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Send a Hug In the Mail DIY

Send a Hug In the Mail DIY

Over the last year, we’ve had the chance to send a hug in the mail to quite a few of our loved ones. Aunts, uncles, grandparents and other people who just may need a lift. This is an amazing craft project for kids at home that ends in a true act of kindness, and becomes a little lesson in love all on its own.

Send a hug in the mail as a great kid craft project at home that doubles as a random act of kindness!

This send-a-hug art project is especially great if you’re looking for a unique Valentine for the kids to send grandparents on Valentine’s Day.

Send-a-Hug kid age appropriateness

My kids are a now bit older, so it’s no longer a total hands on project for me to help them through the steps to get the hugs made. I basically trace their bodies on the paper and hand them a tray of paint and pair of scissors. ((For some reason I still end up with the job of cleaning paintbrushes, though!!))

I have, however, attempted this project with my 3 year old niece and 5 year old nephew. Adult in charge, you’re going to have to babysit this project if you value your floors, walls, furniture and anything the kids might be wearing. But it’s worth it–the kids LOVE making life-size self portraits of themselves.

I couldn’t talk my model out of the dinosaur fuzzy pants (as he was helping me to begin with)…so just laugh about it. I still am.

Send a Hug in the Mail DIY

Send a Hug in the Mail DIY

Active Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: You can make this in your sleep it's so easy!

A lovely way to spread hugs and love -- by sending hugs in the mail! A perfect anytime project, but especially great for kids to send to grandparents for Valentines Day.

Materials

  • White craft paper on a roll
  • Craft paint in your selection of colors
  • Red cardstock

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Black magic marker, pen or pencil
  • Paint brushes
  • Tape
  • Large mailing envelope

Instructions

Roll out white paper to start your kid art project at home--sending a hug!

Project Prep Work

There is paint and there are kids involved in this kid art project at home. Plan ahead a bit to save yourself some cleaning later. I lay down an old yoga mat to prevent bleeds from the Sharpie getting on the floor and catching paint that may seep through the paper as well as any painting outside the lines.

Your craft paper roll just needs to be wide enough for your kid to lay down on and fit their upper head and long enough for their outstretched arms. You can pick up rolls on Amazon, but I've seen them of late on the shelves in craft stores.

Kid art project at home - use recycled foam trays for paint!

Pour the color selection of paint out for the kids into a recycled foam tray. Mine come with any chicken, etc. I get from the grocery and it's great to give them a few more uses before they are disposed of. Kids love it when they get the colors for their clothing that they're actually wearing, but if they're up for using their imaginations, run with it!!

Trace your kid to make this at home art project for kids--sending hugs in the mail!

Tracing the kid

Have your subject lay down on the paper and stretch their arms wide and trace them. Do not aim for perfection in tracing. It will make it no fun for anyone. Big general sweeps traced around your kid are enough! I don't even do individual fingers anymore, as the mitten hands were easier to cut in the end. You do you on that point, though!

Kid art project at home - sending hugs!

We get the best results using a big black marker, but if yours is missing, a pen or pencil is fine, the lines will just be harder to see. As you can see in this photo, I goofed on the tracing, but it will get painted and cut out later so the error doesn't matter much.

Great kid art project at home--painting hugs!

Paint your hug

At this point, hand the kid the tray of paint and let them go crazy until they are done painting themselves into their body tracing. If they're younger, you probably want to stick around to make sure all that artistic genius stays on the paper.

Don't worry about your kids staying in the lines or being perfect. This is meant to be a heartfelt of themselves they are sending to someone else to express love and comfort.

Cutting and finishing work

Once the painting is complete, you'll want to let it dry completely.

While you're waiting for the paint to dry, draw a heart onto your cardstock.

Older kids can write a message in the heart and cut it out, younger ones are going to need an assist.

After the paint has dried, cut out your hug. I love this part!

Without the extra paper, those arms really look like they're ready to wrap around you. Tape or glue the heart message to the chest of your hug.

Mailing the hug

Fold the arms in first to make the hug fit the witdth of your mailing envelope. then fold the head down to fit the height of your mailing envelope.

Gently place in the envelope. Feel free to decorate like crazy to make it something REALLY fun to get in the mail.

It's generally cost me around $4 to send these off. I tend to use whatever recycled envelope around the house I can find (Helllooooo Amazon mailers!) but manilla envelopes cost the least to send off.

Once you and your kids make one, you’re going to want to make more, I promise. On a rainy day, or just a day they have to be cooped up inside, it’s an opportunity for a bit of wild creativity. And that they’re thinking of someone else while they’re creating. Send a hug, or two, or five–send ALL the hugs! You and your loved ones will be thankful for it!

Need another idea for a DIY valentine? Check out my list here!

Paula Biggs

Paula Biggs

Owner at Frog Prince Paperie
Paula Biggs is a professional party planner, DIY crafter, and owner of Frog Prince Paperie, where you can find hundreds of party and craft ideas. You can also buy birthday party supplies, printables and accessories from the Frog Prince Paperie Etsy shop.
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