Thumbprint Canvas Art

Being known as the “artsy mama” has a lot of awesome advantages.  It also means that you get lots of requests to “come up with something cool” for various events in your real life community.  This year, I was given the job of working with the kids at LC’s school to create something special for the administrators that we could present during Teacher Appreciation week.  I wanted to do something that they could keep long-term, so I came up with the idea of using the kids’ fingerprints on canvas to create some special works of art: take a look.

Thumbprint Canvas Art
Thumbprint Art

– blank canvas {ours were 16×20}
– acrylic or multi-surface paints
– paintbrushes

For one of the administrators, Diane, I sketched a tree onto a 16×20 canvas.  Then, my art helper Danielle assisted the kids with dipping a finger into one of the shades of green paint and placing it on one of the branches.

Thumbprint Canvas Art

Once all the prints were dry, I went back and painted in the tree.  If I did it over again, I might have painted the tree part first, but I actually think it kind of worked out well this way because then I could add or change branches as I needed to, based on where the kids put their prints.

Thumbprint Canvas Art

For the other administrator, Scot, we decided to have fun with the fact that he drives {and loves} a Jeep.  I sketched an oval shape and Danielle directed the kids to put their prints somewhere within that oval.  Once they were dry, I used a fine tip Bic Mark-it permanent marker to draw a string coming down from each one and meeting in the center.

Thumbprint Canvas Art

Originally, I intended for the kids’ prints to be a tight bunch, like this image I saw on Pinterest, but when you’re working with little ones, you never know what you might get.  I think it still looks super fun, though, even with all the strings.

Thumbprint Art

I sketched the outline of a Jeep with pencil, went over it with my black marker, then painted it in.  The kids had also gotten a few random paint splatters on the white part of the canvas, so I mixed together some white and very light blue paint and made a bunch of clouds to cover those spots, as well as to give the illusion of the Jeep floating up to the sky!

Thumbprint Art

The kids had fun participating, and I’m thrilled with the way they turned out!  What do you think?  Which one is your favorite?  You can also use this idea for a party, shower, or wedding guest book!



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  1. I was just scouring pinterest to find some sort of inspiration for a preschool teacher gift for my daughter’s two teachers. This type of thing would be perfect! (And I’m off of work next Friday, so maybe I can sneak in to have all the kids help me make this as a secret project!) If I do decide to go this route, I’ll be sure to take a picture of our creations to send you! 🙂 Thanks for sharing such a fun idea!

  2. I loved both, but I was thinking of doing the tree with my grandkids. I was thinking of doing one for each of my kids and letting each of their kids do the leaves. Wouldn’t that make a nice present, a real family tree?. So cute!

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