How To Make A Toddler Finger Paint Canvas

I like to give quirky, thoughtful gifts on special occasions, so I thought my Sister’s birthday was a good opportunity to get crafty with the kids!

If you read my blog a lot, you will know that Sam HATES Messy Play.
Sydney usually enjoys it, so I do try to plan the odd messy activity.
(Secretly, I love it)!

I have seen quite a few different canvases painted by children, but none which were clearly a double effort. I decided I would try to make one myself.

This is what we did:

You will need:

  • 1 canvas (This is an A4 one) – I got 4 for £5 from The Works.
  • Foam sticker letters to spell your children(s) names. (I got a pack from Tesco for £1.29)
  • 2 different colours of finger paints. You can make your own if you think your kids will eat them. I used some age 2+ non toxic ones from Tesco. 


1). Stick your foam letters on where you want them. (I found White ones worked best, as the kids weren’t trying to pick the White ones off).

2). Let your messiest child loose on the canvas. (I made sure the foam letters were 100% covered, but Sydney did the rest of the red painting).

3). Let it dry fully (I left it 24 hours).

4). Apply the 2nd coat of paint. (I knew Sam wouldn’t be keen on this activity, so I dropped a blob of blue paint over his name, made sure it was all covered, then let him touch it. He spread it around slightly, but didn’t get anywhere near as messy as Sydney did).

5). Let it dry fully. (I left it 24 hours again).

6). Peel off the foam letters! 

That’s it! It took several days to do, but only a few minutes each day. I think it was worth the effort, though.

I let it dry fully between coats so that you could clearly see which bits each child did. I didn’t want one big Red-Blue-Purple mess, I wanted each name to be the colour that child used (Sydney used the Red paint, Sam used the blue paint).

If you have more than 2 kids, perhaps giving them a corner each would look good? Or possibly getting 1 child to add a new corner to their own canvas each year? So do the background (with their name in the middle) at age 1, then add an “age 2” corner the next year, “age 3” the year after, for example?

My sister really likes the canvas. I love the fact you can see their
actual finger sizes in the smeared paint. I am going to get them to make
a bigger version of this to hang in their play room. I think it’s a fab
joint effort. I may be bias though LOL!

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