Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baby safe finger painting {Toddler Canvas Painting}

I've mentioned that we make our own Christmas presents. One thing we did this year was get Wesley in on the action. I had grand plans for him to finger paint canvases for his friends and family. I bought several 5x7" canvases and painted them solid colors. Then I mixed up some finger paints for Wesley. I followed this recipe, but didn't find the need to use as much water.
1 cup of corn starch
2 cup hot water
1 cup cold water
food coloring

I knew that he'd put the paint in his mouth and wanted to be sure it was safe to eat and free of toxins. I mixed up two parts corn starch with one part water, divided it into smaller containers and mixed in food coloring. I wanted the colors to be bright and vibrant, so I added in a lot of food coloring. I knew this would stain Wesley's skin (clothes, diaper, floor, etc.) so we were careful to get him right in the bath after we were done painting. We also opted to put him in a disposable diaper and put a drop cloth on the floor. We didn't have any problems at all, but Jarrod and I were both in messy clothes just in case
Of course we had to help him a little bit, but he really had a good time...and so did we!
Our method was to spoon some finger paint on the canvas and hand it over to Wesley. After the first few, he had lots of different colors on his hands so each canvas got a little bit of all the colors. We only did 3-4 canvases at one time just so we could keep track of things. 
Once we deemed a canvas "done" we moved it to a towel to dry.
They came out really neat, I think. In order to keep the colors vibrant, I sealed each of the canvases with Modge Podge. All I did was paint a thin layer over the paint, once it was completely dry. I allowed it to dry for several days just to be sure I didn't mess it up.
That's my favorite picture from the day. It makes me really thankful we went with the disposable diaper. I know his cloth diapers get lots of messes on them, but I'd like to keep food coloring off the list of diaper messes we need to clean!

We gave canvases to Wesley's teachers at school and included them in gifts to some of his friends, his nanny, Aunt Courtney & Uncle Philip, and grandparents. Jarrod and I also kept one ourselves. It's a very simple craft that I know we'll cherish for a long time. We plan to do another craft similar to this on a very large canvas for above our bed in our bedroom. I'll let you know how it goes!

What are some of your favorite baby or toddler crafts? How do you help keep your little one involved in gift-giving?

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  1. Very curious if the paint stayed on the canvas with the help of the modge podge? I want to do this. 😊

  2. It did! We haven't had any trouble with them in 2 years!

  3. Finally! I've been searching for days to find an answer to the above question with these self made finger paints. =) thank you!

    I've read that within a few days, they mold (naturally because it's food ingredients) but was worried it would do the same on canvas/paper.

    Do you have any suggestion/tips on being able to keep it as a keepsake?

    Thank you again!

    1. I have not heard of corn starch and water going bad and haven't had that experience with our canvases. I'm looking at one that we made 2 years ago right now and it still looks great. I did spray them with modge podge, which helps keep them looking good!

  4. Thank you again for this amazing post & tips! The little canvas is a great gift idea.



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