C is for Crafts: Vegetable Prints
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If you have spent much time on Ava’s Alphabet, you probably know that I do love a good hand or footprint project. Recently Ava came home from school with an adorable piece of footprint broccoli. It has been hanging out on out fridge for a few weeks and makes me smile whenever I see it. I was inspired to try making some other vegetable prints using both hand and footprints. Ava was all for it! We decided to make carrots, corn, peas and tomatoes to add to our artwork garden. Here is what we came up with:
Fist Print Tomato
Supplies for Making Vegetable Prints
A container to hold the paint – I like to use recycled baby food containers or paper plates for easy clean up!
Cutting Board – I used a heavy weight plastic board
Baby wipes and paper towel
*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.
Step One – Paper
Carefully tape a piece of white cardstock to your cutting board – this will give you a nice hard surface for your child to press their hand or foot onto when making the prints.
Step Two – Planning
Think about how to best place the handprints, footprints or fingerprints on the page. We used a separate page for each kind of veggie. You will be cutting your prints out later so spacing isn’t that important other than to get as many prints on a page as you can to save on cardstock. 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.
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. We started by doing footprints and then moved on to finger and handprints. Using the foam brush I carefully painted one foot with 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 foot always works well. Once the paint is applied, quickly and firmly place the foot onto the paper, pressing down gently on each toe to get good contact with the paper. Young babies have a tendency to curl their toes and fingers 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. This also works to open clenched up little fingers. 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. After our footprints for the broccoli and carrots were done, we moved to the table to work on finger and handprints using a similar approach.
Here is how we painted our fist to make the tomato print. We really used the “heel” of our hand. I asked her to ball up her fist and then place her thumb over her pinky finger. We applied the paint and then rolled her fist on to the paper from left to right to get the round print for our tomato.
My girls have come home from daycare with some adorable handprint and footprint 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! My kids have gotten so used to doing these kinds of projects that they know just what to do without much fuss or mess.
Step Four – Cutting out the Prints
Let your prints dry thoroughly. Using your scissors, carefully cut the prints out leaving as little white border as possible. Refer to the pictures to see how I spaced mine.
Step Five – Adding the Detail
Using construction paper, I cut out stems and leaves and various details. Each item was attached to the print using a glue stick. I did not use a template for any of these – I just cut out simple freehand shapes. Fringed paper for the carrot top, a long thin strip of paper that I wrapped around a paintbrush handle to make the curl for the peas, circles for the top of the broccoli, etc. Don’t be too fussy – they don’t have to be perfect. Don’t forget to write your child’s name and the date somewhere on the print. That’s it. Pretty simple and lots of fun!
We hope you enjoy making your “garden” of art as much as we did. Which veggie is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you. Enjoy your harvest!
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