It was always my intention when JJ was born to get his hand or foot print taken so I could look back in years to come and marvel at how small he once was. A year has gone by already (how?!) and I never got round to doing it, so I was very glad to be invited to Jackrabbits Pottery last week to create a Christmas bauble with JJ’s handprint on.

Jackrabbits Pottery is a lovely place in Roundhay, very close to the park. I went with my mum and JJ last week and it was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a miserable day. The bright, warm studio was a welcome change to the grey and dismal weather outside!

I enjoyed a gingerbread flavoured hot chocolate (yum!) but ended up being too distracted by JJ to try one of the cakes. Baked by Jackrabbits Pottery co-owner Sarah, they looked delicious – I will definitely be sampling some next time I visit.

Mum decided to paint a rectangular tile whilst JJ had his print done. One of the members of staff came over to explain how to use the paints, what the colours would end up looking like, and how to use different implements to create different techniques.

For the Christmas bauble, JJ was sat on my lap and had his hand wiped clean, then paint was brushed on to his palm which was placed on the bauble, and then each finger was individually painted, placed, and then wiped clean.

Full disclosure: JJ did not like this. He really didn’t like it. We had full on tears! But this is the boy who also cried when I tried to take him to a sensory play class, and cried when I took him to look at fishes at The Deep, and had a note from nursery saying that he didn’t like mess, so I don’t think he’s a typical example… (Poor thing’s also full of cold so I don’t think that helped.) My mum, on the other hand, was having a wonderful time and was completely engrossed with her painting!

Sarah, who painted JJ’s hand, was an expert and (tried!) to distract him with singing. After his print was placed on the bauble, Sarah cleaned up the smudges around the fingers with a magic pen (my terminology) so that just the clean print was left. I was asked how I wanted the rest of the bauble decorated so that it could be painted before being glazed and dried over the week. I went for a red hand print with a green Merry Christmas message and some holly and ivy designs, but there were plenty of different colours and elements that you could choose.

JJ’s bauble at various decorating, drying, dipping and glazing stages. [Images provided by Jackrabbits Pottery]

Jackrabbits has a lovely range of gifts you can choose from for baby/toddler hand prints, including clay imprints and cast prints. There’s lots of inspiration for Christmas gift ideas for the family too! The Christmas bauble costs ยฃ18.75, which includes having the print taken and someone from the team adding the decorations afterwards. There are also plenty of plain tiles, vases, cups etc that you can paint, as well as various different ornaments. Whilst we were there, two grandparents came in with their granddaughter who I’d guess was about five. It was lovely seeing her and her granddad happily paint a princess figurine together.

I love the sound of Jackrabbits Pottery’s “tots and pots” events – something I’ll definitely try take JJ to when he’s a little bit older (and when he’s, hopefully, gotten over his aversion to paint!). The sessions are for pre-school children and include a morning of singing, a story, a snack and then a fun session painting a piece of pottery from the story. This week was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Guess How Much I Love You” is lined up for the next event.

There are plenty of events and party packages for grown-ups too. There’s pottery, prosecco and pizza evenings (what a combo!); corporate packages; hen parties; baby showers and general group bookings. I had my hen-do in Harrogate many moons ago, and we did a pottery painting class. It was a lot of fun (particularly as we were drinking classy lambrini, despite being sat next to a group of six year olds!) and I love that I’ve still got my painted mug and plate, reminding me of what a great weekend we had.

Our visit to Jackrabbits Pottery was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours, escaping reality, enjoying a nice drink and doing something different.