C is for Crafts: Bunny Footprint Art
I have to admit that I am a sucker for handprint and footprint art. Those tiny fingers and toes just get me every time. And there are so many adorable ideas to try! We hadn’t done one of these projects at home since the fall so I wanted to come up with something cute for Easter. This bunny footprint art project was just the ticket. In this post I will give you instructions on how to make this project as well as tips to make capturing hand and footprints easier than ever!
One of the most important parts of making successful handprint and footprint art is to plan ahead. Gather all your supplies including clean up materials before you get the kids involved at all. Are you ready to make the bunny footprint project? Let’s do it!
Cardstock in various colors – I used a pastel sampler pack
Acrylic paint in white and pale pink
A container to hold the paint – I like to use recycled baby food containers for easy clean up!
Paint brushes – I used a small foam brush for the actual prints and a finer bristles brush to add the details
Cutting Board – I used a heavy weight plastic board
Masking tape or painters tape
Baby wipes and paper towel
Glue stick or craft glue
Scissors or paper cutter
Black pen or fine tipped marker
Small scraps of narrow ribbon
Step One – Paper
Choose a paper color for the background of the footprint. I used a light pink and a dark pink cardstock for mine. Carefully tape the paper to your cutting board – this will give you a nice hard surface for your child to “step” on when making the prints.
Step Two – Planning
Think about how to best place the footprints on the page. I got about three prints to a page for each of my girls. Be sure to leave extra room above the heel end of the print so that you can add the bunny ears later. For a few of my prints that were too close to the edge, I made them lop bunnies by curving the bunny ears downwards. I like to make multiple prints at a time (like 6-8) – this way I can pick the best ones once they dry or send the extras to friends and family as holiday greetings.
Step Three – Making the Prints
Make sure you have your supplies within arms reach before you start painting. This includes extra paper, paint and your wipes and paper towel for clean up. The key is work quickly and efficiently once you begin. I started with my youngest child who I contained in her highchair for the painting. Using the foam brush I carefully painted one foot with white paint making sure it was thoroughly covered but not too thick. Be sure to get those little toes good! We made it fun – making sound effects and pretending to tickle her toes worked well. I also made sure to give her something to play with in her hands to keep her occupied. Once the paint is applied, quickly and firmly place the foot onto the paper, pressing down gently on the toes and heel to get good contact with the paper. Young babies have a tendency to curl their toes under. In my infant massage training, I learned that by gently running a finger across the top of the toes, you can trigger a reflex that causes a baby to fan out their toes briefly. I reapply paint lightly between each print. After the last print is done, I wipe off the foot with baby wipes and then follow up with a paper towel to remove the remainder of the paint. I repeated the process with my preschooler by having her sit on a kitchen chair and step down onto the paper. Let the prints dry thoroughly before adding the bunny details.
Step Four – Adding the Detail
Using the same white paint, I even out inconsistencies with the footprint to make it look more finished. You can use your pinky finger or a cotton swab to round out toe prints that didn’t make full contact with the paper if necessary. Next I add the bunny ears using the same white paint and a fine paint brush. Using pink paint I add the inner bunny ear and a tiny pink dot for the nose. I then add the eyes and mouth detail with a black scrapbooking pen. Finally, I attached a tiny ribbon bow at the neck with a dot of glue. Let everything dry completely before moving to the next step.
Step Five – Framing
I cut the bunnies out into rectangles fairly close to the edges of the print. Next I cut an inner frame out of white cardstock approximately 1/2 inch wider and taller than the bunny footprint itself. I then cut a final frame out of purple cardstock a 1/2 inch wider and taller than the inner frame. Several years ago I purchased a simple paper cutter that I love to use for these kinds of projects. It makes measuring and cutting a straight line so easy. Finally, I glued the three layers together using a glue stick. I let them dry face down and placed a heavy object over them to help them dry nice and flat. Don’t forget to finish the project by adding your child’s name and their age or the year somewhere on the print.
As I mentioned before, I just love hand and footprint art. My girls have come home from daycare with some adorable projects. I asked their teachers if they had any tricks for getting such great prints from even the littlest kids. They told me they teach the toddlers to give them high fives and practice it regularly in the classroom. Then when it comes to making a handprint they simply tell the child to give a “high five” and the child knows just what to do. How clever! I am so happy with how these bunny footprints turned out. They make me smile every time I see them. Please let me know if you have any tips or techniques for capturing great hand or footprints from your little ones. “Hoppy” crafting, my friends!
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