impact. For Claire’s handprints, she currently has 8 of them, so it’s an easy-breezy, no-brainer grid for now. But what about the next handprint – and the next? My plan is to put each subsequent canvas in its place, so the 9-year-old handprint will go in the bottom left corner and so forth.

Yes, I’m aware that will result in asymmetry for a few years. No, it won’t bother me. It will signify an ever-evolving collection that is a symbol of our growing child, which I never, ever want to take for granted. Oh – and you may wonder if I have any tips for a perfectly aligned grid. Keep reading.  *wink*





Idea 3 – Porter’s Collection

Two of my absolute favorite wall display helps are … Command picture-hanging strips and a level. If you’re not familiar with the Command strips, I encourage you to give them a try. We hang just about everything to the wall with these, as opposed to hammering nails into the wall. The only exceptions are (obviously) large mirrors or really heavy frames. The strips aren’t made for the heavy duty stuff. But they’re awesome for everything else – and certainly for canvases.


As for the level, it’s not just for making sure things are level. David and I have found that using a level between frames – or canvases in this case – is a no-brainer way to get perfectly even space between each canvas – plus, it speeds up the process. Tip of the day.


As for Porter’s display, I found this to be a little bit of a challenge. That is, I needed to figure out a way to display all of his handprints together, even though the first few were not the same size as all of the other 8″ canvases (see yesterday’s post to understand why that is). What resulted is the idea that I would combine the handprints with a few other works of art.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. We have a large hallway wall outside of the kids’ bedrooms and this collection is not only proportional to the space, but also such a bright and happy wall, and so fun for Porter to see himself on display like this.



Labeling the canvases

Something you might wonder about – How do we know which handprint is from what age? After each handprint is made each year, I use a fine-point Sharpie marker and write on the back of each canvas so that no matter what happens to the canvases and if they might potentially get mixed up or separated or whatever … we will always know whose is whose and how old they were for each handprint.



Handprints in the scrapbook

Remember yesterday how I explained that in addition to the canvas handprint, we also do a cardstock handprint at the same time? It’s for the purpose of implementing these into the kids’ Project Life® albums. I’m not concerned about consistency in size over the years or anything like that. I just want their handprint from each year to be incorporated into the photos and memories of that particular age.


This is Porter’s handprint actually in his album. I think it might be the last time I can trim to the 6″ size – *sigh* – and so next year I think we’ll be going for a 6×12 insert. it’s shown here in a Design E Photo Pocket Page along with a few other larger items.




At Home with Becky

This post is part of a weekly blog series called At Home with Becky. Each Wednesday, I share a little something from home – routines, organization, traditions, decor, etc. Today’s post was a “part two” to yesterday’s post. Coming up … my absolute favorite gift wrap, a tour through some of my “old” scrapbooks, some healthy snack ideas, and more. If ever you are interested in seeing all of these posts in one place, just click on that turquoise button at the top of my blog that says At Home with Becky.



15 Responses

  1. Danielle says:

    Great ideas! Love how you put the medal into the album too. Definitely going to steal that!

  2. Jessica Parker says:

    Love this ! Doing it this year for my sons 3rd birthday, better late then never right? Oh how I wish I had years 1&2 !!!

  3. CP says:

    I have been meaning to do this forever and even have canvases! My son is now 7 and my daughter is 2 next month. I have a really hard time getting past the fact that I didn’t do this before and that I’m starting with my son as a 7-yr old but my daughter will have hers from age 2! Has anyone taken handprints from other projects (I have some from their early daycare years) and tried to make them all matchy matchy? I was thinking I could modge podge a handprint onto a canvas. Any thoughts? How do I get beyond not being “perfect”? Honestly I sometimes find it paralyzing!

  4. Leslie S. says:

    Wow, these are all awesome ideas. Thanks for the tip about using the level to space them out. I love that idea. And you are right, command strips are the best. I discovered them a couple of years ago and have been using them ever since.

  5. Rose as eveningprimerosey on IG says:

    What a great and fantastic idea. I’ve also mention in IG post that I was wanting to buy your new organization to organize your PL, a long time ago you posted in your blog something that u designed on your own which I did something close to your but if it’s coming out only at Micheals like you said, that is my question when will it come out and can I buy it? I live in Modesto , Ca. Your a grat inspiration to me , I’ve also instructed your stuff to my mother and sister there loving PL. Thanks for your time.

  6. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the photos of how the children’s canvases look up on the walls. Your tips are all great and I will be using them. My first canvas (age 2) will be pink with the white. I’m looking forward to doing this. Thanks again Becky.

    Mary from NH

  7. Jenny says:

    Hi Becky,
    I’m not a project lifer (yet) but I am a long-time reader of your blog. I knew about your handprint tradition and had actually purchased some canvases over a year ago. I just read your recent posts about your handprint tradition/display ideas and I feel motivated to get mine done. So thank you.

    Also, I am a huge proponent of writing down the funny/cute things my kids say and usually just text them to my email so I have them in one place. I love this idea of writing down (in your own handwriting) something you noticed about each child each day. Sometimes I worry that I focus too much on recording what they say and less on what they are doing/into in each stage.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Love this idea. My kids are grown. I hope they will do it for my little grandchildren. Thanks you do good stuff!

  9. Nicole says:

    Thanks for sharing Becky. My kids are grown so too late for the handprint canvas idea but I have hundreds of medals and have been pondering for years how to display them. Never thought about project life!

  10. Shannon P. says:

    My daughter is turning one next month and I planned to start this tradition since I read about your old post about this. So, this post with all the tips is very timely for me. Any suggestions for getting a wiggly one year old’s hand print to turn out? Thanks for sharing such awesome ideas with us. I LOVE Project Life–and I also love these other memory keeping ideas you share with us too. Thank you!

  11. Angela says:

    Sigh…”at home with Becky” always looks so organized and meaningful. Even seeing all of those family scrapbooks in your cabinet is inspiring! I recently set out to give Command hooks a try but was overwhelmed by all of the choices – can you share the one you used here for this project or perhaps a favorite go-to size/item number? Thanks so very much…I’m loving the things you share “at home.”

  12. Melissa says:

    Tip for anyone ‘starting late’: I scanned in handprints from the kid’s art project in years past, altered the color to what I wanted it (to coordinate with paint color on the canvas) then simply printed on full page clear labels, and trimmed out the handprints. Apply it to the canvas, and its virtually un-noticeable!

  13. dawn says:

    I love this idea and they all look great. The kids must really love this and I like that it’s not just in their rooms but a little spread thru the house. Wish I had known this idea when my kids were little, now as teens it’s too late.
    Love these Sunday/ Wednesday posts, thank you for the time and effort in them.

  14. Terri says:

    I’ve been away from scrapbooking for a few years and recently found your blog and Project Life. I’m so excited to get started again. It was so heartwarming to see Porter’s handprint canvases. I remember when you first introduced him in CK. So sweet!

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