Handprint Baseball Keepsake – Perfect for Father’s Day (and how to perfectly age a baseball)

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I don’t know where the time has gone, but my kids are on summer vacation already and all of a sudden it is time to start thinking about Father’s Day gifts.  Seriously, wasn’t it just Christmas?!  Each year I struggle to come up with the perfect gift for the guy who has it all, and this year was no exception.  My hubs got new golf clubs for his birthday, new mountain biking gear for Christmas and I’ve already got his new golf bag ordered for our upcoming anniversary.  So what’s a girl to get for her sports obsessed husband for yet another gift giving holiday?  Why not a quick, simple, adorable keepsake handprint baseball that will not break the bank?  Not only was my husband’s favorite little slugger included in this DIY gift, but we had this gift completed in less than two hours, including dry time for the paint.  Ready to make your own?  Here’s what you’ll need:



baseball (I used a brand new one, but I imagine the older, the better)

baseball display case (I found mine at Michaels and used my coupon)

ziploc bag

white, tan, brown and black acrylic paints

a willing participant to allow you to paint their hand


Add small amounts of tan and brown paint to ziploc bag, adding double those amounts of white paint.  You still want the ball to be mostly white, but with some highlights here and there.  Close the bag and mix the paints together a bit, then add your ball to the bag.  Move the ball around from the outside of the bag until you feel like you have achieved the desired look and color.  Remember that you can add more paint of any color to get just the right look for you.

handprint-baseball-5                    handprint-baseball-6

Remove the ball from the bag, wipe lightly with a paper towel and allow ample time to dry.  I set my ball on the bottom of a paper cup, making sure to place it down on the part that I wanted to sit in the bottom of the display case just in case there was a mark left on it from the cup.  (Mine did not leave a mark, but just to be safe!)


Once the ball has dried it is time to get some assistance from a little helper.  My son was super excited kind enough to allow me to paint his hand with black paint and carefully place it on the ball.  Once again, set the ball back on the cup and allow to dry again.


I’m kind of in love with the aged look of the ball.  It looks as though its been handed down from generation to generation and is a family heirloom.  And this was truly just a brand new ball that I picked up from Walmart that day!

Be sure to add the name and date to the bottom of the ball as this is a gift that your man will want to keep forever, and one that he can proudly display!


For right around $10 total, here is my hubby’s gift in its display case ready to be given to him:


So what do you get for your guy for Father’s Day?  Do you struggle to come up with ideas each year like I do or is it an easy one for you?



Linked to Practically Functional


  1. Stephanie says:

    After you took the ball out of the bag how did you get the stitching to be red again?

    • Stephanie, I didn’t do anything special with the stitching. The paint stuck to the ball better than the thread, but you can still see how in some places the stitching is darker. I think that it adds to the look of the “aged” ball.

  2. Chastity says:

    Hi! Do you think the hand print would stay on the baseball if you used stamp ink? My son is going to be a newborn when father’s day comes this year. I didn’t know how well I would be able to get paint on his hands or even if it is ok to use the paint with him being so young. But this is the perfect gift for my husband because he is a head coach for baseball. I know he will love it if I’m able to do it! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Chastity, I would really recommend paint for longevity. A stamp pad would work, I just don’t think that it would last as well. A helper would be great too. Since you’ve got a little one, one person can hold the baby and keep the fingers from curling while the other person places the ball in the baby’s hand. There should be nothing in the paint that would cause any issues, just be sure to wash his hand off well when you are done. Good luck and I hope your hubby loves his gift! 🙂

    • Great idea! I used acetone and removed the blue logo before we painted it.
      I also used a stamp pad made for leather for our hand print.
      My hubby is a coach for my sons tball team so i think he will love it.
      Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. After removing from the bag and letting the ball dry on the cup, did you wipe some of the paint off? If so, what did you use to wipe it? Looks great and can’t wait to make these for my classroom gifts!

  4. Heidi, it depends entirely upon the look that you are hoping to achieve. I’ve done it both ways and they’ve both turned out great. The one pictured with the handprint on it was lightly wiped with a paper towel before allowing it to dry.


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