Happy happy day, Canada – – almost! I feel like Canada day is often overlooked because of the American 4th of July celebrations, but there is indeed a big and fun celebratory holiday here July FIRST.
In fact, I try to celebrate it a little more every year as Gregory gets older. We will eventually have big family BBQ’s with games and kids running around. Until that day I can organize all that, I’ll stick to making our RAD traditional Canada Day t-shirt with Gregory.
DIY T-Shirt Tradition
I love family traditions and wish that I had way more to follow through on. But our RAD family is still brand new and has plenty of time to get them all sorted. One tradition I managed to start with Gregory the first year he was born was celebrating Canada day by making a special hand print t-shirt.
When the Bean was still a newborn, his hand print looked like a mess whenever I tried to get a copy of it. But we managed a small Gregory hand-sized smudge of a print to represent the maple leaf on the Canadian flag. On either side of a very messy hand print I painted two red blocks that act as the sides of the flag on his shirt.
When Gregory was one year old we added to the tradition of his hand print and included his foot prints to complete a Canadian flag on his white shirt. That year we got lots of compliments as we walked downtown enjoying the days festivities. These photos I took today, and if you’re looking for a version of this second year shirt that isn’t all stained, scroll until you see more photos. This shirt in it’s prime is super cute.
Upgrades People, UPGRADES!
This year I have once again upgraded our T-shirt tradition all while keeping the tradition the same. By upgrading, I mean I’ve learned since making the first shirt and have ideas on how to make the shirt better.
I love it when I #LevelUp my crafting skills, it’s as awesome as seeing my fitness progress photos. Seeing your skill advance is always such a wonderful feeling.
The upgrade was me writing his age on the back, much like a sports jersey has a number on the back. I know, show stopper.
It’s cute, and makes it easy for me to remember how old he was in this size. No need to do the math, I’m saving myself the trouble in the future. I love it when I help out future Katrina. It’s one of the few times future Katrina thinks past Katrina was actually smart.
I also added ‘EH!’ on one sleeve, and ‘RAD’ on the other, because how could I not?Starting a New #CanadaDay #tradition and going to #DIY a t-shirt with my Little - - can't wait #ourRADhouse Click To Tweet
After we made Gregory’s t-shirt for this year, we wandered out to the garage to dig out his past shirts to compare. I enjoy letting Gregory go though his baby things because he remembers more than I ever realize and it’s cool for both of us. Also, it’s how I planned to getting the photos shown above.
Last years t-shirt got really messy because he ate a messy lunch at Belleville’s courtesy of my amazing Tribe. I was afraid to wash it after the day was over in fear of the paint coming off. But it’s okay that there is a stain on his Canada day onesie. It was a memory of a time when Gregory was adamant of feeding himself and not being fed. It’s also a memory of a delicious meal, on a beautiful day, in a cool restaurant, with amazing company.
If you’re downtown Victoria, go check out Belleville’s by the inner harbour. After you eat a delicious meal, walk the Empress, Museum, Totem park, inner harbour, Beacon Hill, or Dallas Road. So many options, all wonderful ways to burn off those delicious calories you just indulged in at Bellevilles. You’ll want to over indulge, you’ll be sharing plates and asking for extra sides… drink refills… oh man. You won’t regret checking it out. Try the Mango Salmon burger if it’s still available. My mouth is watering as I type… Mmmmmm…
AMERICANS: 4th of July Pre-Party at our Place!
If you’re American, drive to Port Angeles, WA and hop on the Coho. The ferry terminal is basically across the street from Belleville’s. It’s the perfect location for a day trip, and a perfect day trip on July 1st, Canada day. Get your pre-celebratory fourth of July on with us in Canada. Eat some delicious food, enjoy the beautiful scenery, party on the lawn on the BC Legislature with thousands of others and enjoy live entertainment. Then you can head on home in time for your own party in the USA.
Nixing the Stain Problem
This year I was thinking ahead and bought two white t-shirts, one to DIY and one to bring along on Canada Day to put on while we eat or do a messy activity. That way our new shirt can stay cleaner than previous years’ and the white shirt can easily be thrown on and still look festive for Canada Day instead of a random green or yellow shirt that clearly isn’t showing our pride for our country.
This two shirt tactic was easy to accomplish because I bought my white T-shirts in a pack of two at Wal-mart. OH! Buy your shirts or onesies in advance, or order them online so you aren’t scrambling like I was last year. I ended up buying a long sleeve onesie and cutting the arms short because I could not find a white shirt or onesie in all of Greater Victoria for some reason.
How To Make
Making the T-shirt really isn’t that hard. It can just get messy. The goal is to make something that resembles a Canadian flag from your Littles’ hand and foot prints. If you want it to be perfect, buy extra shirts in case mistakes are made. Otherwise, understand that kids aren’t perfect and next year it can potentially turn out better. It’s all about the memory, and making the T-shirt and creating that memory is, like, 90% of the tradition.
What you Need
Optional: Black Sharpie
Step 1: After you’ve washed your new, white shirt, cut a piece of cardboard to go inside the t-shirt where a body would be. This protects the back layer of shirt from getting paint. Do not skip this step, Also, don’t forget to move this cardboard and work on another area only when the paint has dried.
Step 2: Clean your Toddlers hand, or foot. Practice placing on white t-shirt several times.
Step 3: Pour red paint on your Littles hand and spread with paintbrush until it’s evenly distributed.
Step 4: Slowly and carefully guide your childs hand to the t-shirt and press down creating a print.
Step 5: Even more carefully lift their hand, revealing a print with as little smudging and extra blobs of paint disfiguring your flag.
Step 6: Wait until paint dries.
Step 7: Add on any extra details to shirt, like age, year, names, a fun Canada Day quote/saying. Be creative, go nuts.
Step 8: Set aside until Canada day, wear, enjoy, celebrate, and store with the other ones we made until we bring them out next year to make another.
It’s mostly hard to make sure the print comes out neat the first 2-3 years. The whole activity took us maybe half an hour to complete, including drying time. We didn’t use too much paint to make each print because I wanted to try and capture some of the lines and creases on his hands. The heavier the paint is on the hand/foot, the more solid the print will turn out and longer it will take to dry.
I don’t know why, but I really like having hand and foot prints to commemorate a time in our life as we grow. Something that changes so quickly, I need to preserve those little hands and feet before they stop reaching for mine and running to me for love and safety.
Before You Go
Let me know what you though about this really Easy Canada Day DIY t-shirt tradition. I can’t be the only one in love with my childs hand and foot prints, and I can’t be the only one always on the hunt for more family traditions to start.
If you have a Canada Day family tradition that you and your Little(s) love, let me know in the comments! Sharing is Caring and if you’ve got a wicked 4th of July tradition that can be altered to us Canadians, I would also be just as appreciative to you. You all are RAD, and have a RAD Canada Day! I’m off to celebrate my beautiful country.