Handprint and Footprint Canvas

My husband is a fantastic father to our Little Crafter.  Watching the two of them together brings me such joy and when I see hubby in that role, it just makes me love him more.  LC is just crazy about his daddy and wants to be “big and strong” like him when he grows up.  Needless to say, I wanted to make sure that we did something really special for him for Father’s Day.

{Dan, if by some crazy chance you’re reading this…STOP NOW!!!}

I saw this idea at the C.R.A.F.T. linky party this morning.  Southern Lovely made this adorable 12×12 canvas using her kids’ handprints and names.  I thought it was adorable, but since I just have one Noah, I decided to tweak it a bit to fill an entire canvas.
Little Crafter and I headed to Michaels and found a two-pack of 12×12 canvases on sale for less than $5!  Major score!  We brought them home {after a quick stop at Starbucks, where he tried my frappucino and spit it out all over me :p} and got to work!
12×12 canvas
acrylic or washable kids’ paint: whatever colors you want
brushes in various shapes and sizes
computer paper
digital photo of child turned sideways
STEP 1: Use a ruler to divide canvas into four 6×6″ squares…not sure why this pic turned sideways.
STEP 2: Use ruler {or a printed out letter from the computer} to draw a letter representing child’s first name in upper left square.
STEP 3: Choose a paint color and carefully paint square except for letter.  LC chose green.  I painted around the letter and the “edges” where the lines were, and he helped me paint the rest.
STEP 4: Choose a color and paint entire upper right square.  LC picked orange this time.  I did the edges, and then he went to town.  I was so nervous about him staying “in the lines” but he did a super job.

STEP 4: Repeat for bottom squares.  LC picked yellow and blue.

STEP 5: Once paint is dry in upper left square, carefully paint letter.  LC wanted blue {no surprise there} and I did most of the work on that part since it required a lot of “edge work” and didn’t have much room for error.  He was okay with that, thankfully!
STEP 6: Trace and cut out silhouette of child.  I pulled up this photo from Easter in my photo editor and zoomed in until it was a good size to fit in the square.  Then I put computer paper up to the screen and traced the silhouette onto it, which worked well because there was a lot of backlight.

STEP 7: Trace silhouette onto canvas in bottom right square.


STEP 8: Paint silhouette.  This was another “mama job” which Little Crafter didn’t mind because he was busy doing his new 35 piece Thomas puzzle all by himself!

 STEP 9: Paint child’s foot and press onto bottom left square.  Make sure your paint is dry first.


STEP 10: Repeat using child’s right hand in upper right corner. {that is, after you’ve cleaned said child’s foot}


STEP 11: Add words if desired.  I used “June 2011,” “blessing,” and “love.”
There you have it, a quick, semi-simple but super-personal gift for Dad!  Now the hardest part is going to be keeping it a secret until Sunday.  LC looooves to talk and I can just see him telling Daddy, “I made you a present today.  Mama painted my hands and feet and we made a canvas.”  I told him it’s top secret, but I’m not sure what that translates to in his 2 year old mind…
While we were messy and working with prints, we decided to make a cute T-shirt using his handprints too.  Why not?  A few months ago, we had bought a 5-pack of white t-shirts from Target because I wanted him to decorate one when we learned about Joseph and his coat of many colors…this was the result. 🙂
Meanwhile, he has the leftover white shirts which he doesn’t want to wear because “dere’s nothing on dat shirt.”  Last week, I saw an idea at a linky party {forgive me, I don’t remember which one or what blog the idea actually came from…if you know, please tell me so I can give credit where it’s due!} using handprints to make a crab!  Since we live in the crab capital of the US, I figured it was only appropriate to try it ourselves.
red and black fabric paint
paint brushes: one large, one small
paper bag
white t-shirt, prewashed
All you have to do is paint the child’s hands with red fabric paint and put the prints going sideways, slightly overlapping and with thumbs pointing to the neck.  Once the paint dried, I added freehand eyes and a smile using black fabric paint and a thin brush.  LC wants to wear it tomorrow.  Be sure to wash the t-shirt first and to put cardboard or a bag inside the shirt before you paint!
Well, my little prince of “prints” is napping now, but we both had a fantastic time today.  I have to tell this story; as I was painting his hand for the final print, he said to me {totally out of the blue}, “This is the best day ever.”  Melt. my. heart.
It’s a little bittersweet how big he’s getting, but I’ll take the tradeoff because I love that he can express things like that to me and that he’s big enough to do projects like this together in the first place.  Check this out, though…here’s his newborn pic next to the one I took this morning.

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  1. I love the canvas Amy…I wish Steve enjoyed “crafty” gifts more…hmm…what could I do from the boys that would be more of a “techy-cool” gift?

  2. Awww,…what a great post. I am so happy for you all that Noah loves this artsy stuff. You both did a great job on this canvas!!!

  3. Yours turned out fantastic! I am so glad you were able to make it work so well for your sweet boy! Your husband is going to LOVE this! Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

  4. Your blog is so cute!! I will definitely be following you!! 🙂 and will be watching your blog to learn some new things!! I would love it if would check out my blog and follow me back also!!

  5. I love personalized handmades for parents/grandparents! This is a wonderful project to get your son involved. Love it! I’ll be featuring your project at this week’s Terrific Under Ten Tuesday!

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