10 Things I Learned When Making our Christmas Handprint & Footprint Artwork

colleg mistletoesMistle”toes” and mistakes…..

Well I had the best  of intentions on posting all of these right after each one was done… but alas that did not happen.  As I walked through the store the other day (September 14th) and saw Christmas stuff up already (seriously?) I thought I would go ahead and start out my posts with our Christmas art.  You probably have seen these all over Pinterest, the cute Mistle”toes”.  Along with their footprints the little red berries were made with fingerprints.

I’ll be connecting each of the other months handprint and footprint art with this main page.. so check out the other links for more ideas!

My kids did most of the painting – even my 1yo – which was my goal with this project.  I wish I had remembered to take pictures of them doing the work…but here’s a run down of the mistakes I learned with our first Christmas art project.

10 Things I Learned When Doing Handprint and Footprint Art with KIds

1. Don’t have all three kids paint at once – especially if they are young (5,3,1).. it makes for taking pictures hard and well just.. hard in general

2. If you can have an extra helper when doing the handprint and footprint art- especially for the little ones it is super helpful.  Delainey at this time hated paint on any part of her…so I painted REALLY quick and my friend Liz pushed the canvas up to her foot.  You can still see the slide mistake – but I like the character.

delainey mistle fix

3. Use acrylic paint – if you mess up on the handprint and footprint.. it washes off easily.  You can even wash off just a small area with a clean sponge.  Also  – buy PAINT PENS – I used sharpies on this one for the writing – NOT a good choice!  Paint pens are much easier to write with.

4. Spend a bit more on good paint – or wait for the sale.  Yes, I’ve bought the .50 paint and used it when I was desperate, BUT i have found that it is extremely watery and takes multiple layers using more paint.  I spend a bit more about $1-ish a bottle.  You can find great deals (see Amazon link above) and with coupons at Jo-Ann Fabrics you can get the cost under $1.00.  Also the better paint has lasted me 6-7 years.  Well worth it!

5. Don’t make it perfect.  I’m a perfectionist, but you aren’t going to get straight lines, or perfect round circles or evenly spaced dots with kids.. but that’s what makes it special.  YEP, had to let go a little bit here.

paityn mistle fix

7. Buy your canvas in bulk.  If you know you are going to do this each month or for each holiday… or whatever (we have a wall space that they change each month – BUY IN BULK.  I personally use the 12 x 12 size and like the square look, but there are tons of other sizes and shapes available.

8. Let the kids pick the ribbon.  When ribbon was on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics – I let them each pick out three spools of ribbon. Any color, size, width..to add to our ribbon stash.  Some of it I thought was awful, but in the end worked so well with paintings.  I have found that one spool will work for about three paintings each with a cute ribbon.

nittaya mistle fix

9. Let the kids pick their handprint and footprint pictures.  I really wouldn’t have picked some of their choices – BUT it did showcase their true spirit AND it challenged me on how to help them 🙂

10. Paint the sides of the canvas for an easy more finished look.  We (I ) also liked to trim out the paintings – I simply used a ruler and made marks then let them paint in the marked off area.

side mistle fix

Here are some great buys on Amazon:

What did I use?  Check out my art tools : *contains affiliate links

  1. 12 x 12 Canvas Pack of 7
  2. Acrylic Paint bottles (bulk)
  3.  Gold Acrylic Paint
  4. Paint Pens for writing names/dates
  5. Brushes


Questions? Comments?