My kids love to art. Christopher takes an art class, and studies art history as part of his lessons, and few things cause shrieks of joy from His Majesty quite like the sight of crayons or paint. They are little artists, and I love their creations. A few years ago, when I’d accumulated so much of Christopher’s art work that it was spilling out of two Rubbermaid bins, I decided that I had to do something different in terms of storage, so I started photographing his artwork and printing it out in bound photo albums, just like in this pin. That allowed me to keep the image of every adorable stick figure crayon drawing without having to store the giant piece of paper it was crafted on. It changed the game entirely, and I highly recommend it. 90% of the boys’ artwork now gets photographed and filed to go into an album, and the other 10% is handprint art.
There are few things that I like to do more than go back and compare their little hands to prints from when they were younger, and to compare Christopher’s handprints from when he was the same age as His Majesty. It’s so nostalgic and sweet to see how they’ve grown. Since there’s so many great ideas for handprint art out there on the web, I decided to help them create a masterpiece for their grandmothers this year for Mother’s Day. I gathered some pinspiration from this pin from The Crafty Crow, which has all sorts of creative children’s craft ideas, and from this tutorial from Share and Remember, which shows you how to make the most adorable handprint calendar. I’ve already got my wheels spinning to make it in the future.
Our project didn’t take very long to complete, and, as an added bonus, it fit into a large mailer envelope from Wal-Mart, which made it easy to ship. We started off with 11×14 canvases, a foam roller brush, foam brushes, small (very inexpensive) paintbrushes, and acrylic paint. I had all of this lying around my house from previous projects and purchases, so the only thing I actually had to purchase were the envelopes and the cost of postage. If you had to purchase everything, it would be under $10.
Christopher mixed some blue paint and used a foam roller to cover each canvas. We did this just before bed one night, and it took less than 10 minutes to do both canvas.
The next day, he mixed some green paint to make grass along the bottom.
Then, we helped his Majesty work his magic, crafting some of the “flowers”. He’s a pro at fingerprint and handprint art, on account of he goes to play school one day a week and they do lots of art. Right now there’s a wrapped gift for me taunting me on the counter that I’m confident is some sort of handprint awesomeness made with the help of his play school teachers. I want to open it badly, but I’m patiently holding out until Sunday. Anyway, I helped him use his thumbprints to make the yellow centers of the “daisies” and part of the orange and pink “gladiolas”, his palm print to make a red “rose”, and a purple handprint “tulip”. I use a foam roller to apply the paint nice and thick on his little hands, and I had to work fast, because the paint starts to dry quickly. Then I applied a little bit of pressure to his hand and fingers on the canvas to get a nice even print.
They added stems and leaves next. But do you see that really fat stem on the “rose”? That was the stem that led to Christopher vetoing any further attempts by His Majesty to paint on the canvas. We distracted the little guy play with a foam brush and a scrap piece of paper instead, and everyone was happy.
After about 20 minutes of drying time, Christopher used the top joint of his index finger to fashion leaves for the “daisies”, and then used his middle fingertip to polish off the pink and orange “gladiolas”. Then, he put the finishing touch on the pieces, placing a bright yellow handprint in the corner as the “sun”. There was a gap at his wrist area, so he filled it in with yellow paint and the foam brush.
See how proud he looks?
He really had fun doing it. He also wrote cards for them, and in the cards, he told them all about which part of the painting he and His Majesty had done.
A simple, easy, from the heart–and from the hands– gift for their grandmothers.
I hope all of you mothers– and all of your mothers and grandmothers– have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!