Our house isn’t fancy & everything doesn’t necessarily “go” with each other. Let’s just say it’s “eclectic”.
When it comes to artwork I want it to be something special but at the same time have style, too. That’s why I came up with these “FAMILY” art pieces, each one is made of big & little handprints (and a few pawprints) but are laid out in a contemporary fashion so they blend in with your home. They’re special without screaming kindergarten artwork.
- Acrylic Paints (the little cheap-y bottles are perfect for this. You can pick up several colors for only a few dollars)
- Vinyl wall letters (I used the “repositionable” type but they were a bit slippery. Next time I’d try the “permanent” ones)
1. Begin by using a pencil & ruler to lightly draw a straight line for your letters. Using a bit of math find the center of your canvas & work your way out with the letters. Keep in mind some letters are wider than others so the center of “family” isn’t necesarily between the “m” & the “i”. This may be a “duh” moment for you but it totally messed with my head & I had my husband center the letters for me. I’m using ‘up all night with the baby’ as my mental roadblock excuse.
2. Once you have the letters perfect use a credit card to push out any air bubbles & make sure all edges are adhered well. If you’re having a tough time with some of the edges sticking I found a tiny bit of white school glue did the trick.
3. Go Crazy! Handprints, footprints, dogprints or catprints. Anything goes!
When you’re stamping try & encourage family members to push directly against the letters & not push them sideways or peel up any corners. Also, the key to the design is to cover the entire canvas several times over. Try letting one layer dry & then making another, & another. The more the better! Globs add texture so really get messy!
I did the background work in dark, somewhat neutral colors so they’d anchor the piece. Navy, Maroon & Grey for the most part. Once the painting was well covered I had my daughter do more hot pink handprints & the dogs do some Â pawprints, too, in pink and mint green. Those two colors really popped against the darker smudgier prints.
*Tip* Once you have a nice amount of handprints take a small amount of paint on your hands & lightly fill in some of the remaining white areas. Pay special attention to filling in all the gaps around the letters.
4. I like to go ahead & peel up the letters while the paint is still a bit damp. Otherwise you might peel up some paint when you take off the letters. You can also use a sharp tool like a razor blade to pick up a corner of a sticker or slice down an edge that’s pulling up dried paint.
That’s it! Let it dry, hang it up & tell people you paid oodles for your custom art piece!