It’s easy to do, a chance to get messy and a wonderful gift for a birthday, a Christmas present or a Valentine’s Day surprise.
And because it’s finger painting your charges will enjoy making this craft too - try and get some photos of them in the process to accompany the end result!
-Finger paints (regular paint will do - just make sure it’s non-toxic and washable)
-A sheet of A3 white card (non-glossy works best)
-A print out of your message (on A4 paper in a large, bold font)
-A little bit of sticky tape (masking tape or scotch) or blu-tack
Choose a font and font size and write your message. Print it out (filling two sheets of A4 paper should be fine) and then cut out the letters. Simple messages and fonts work best to avoid fiddly cutting.
It’s better to do this step on your own if your charges are small. If they’re big enough, supervise them carefully and make sure that any scissors you give to your kids are child-friendly.
Arrange the message on the A3 card and stick it into place. Landscape or portrait is up to you. You can use small pieces of scotch tape or blu-tack for this.
Try to make sure the corners of the letters are stuck down fairly well - this is essential for the silhouetting technique. If you’ve chosen tape don’t use too much, you don’t want to end up ripping the paper when you take it off!
Time to start dipping your fingers in the paint! We found that fingerprints worked best. We started with light colours (yellow, then green, then blue, then red etc.) moving to dark ones later in an attempt to keep smudging to a minimum. As you can probably see, one of my students started trying to rub the colours in the middle together when I dashed out to wash my hands. Oops. Try and encourage your charges to fill white spaces only and not to mix or overlap colours.
Having said that - the more variation in colour the merrier. If this is a Valentine’s Day gift for a parent you may wish to stick to reds, purples and pinks, but we went nuts on the colours and ended up with a solid kaleidoscope. Be sure to fill in the bits around the letters carefully - you will need plenty of paint here so it stands out well when you take the letters off.
Wait for your creation to dry. Read a story or play a game to keep the kids distracted and stop them constantly going over to ‘check if it’s ready’ by poking it. We failed on this step.
Congratulations - you’re done! Hi fives all round (wash the paint off first). Peel off the letters along with any excess tape, and feast your eyes upon your creation. Mum and Dad are going to love it!
Special tip - try and get some polaroid (or similar) photos of your kids working on their gift, smiling and covered in paint. You could stick them around the edge as a reminder of the process - super cute.
Now just make sure you remind your boss when your birthday is, and hint that you haven’t got the latest iPhone yet. Easy.
Need more arts and crafts ideas? No problem!
Feast your eyes on this juicy list of tried and tested activities: