Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Helping Hands Potholder Factory


Yes, I know this looks like a crime scene, but don't worry! What you are witnessing is the first step in the process of mass producing potholders that will appear in the gift shop of our upcoming Family Clothesline Art Show, Sale, and Auction! Last month's "Works in Progress" post has all the details on this first annual event that will allow the grandchildren to sell their hand made artwork at highly inflated prices to an adoring audience of parents, aunts, uncles and of course, grandparents!

My grandkids know exactly what to do when they see me approach with a brush and a tube of paint. They have had their little hands printed so often for grandma's projects that even Bree immediately presents her palm to me! After paint is applied, she firmly plants her dainty hand on whatever I've put in front of her. I think someday these kids might tell their own grandchildren, "If my memory serves me correctly, I think your great great grandma was a prison warden. She was forever fingerprinting us!"

I'm not an "official business woman" either, but it seems like common sense to target an audience when you want to move merchandise! Happy Helping Hands Potholders don't mess around. They get to the point really fast. For example, "Nick + Mommy =  heart button." And "Bree + Nana =  heart button." Think those little heart-tugging tactics will appeal to Mommy and Nana when they come to shop? I think they might turn out to be the same kind of challenge that the old familiar saying describes...."it was like shooting fish in a barrel!"

I have streamlined making these appealing little gifts by building them right on top of purchased potholders from the dollar store. The ones I used were packaged with two in a set. That's lots cheaper and much less work than making them with my other option - layered quilt batting that doesn't insulate.

Here are the materials needed to make one hand-stamped potholder:

8" square bleached muslin or white cotton fabric
8" square cotton print fabric for back of potholder, coordinated with handprint color
Bias tape (home made or purchased) or purchased ruffled trim, 28" length  (3 yards trims 4)
Fabric paint and brushes, wider brush for hands, detail brush for lettering
Heart shaped button
Ribbon, optional
Potholder, 7" square, light color, all tags and loops removed
Miscellaneous sewing notions and sewing machine

Begin by printing the child's hand at center of muslin square with fabric paint. Print name or message on Word in a simple font and place beneath fabric, trace with pencil and then again using detail brush and paint.                                                                                 

Center printed white fabric on potholder, pin, and machine sew all around along inside bias edge to attach fabric. Trim fabric close to stitching. Repeat with backing fabric on reverse side of potholder.

When both sides are sewed on and excess fabric is trimmed away, (as shown on right, above), sew trim all around outside edge. Completed potholder, reverse, shown above, left.

Sew on button, add ribbon accents, or hand quilt a line about 1/2" inside trimmed edge.

No one wants to think about February now I know, but these would be cute as Valentine's day gifts, too!


    yea I'd buy one ( or maybe 5! :)
    I might try to make these one day !

  2. Those should certainly sell out! And they would make a great gift for almost any occasion!

  3. Wonderful idea. I'm sending the link to my wife, because she adores that kind of thing.

  4. You are amazing! What a great idea to use dollar store pot holders! Yay! Love this idea, thanks for linking at Grandparent's Say It Saturday and be sure to link it at Wow Us Wednesday too alright?

  5. Very cute idea! And it's useful, not just another cute but cluttery piece of children's art.

    Stopping by from GRAND Social linky.

  6. What a super cute idea! I love it!

  7. Great idea! Love it. And I love the idea that your grandkids will consider Grandma a prison warden. So cute. I need to get fingerprinting (and palm printing) my grandsons more often and this is a great project for starter.

    Thank you for linking up to GRAND Social!

  8. Too cute! And useful, too. Gifts that will be used are best in my book.

  9. Cute idea - would make a good winter sewing project with a holiday gift in mind. Thanks.

  10. I love the ruffles on your pot holder...what a fun, feminine way to add some personality and sentiment to a kitchen :)

    Stopping by from Mom's Library.

  11. Wish I could sew! Those are adorable!!

  12. You are so clever! These are wonderful. I like that you use ones from the dollar store to begin with. Thank you for the tutorial.

    Kathy M.

  13. These are just adorable. I love that the kids know what to do when you paint their hands. They'll always remember their "grandma projects." I still remember all the craft projects I did with my grandmother--almost 50 years ago!

  14. That is amazing! So cute. Pinning and shared on G+! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library.

  15. Haha, looks like somebody has had fun if nothing else!