Handprint Animals

These little creatures start with a basic handprint and then you add features and background props.   Here are three creature ideas but there are lots of possibilities.  Try to come up with some of you own creatures!  Kids, or course, love making these.  Most washable paints work well (Don't use watercolors.  They dry up too quickly to make good prints) and cover your work area with newspaper.  Trust us!  For even more fun and variety, learn how to make some thumblins, too.  Soon you will be making entire scenes with fingerpaint creatures.

You will need:

1.  Cardstock or sturdy white paper

2.  Assorted paintbrushes

3.  Assorted washable paint such as fingerpaint or kids' poster paints

4.  Water and rags or paper towels (to clean hands and brushes)

5.  Newspaper to cover your work area

A collection of three handprint critters: a bird, an octopus, and a camel 
 A sideways blue handprint

Handprint Bird

1.  Lightly brush blue paint all over your hand.  Stick your thumb up, spread your fingers slightly, and make a firm sideways print.

 Add a nest and a beak and you have a nesting bird 2.  Add a nest, beak, eyes, and a wing.
 Two overlapping purple handprints

Handprint Octopus

1.  Brush purple paint over your fingers and palm, but not your thumb.  Spread your fingers slightly and make the print.  Then brush paint on the opposite hand.  Make a second print, overlapping the palm of the first print,

 Add a face, seaweed, and bubbles to make an octopus 2.  Add eyes and some seaweed and bubbles.
A brown handprint 

Handprint Camel

1.  Brush light brown paint all over your palm, fingers, and thumb.  Spread your fingers slightly, hold your thumb up as high as you can and make a firm upside down print.

 Add a nose and a tail to make a camel 2.  Add a nose, features, a tail, a hump, and hooves.

Fingers are such useful implements that they have been used in art projects since mankind first began to create art.  However, it wasn't until 1931 that a non-toxic, childproof paint was patented by Ruth Faison Shaw.  Today there are many brands of non-toxic, washable paints available and fingerpainting is wildly popular among youngsters everywhere. 


Use fingerpaint handprints to make a black cat, a bat, and a spider. These fingerpaint animals make fun Halloween decorations for a home or a classroom.

Use a few simple fold to create a 3-D flower. Use it to decorate a card for Mother's Day or a birthday.

Use old lids to make a flock of cute bird magnets! Since this craft recycles old lids, it is a good craft for Earth Day!