When I repainted my hallway, I wanted to update the décor to match the new color and a future project Mr. Awesome and I have planned, which includes adding wainscoting. Prior to painting, I had a couple of large framed prints hanging on the wall. They are very pretty and I plan on hanging them in my master bedroom, but I wanted something that would reflect my growing family. So, I decided to do an art project with my 1 year-old.
I wanted some country garden inspired art, but my little one (LO) can only finger paint at this point and, she doesn’t fully grasp that the paint is supposed to go on the paper and not her face, so I knew she’d need some guidance. I devised a finger paint project where she would get to have fun and be creative choosing colors, and I would get the theme I was aiming for. I’m including the steps I followed here, so you can do it too.
What You Need:
A Good Movie or TV Marathon (because this is going to take some time to set up)
Step 1. Draw the design(s) you want. Keep it simple and try to picture which parts of the design will be left white and which will be painted. Overlapping elements mean you’ll need to get creative with which parts you tape. You may need to add a thin strip of tape where there’s an important separating line. Simpler is usually better, but it all depends on how much time you want to spend on it. You’ll also want to keep in mind what size frames you’ll be using and scale accordingly. If you aren’t very good at drawing, you can always use stencils.
Step 2. Tape off the parts of the design(s) you want left white. If two color pieces are next to each other, you’ll need to tape in a line separating them or they will turn into one big blob of color when painted. For areas that curved steeply, I overlaid a bunch of smaller pieces. For larger curves, I got away with using one long piece of tape, carefully curving and stretching it along my drawn lines. It takes a few hours to do this. I chose to do three paintings, because clustered art displays best in odd numbers. So, I watched a few good movies while I was taping.
Step 3. Clean up the artwork. After you’re done applying the tape, re-apply pressure along the edges to make sure they’re adhered down. Otherwise, you’ll find paint has bled through once you pull off the tape. Erase any pencil that’s still showing and just make sure the areas to be painted haven’t gathered any hairs or dust.
Step 4. Paint! I covered our dining room table with a drop cloth and wheeled my LO’s highchair up to the edge. Then, I let her apply the finger paint as she saw fit, with some guidance along the way as she tried to paint everything and everyone else. I didn’t let her use all the colors we had, because I wanted to keep a specific color scheme and using just 3 colors meant each flower matched the other 2.
Step 5. Let the pictures dry overnight. This is important, because pulling them off too early may cause smudging.
Step 6. Peel off the tape. Make sure to peel from the design outward. Place one hand flat on the picture and peel low. Otherwise, you’ll rip the paper. Take your time. You don’t want all your LO’s and your hard work gone to waste.
Step 7. Frame and hang the artwork. I picked out some frames at Michael’s that would match our future wainscoting. I loved how well they went with the artwork.
My LO Loved seeing her artwork hung on the wall. She smiled and looked at it proudly. This project was definitely worth all the time I put into it and it’s something I’ll be able to keep for years to come.