Awhile back, I was trying to think about what I could give my husband, my parents, and in-laws for a gift and I decided that a homemade gift would be the best option. Who doesn’t love gifts made by a toddler?!? This is when I came up with the idea of creating canvas handprints. Not only is this a great keepsake for many years to come, but it's also a solution to the lack of art on our walls.
This is a craft that I started a long time ago (5 months ago to be exact) and never finished. I took the handprint and footprint of our little man, but never did mommy and daddy’s handprint. Just a few days ago, I had motivation to finally finish this project so I can complete our ‘art work’.
This is an easy project, depending on how cooperative your little one (and your significant other) is!
What you’ll need:
4 Blank pre-stretched studio 6x6 canvases, acrylic and washable paint, paint brush(es), child, mommy, daddy
I got all the supplies at Michaels and they are very inexpensive. I don’t remember the cost of all the supplies, but I’ll estimate. The canvas cost about $4 each. Paintbrushes are $1-2 each. Paint costs vary depending on the paint you get. Acrylic paint costs about $3 a tube for the small tube. Washable paint is about $2 a bottle for a large bottle. So, total cost for the entire ‘art work’ can be as low as $30. It all depends on how many colors of paint you want.
To get started:
1. Paint each canvas with a different color of paint. I liked to have 2 coats of paint (I waited about 1 minute between coats). I found that it works best if you use the acrylic paint for this; the washable paint gets streaky when you try adding more layers of paint.
2. Let the paint on the canvas dry overnight or longer.
3. After the paint on the canvas is dry, take the one of the subjects (child or parent) and paint its hand with paint that is a different color from the canvas.
Note: For this step, you may want to use the washable paint since it will clean up better. However, the washable paint does not show up as well as the acrylic, so it’s up to you which you want to use.
4. Once your subject’s hand is covered in paint, press it down on to the canvas. Once the handprint has been made, slowly peel the hand from the canvas.
Note: for toddlers or infants I found that it helps to practice on a plain piece of paper first. So, you might need to put more paint on their hand. It might even be good to have someone help you. This way, one
person can hold the canvas and one can guide the child’s hand to the correct spot.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for each canvas using a different person and color combination for each canvas.
This is customizable to each family. For us, we only have 3 of us: me, my husband, and our little guy. So, we did each of our handprints and then also took a footprint of our little guy. When we have a second, we’ll probably replace the footprint with our next child’s handprint around the same age.
Note: if you are going to do a footprint, it will be much easier with two people. I tried to do this by having one person hold his foot up and I pressed the canvas onto his foot. This was not the best way to do it since his foot slid a bit. If I do this again, I would put the canvas on the floor and have him step onto the canvas.
Once the paint is dry, you can hang it on your wall and voila you have a great piece of artwork for your house.
Also, you can omit the adult handprints and you have a great holiday gift for grandparents! While this takes a few days to complete, it is a great inexpensive way to liven up your walls. At the same time capturing your little one's handprints.