I usually keep my card creation simple and glue-free but since I have had children I have dabbled more into the mysterious realm of paint. My current and ultra creative babysitter (I’ve been blessed with several awesome sitters, hallelujah!) showed my daughter how to make this card and we have been making Hands Down cards for every occasion since. I think it is a good starter card for the art-phobic and I love how it customizable for any event. For example, you could change up the tagline and say, “Let’s Give You a Hand” or paint a little foot and do a footprint; there are lots of options. It is satisfyingly messy without consuming an afternoon with clean up and captures tiny hands (that grow so fast!) on paper. Sigh. Read on for the easy how-to!
Paper: I have used construction paper and fancy-ish watercolor paper and the white paper pilfered from the printer. Skip the printer paper and use anything a bit sturdier if it is around.
Paint/Ink: I have used watercolor paints with the best success because it is easiest to get on a wiggly hand quickly and while it might be drippy, I think it’s my favorite so far. I have used a washable marker which is not as washable as you might hope nor does it stay wet enough for long enough to make an amazing print. I haven’t tried acrylic or the thicker poster-type paint because I don’t have any on hand (I admit, I’m somewhat art project phobic) and it seems really messy. I think it would make the shape of the hand nicely, but not the actual finger print that the watercolor does so well. You choose.
Process: Get paper and materials ready. With particularly young or wiggly children, I’d do a dry run where they practice placing their hands on the paper and letting you lift their hand off. My daughter is 3 ½ and we haven’t had an age-related mess yet. Paint the hand quickly, and don’t worry about getting in the chubby creases of the fingers or palms- that’s part of the cuteness. Place hand palm down and you might press the back of the hand a bit to get the palm printed firmly and help the painted child pull their hand off the paper. Either live life dangerously and paint the second hand and hope they can keep the still paint-y hand off you, your hair, etc. or wash hands and repeat for the other side.
Print: Depending on the age of the child, you or they can write the salutation. I love my multi-color Sharpies but they are definitely off limits for my daughter and she was ok with that. Soon, she will want to do her own writing and we will use the washable markers for that.
Now it is signed, sealed and ready to be delivered! Easy and fast, this craft is a hit with relatives who want to admire a child’s handiwork. It also exudes a homemade air that may or may not be present in other areas of your life so I’d embrace this one and go with it!
Share in the comment section below any other easy art projects you have done with kids! Happy crafting!