Mess-less Baby Finger Painting

I have seen this idea floating around Pinterest, so I cannot take credit for it.  However, like all ideas I steal, I took the idea and made it my own.  My daughter has done two mess-less finger painting projects so far, and I wanted to share them both with you.

Basic Mess-less Finger Painted Canvas

I decided to buy four small canvases and create accent pieces for a larger piece in our living room.  I unfortunately haven’t hung them yet so I can’t include a picture of the completely finished product, but here is a picture of the four small canvases.  My daughter made these when she was 10-11 months old.



  • Canvas- You could do one large piece, a few small pieces to accent art you already own, create a collage of fingerprint art, whatever you want!
  • Multiple acrylic paints- You could make your art match any room in your house!  I chose a brick red, orange, tan, green, and blue, which all match the decor in my living room.
  • Zipper baggies big enough to fit your canvas (easier) OR saran wrap.
  • A baby or toddler!


  1. Decide what you want your final product to look like.  Buy canvas and paint to match your idea.                                                        wp_20160420_006
  2. Lay your canvas on a flat surface.  Add drops of paint onto your canvas.  Bigger drops closer together will get you a swirled wetter look, like mine, while smaller drops further apart will get you more distinct color differences.  You could add the drops randomly, or create an ombre or patterned effect.  It is all really up to you and your vision.
  3. Very carefully, either slide the canvas into a zipper baggie, or carefully wrap the canvas in saran wrap.  Either way, be vary careful not to smear the paint dots.
  4.   Give your canvas to your child and let them play!  Your baby may finger paint, or pick up the bag and shake it (like my daughter did).  Whatever they do, it should smear the paint around enough to cover the canvas.                                                wp_20160421_008
  5. Once you are satisfied with the look, take the canvas away from your child, if you can!  Then very carefully remove the baggie or saran wrap, again trying hard not to smear the paint.  With baggies, I have found it is easiest and safest to cut the baggie around the canvas and then lift off the top piece.
  6. If your canvas edges are white and you would rather them not be, I use the leftover paint already smeared on the inside of the baggie and rub the edges of the canvas in the paint to cover.
  7. Let your canvas sit until it is completely dry, then write your child’s name and age on the back so you will always remember this precious time!  Hang and enjoy!

Negative Space Words with Wooden Words

After succeeding with the canvases above, I decided we were ready for a larger piece.  Grandparent’s day is September 11th.  My daughter was born in July, so her first Grandparent’s day I was still in the newborn fog and didn’t do much to celebrate.  Her second Grandparent’s day I decided to create a more intricate mess-less finger paint canvas.  This time, I wanted to include negative space words with also wooden words to create a cute saying.  Here is a picture of the final product:



  • Same as above
  • Sticker letters- Vinyl letters would be ideal, but I used scrapbook paper stickers and it worked fine.
  • Wooden letters
  • Modge Podge and/or matte white acrylic paint.
  • Paint brush/sponge
  • Hot glue or super glue
  • Optional: Straight edge and/or ruler, razor blade


  1. Complete step 1 above.  Also, figure out where you want your stickers and wooden letters to lay and mark them on your canvas.  You can mark anywhere on your canvas because it will be covered with paint, but remember, don’t mark where you want your negative space letters to be because the canvas will be shown.  wp_20160823_001
  2. Lay your stickers down where you want them.  Use the modge podge or white paint and paint brush to lay a thin layer over your stickers.  This will help create a barrier so your finger paint doesn’t seep underneath.  Make sure your layer is completely dry before continuing.  wp_20160823_002
  3. Complete steps 2-7 above.
  4. Carefully peel up your sticker letters.  For me, my nails worked the best, but many use razor blades to lift the stickers.  Be careful and make sure you don’t peel the paint in the process.

    Notice you can see some of the paint still seeped through, especially around my “get.”
  5. If your paint still seeped under your letters, not all is lost.  Use your matte white paint and paint brush to fill in the white letters.  If you don’t use matte paint, it will be shiny where you painted and will look a tad noticeable.
  6. Lay out your wood pieces where you want them.  Use hot glue or super glue to glue the letters in place.
  7. Enjoy your beautiful, one of a kind artwork!

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