Handprint art is such a fun and easy craft to do with the kids. Today we’re making handprint kitchen towels as a Mother’s Day gift for the grandmas.
I found this set of 7 flour sack dish towels and they were exactly what I was looking for. They’re large and have a sort of vintage-y feel. They remind me of my own grandmas kitchen. After washing and drying them, we were ready to paint.
We have a ton of acrylic paint in our craft room, but no fabric paint. Instead of purchasing a bunch of different colors of fabric paint, we decided to get a bottle of fabric medium instead. Fabric medium can be added to any acrylic paint to turn it into fabric paint, and since we already had acrylic paint in all the colors we wanted, it was cheaper to just add a fabric medium. The ratio is simple, two parts paint to one part fabric medium. To read more about using fabric medium to turn acrylic paint into fabric paint, see this post.
We mixed our acrylic paint/fabric medium in disposable cups and used a foam brush to apply it to Sam’s hands (Sam is my darling four year old son). Now when we got started with this project, I thought I was super prepared and had everything laid out and ready for us to begin painting. It wasn’t until AFTER I smeared paint all over Sam’s hands that I realized there is no amount of preparing that will ever be enough when putting wet paint on a preschoolers hands. We ended up with paint on both our clothes, in my hair, and possibly on the ceiling. Thank goodness Vic was there to help or it would’ve been way worse. So trust me on this one..before you get started, put on old clothes, do the project outside if you can, and have another adult there to help if possible.
One more thing to mention is to make sure you put something (like cardboard or newspaper) under whatever fabric you’re painting. The fabric medium thins the paint out a bit and depending on how thin your fabric is, the paint may bleed through a bit. I may or may not know this needs to be done because some of the paint bled through onto the table under our towels. Remember how prepared I was when we started?
Once you’ve got all those lovely little handprints on the towels, you need to let them dry for 24-48 hours. And once dry, the paint needs to be heat set. You can heat set the paint by using an iron on medium or high heat for 3-5 minutes. It’s recommended to put a scrap piece of fabric between the paint and your iron to ensure no paint is transferred to your hot iron, or you can turn the garment inside out and iron on the non-painted side. Continuously move the iron so you don’t burn the fabric. You can also heat set fabric paint by putting the garment in the dryer for about an hour. Once you’ve set your fabric paint, you want to wait another 24-48 hours before washing.
Our original idea was to add stems and leaves to the handprints to create flowers, but after we did one towel that way we weren’t really feeling it so we left the rest of the towels as just handprints. What do you think, stems or no stems?
Here’s Sam with his masterpieces!
If you make a version of this craft, we’d love to see it! Please share with us in our comment section or upload a picture to our Facebook page and we may highlight your craft in a future post!
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