Yesterday the kids and I made hand print artwork in the shape of a cross on an 18 x 24 canvas. I picked up a 2-pack of these gallery wrapped canvases on sale at Michaels for $8. It made this project only $4, since we already had acrylic paints on hand at home. The canvas is a large gallery wrap, so it looks really nice hanging in our playroom. We made it to decorate and celebrate Easter. This was an easy project. My biggest challenge was keeping the mess to a minimum. I did this by working with each child one-on-one to do the handprints. I wanted to ensure that acrylic paint wasn’t splattered across the kitchen. My two-year olds love to paint, but for them it is finger panting and spreading it around like mud. I worked with them on this one, so that we had actual handprints to make the cross, and that they stayed within the taped area that made the cross. They liked doing this project and they were quite proud of their work when I showed it to them this morning after it had dried overnight. Alex was beaming and was quite pleased with the finished product. Such a sweet boy! He was into this project the most I would have to say.

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Here is how we made this neat artwork that combines our celebration of the true meaning of Easter and my kids’ cute little handprints. It is very easy, you can do it too!

Step 1: Gather your supplies. You will need:

  1. Several colors of acrylic paint- we used three: pink, blue, and yellow
  2. Painter’s tape (I like the blue kind)
  3. A ruler, yard stick, or level with measurements printed on it
  4. A large gallery wrapped canvas- we used an 18″ by 24″ from Michaels (I bought a 2-pack of these on sale for $8)
  5. A pencil
  6. Styrofoam plates to pour the paint onto- kids will dip their hands on the plates into the paint
  7. Gloves for yourself if you want to save your manicure- ha!

Step 2: Measure out the sides, top, and bottom and determine the width of your cross. Make specific measurements and mark the edges of the canvas according to where you will be drawing the outline of the cross. This makes it very easy to lay a yard stick on the canvas and draw straight lines that are exact measurements. If you plan to hang this on a wall, trust me, you want exact measurements. Here are the measurements I marked on my canvas:

Bottom- 6.5″ from the left corner and 6.5″ from the right corner

Top-6.5″ from the left corner and 6.5″ from the right corner

Sides-6.5″ from the top corner and 12.5″ from the bottom corner

Step 3: After these markings are made, line them up to connect them from top to bottom and side to side. Draw the lines on the canvas using a pencil. Use a pencil just in case you need to erase anything. I used a level to make these lines. A yard stick will work just as well.

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Step 4: Edge the lines on the outside of your pencil markings with painter’s tape. Make sure you go just on the outside of the pencil markings, that way your pencil markings will be covered by paint/handprints (no need to erase them). Press down the tape and smooth it out, so that none of the paint will get underneath it when the kids are doing their handprints on the artwork. I also wrapped the tape around the edges since the canvas is gallery wrapped and all sides of the canvas will be visible when hanging on the wall.

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Step 5: Start the handprints! I did one child and one color at a time. We used three colors total: pink, blue, and yellow. Each child got a turn making handprints. It was fun for all of us! Daddy even came in and took some photos. The boys are without clothes, because it was right before bedtime. I didn’t want it on their clothing, so instead of putting on art smocks they did their artwork in their diapers. We put on jammies after they were cleaned up.

Be sure to remove the tape while the paint is still wet. If you wait until it is dry it can peel up some of the paint. You want to ensure all the paint remains on the canvas, so remove the tape as soon as you can.

We let our canvas dry overnight, last night. I hung ours on the playroom wall this afternoon.

cross art