An AMAZING woman in our neighborhood passed away suddenly. She was known as the grandmother of everyone in our area, young and old. She genuinely cared about people always asking them how they were doing. She LOVED children. She was always giving candy to the young children and delivering homemade baked goods to neighbors. Her favorite thing was being a primary teacher at our church for many years.
When she passed away, we wanted to do something for her that would mean a lot to HER since she had made such a difference in the lives of those around her. She often used her HANDS to serve others and blessed the lives of many.
Instead of providing money to buy a nice bouquet of flowers for her funeral, we decided to make her a bouquet of hands with personal notes on them from the children and people she loved most. The end result was a meaningful gift that this sweet woman’s family was very appreciative of.
Supplies You Will Need to Make a Hand Bouquet
- Markers and pens
- Craft sticks
- Wood Dowels
- Clothespins (optional)
- Flower pot or other container
- Rice or beans (or other heavy weight to hold the sticks upright)
- Moss or other flowers to top rice or beans (optional)
- Ribbon or other supplies for decorating flower pot
- Glue gun and glue sticks
Making and Collecting the Paper Hands
We asked everyone in the neighborhood and in our church to trace and cut out their hands onto cardstock or paper (cardstock worked better for this purpose). We asked them to write a special note to our dear friend who had passed away. We had the children draw pictures or decorate their hands. Once completed, we collected all of the hands over a period of about a week. We received over 90 hands! Talk about a legacy of lives touched!
Assembling the Hands for the Bouquet
I started assembling the hands by using a hot glue gun and putting the glue directly onto the craft sticks. I made sure to put the craft stick all the way to the middle of the back of the hand so the hand would stand up. I thought about laminating all of the hands, which would’ve looked more clean, but I really didn’t want to cut all of the hands out from the lamination paper. I’m all about SIMPLE, right?
I used about 20 wooden dowels for the paper hands that could be integrated with the craft sticks. This really helped it look like a bouquet because I placed them at different heights throughout the flower pot. I made sure to mix colors and sizes well so the notes and pictures could be seen while displayed at the funeral.
I purchased moss topping to top and hide the rice, but it was really difficult to put on after all of the hands were in the flower pot. If you decide to use a topper to hide the rice and beans, put it in BEFORE you stick the hands in the rice.
Decorate the Flower Pot and Final Touches
I thought about putting my kids handprints on the flower pot with different colors of paint, but I was short on time. I decided to use a light pink sparkly ribbon and glue around the edge of the top of the flower pot. I made an easy ribbon bow and glued on with the hot glue gun. DONE!
I decided to print out a quote about HANDS that described the life she lived perfectly. I found the perfect printable at the OurhandsHishands blog here. I printed on cardstock and framed it to put next to the hands bouquet display at the viewing and funeral. It really helped bring it together.
I also printed, “All I Need to Know, I Learned in Primary” poster since the sister that passed away just LOVED primary and served for many years. You can get the cutest printable of that here at thecraftingchicks.com.
I displayed these quotes next to the flower bouquet for the finishing touches and this was the end result!
This project was such a success mainly because I felt like it helped those who made the hands and write letters say their goodbyes to this sweet sister. Since she passed away so suddenly, a lot of the children didn’t get to say goodbye and haven’t seen her for a few months since COVID started. This helped with the healing for all of us mourning the loss of the sweetest kindest person I’ve ever met. I know she just LOVED all of the letters and hands that everyone has made for her. I can only strive to live a life that can touch so many people with positivity, love, and joy as she has.
Please comment below with how this worked for you! I’d love to hear any of your feedback on Hand Bouquet project.