Easy Hand Print Artwork Tutorial

This is a guest post I did for Jenn last year, but I figured it was a good time to post it, since Thanksgiving is officially over. That means…TIME FOR CHRISTMAS GIFT MAKING!!

I left the tutorial as I wrote it a year ago, so some of the personal info is outdated. I mention The Munchkin’s aversion to messy hands, but I’m pleased to say he doesn’t have that anymore. Yay!
PS: Look at how little The Munchkin was! I can’t believe what a difference a year makes.

With the holidays coming up, we’re all scrambling for gifts to give, and this is a neat idea that is pretty easy to get together. I was able to do it with stuff I already had in the house, but then…I have a craft supplies hoarding problem. Still, even if you don’t have the items already, there aren’t many to pick up.


  • Canvas or paper. I think I had these canvases left over from college? I’m telling you, HOARDER HERE PEOPLE.
  • Paint of some kind. We used finger paints that I got for super cheap at Walmart.
  • Paint brushes
  • Painters tape
  • Scissors

For those of you who haven’t checked out my blog yet, this Christmas coming up will be my second son’s first Christmas, so I wanted to make something for the grandmas to commemorate it. I’ve seen a million hand print ideas on Pinterest, but I wanted to kill two birds with one stone: Make the project/gift AND work on my son’s aversion to having his hands messy. Cue, finger paints.


1. Rip off pieces of painters’ tape slightly longer than the length of your child’s hand. You’ll want to overlap the pieces of painters’ tape so that you can lift it up as one piece. Once you’ve done this, cut out an oval. I just freehanded it with my scissors. Stick the ovals where you want them on your canvas/paper.

2. Once the ovals are firmly stuck (make sure you press down the edges really well!) let your child go! I chose to have him use red and green paint for Christmas, but you can use whatever colors you like. Use just one of the colors to start off with though; the lighter of the two shades.

Since my son doesn’t like getting his hands messy, I started out having him apply the paint with brushes. He’s two though, so of course he still got some on his hands. His discomfort is kind of noticeable in the top picture of step 2. You can read more about how I continued our work to correct his messy hands aversion here.

Once he was done with the green paint (He used the whole jar!) I set the canvases aside to dry. He had his speech therapy session, then we had lunch, and then we got back to work!

3. Have your child start painting with the second color. Since most of the canvas was green, and the red was very dominating, I didn’t have him use nearly as much paint.

4. Again, set the canvas/paper aside to dry. Once it’s dry, slowly peel off the painters’ tape to reveal nice white ovals. Inside the oval, press your child’s hand prints. I did one for my oldest, and another for my youngest, which is why the ovals are different sizes. I didn’t get any pictures of this process though, because it required me to be REALLY hands-on.

Let the hand prints dry and you’re set! Voila, relatively easy artwork. My biggest tip for this project would be to use canvas over paper. Between my oldest son’s dislike of having paint on his hands (Making hand print projects pretty difficult) and my youngest being four months old, I ended up with some smudgy, fugly hand prints. BUT because I did them on canvas, I was able to clean them up with a wet paper towel while the paint was still wet. (I may have reinforced my youngest’s with paint on my pinkie finger too, but shhhh!)

Thanks for reading guys! If you make some, I’d love it if you put links in the comments section.

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