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Canvas Art: Hand Prints

This was a fun project, though quite challenging at times, we still managed to complete the set within two days.

First and foremost I made it a point to let my littles make decisions as much as possible. Like picking the colors, choosing hand placement (no need to stress that since we aren’t turning the hands into an animal or something along those lines.)

They even chose the overall idea of the three pictures fitting together like a puzzle. Honestly, I believe that is my favorite part of the project.

Now, the hardest part was the hand prints.

I chose to do this step first and then build around it because we weren’t sure what the finished product was going to be and we wanted that to be the focal point.

I learned a lesson about less is more with this one. Using too much paint in your littles hand will leave the print itself blotchy, the fine lines of the hand won’t be captured as neatly and you risk making a bigger, tougher mess to clean up. Especially with smaller to the smallest of littles.

So, use and fine brush and paint your baby’s hand lightly. You can make adjustments along the way, adding more paint, adjusting the color so that it is a darker or lighter tone, etc. With my older two I did a few practice runs on a blank paper, which helped prep them for the real deal later on as well.

“Practice makes perfect!”

Once we got the hand print out of the way; we worked on the background.
We began by adding color where it contrasted best with the hand print itself.
For instance, I tried to make sure that parts of the hand that were darker in color, had a lighter background to mirror. Blending the colors from one curve or section to another until the canvas was filled.
I could have left it at that but I found myself going back with white paint to shape and correct mishaps in the hand prints, finally tracing their hand, over the original placement, with a regular sharpie.
Adding their names and the dots was a simple yet unique personal touch, compliments of my oldest and her creative genius. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Quick Notes:

  • Four supplies or less
  • Completed in under ten steps
  • Two day project
  • Allow the paint to dry overnight before adding the black Sharpie or using white paint marker
  • Organize multiple canvases so that they each compliment the other(s)
  • Add their names, a loving message, creative artwork or leave the canvas as it


    1. Place original, painted hand print on canvas
    2. Add background color
    3. Dry overnight
    4. Fine tune the original hand print
    5. Allow paint to dry again if needed
    6. Trace your little’s hand over the original hand print, this time with a regular black Sharpie


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7 thoughts on “Canvas Art: Hand Prints

  1. You are much braver than I. Maybe next year when communication is a bit easier between my 2-year-old and I.

    Yours turned out lovely! Great job explaining this and giving tips on how to do it well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! I wonder if my 2 yo will sit still long enough to do a hand print. Did the kiddos do the background or was that your part (I think I’d be too OCD to leave my son to do the background himself ๐Ÿ™ˆ)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did the background. Otherwise it would have been insane! Haha.
      I let them paint their hands, closely monitored. Then I helped them place their hand down, even after the practice runs.

      For really small babies, like my one year old I recommend having someone help you hold the canvas and your baby. You’ll need at least two helping hands so that the print comes out as straight and clear as possible.


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