- Things you probably have at home:
- Paper plate
- Small bowl
- (Optional) Baking tray lined with foil
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Ideal Age Range:
5 – 10 minutes – I recommend breaking this project into two sessions. First make the backgrounds and then do handprints. (If you are doing multiple prints like me, you will have to let the first child’s print dry before you do the smaller hand print.)
For younger kids: I used a baking tray lined with foil to contain any potential mess. Pre-cut the tissue paper into small squares. Water down the glue and prepare any paint colors on a small paper plate.
I highly recommend having extra paper around so that kids can paint once you are done getting their handprints. My toddler gets very excited by paint but doesn’t feel like he is actually painting when I just print his hand.
We created this mini Valentine canvases to be gifts for grandparents this year. As I’ve mentioned before, I really love keepsake projects (tiny hands!), and Valentine’s Day is a great time to give these as gifts.
The mini canvas makes this project feel extra special, but it is still easy to ship since we aren’t seeing anyone any time soon.
I prepared two versions of the project – you can get creative with the supplies that you have. For one version we pre-glued a heart doily and some heart confetti onto the background. The second version is geared towards younger kids using tissue paper to create a fun Valentine-colored backdrop.
Both versions add some Valentine flair to a handprint keepsake. You can do one handprint per canvas or you can double up on color like I did. (Full transparency, I didn’t like the end result of our double handprint because the second color didn’t really show up.)
Write your child’s name and the year along the canvas edge or on the back of the frame once everything is dry.
Even easier alternative: if you don’t want to buy mini canvases, just use cardstock or heavy paper and the same techniques. You can even make these on the front of a folded piece of paper as cards.
- Prepare the work area based on which background you want to create
- Tissue paper: water down the glue a bit, pre-cut tissue paper squares
- Doily: I put the doily and a few confetti hearts on the canvas (without glue) to help my 6 year old visualize where to place it. I prepped regular glue and brush on a paper plate.
- Glue your backgrounds in place
- Tissue paper: brush a good amount of the glue mixture onto the canvas (for younger kids, let them “paint” the glue but you should also make sure there is an even layer before they start adding tissue paper). Let them add tissue paper squares in a single layer, mixing up the colors to get a collage effect. Once you have all of the paper placed, gently brush a layer of glue on top. (Help younger kids because if this is too heavy of a layer the paper will tear or roll up.)
- Doily: Brush glue (not watered down) onto the back of the doily and then press onto the canvas. Glue heart confetti around the canvas – you may want to encourage your child to place their hand on the canvas and only put confetti in areas where the handprint won’t be.
- Once your background have dried (for at least a few hours), you can move on to handprints. Select a paint color and brush a thick and even layer of paint on your child’s hand. Press their hand firmly onto the canvas and lift it straight off.
- If you want to use different colors, wash the paint off and dry their hand completely before painting the second color.
- If you want to do handprints for multiple children on one canvas, do the largest hand first.
- If you are doing multiple handprints, let the first dry and repeat step #3 with the smaller print. Make sure to pick a color that will stand out from the first print.
After the handprints have dried you can add extra embellishments if you wish. More heart confetti, jewels, glitter, anything that you have on hand.
Once everything is totally dry, write your child’s name, age and the year onto the edge of the canvas of the back of the frame.
If you are shipping this to a loved one let it dry for several days before shipping. Wrap it loosely in bubble wrap before packing. If you are sending multiple canvases together, wrap them individually and avoid having the front sides touch each other.
If you want to pin this project, please use the image below.