Quick and Easy Canvas Crafts for Kids

Last Minute Gift Idea - crafts for kids

I love giving handmade gifts. The problem is I’m not actually all that artistically inclined. I can kind of dress things up and make them look nice, but free hand art, sewing and building? Not up my alley. Not to mention, some of those things take a lot of time, which I always seems to be running short of during the holidays. That’s why I LOVE using my kids as little artists to make sweet gifts for family and friends. If you are short on time, these handmade canvas Christmas presents are perfect.

Mouse Footprint Canvas - gift idea

Twas the Night Before Christmas Footprint Mouse

You will need:

– Blank canvas

– Small art brushes

– Acrylic paint (gray, pink, green, red, assorted colors)

– Paint pen (black)

– Sealant (optional)

Last year, my entire preschool class made these for their parents. I loved the project so much I made some with two mice using each of my boys’ footprints. The steps are pretty easy and the end product is absolutely adorable.

1. Paint bottom of child’s foot with gray paint. Stamp onto one side of empty canvas with toes near the edge. Keep in mind your spacing if you are using the feet of two children. Fill in major gaps with a small brush. Also, outline the print to make the shape clear. Add circles for mouse ears on top of the “heel” of the print. Go ahead and fill in the pink centers of the ears and pink nose. Allow the mouse to dry. (Acrylic on canvas dries pretty quickly.)

2. Once the mouse is dry, use the black paint pen to write the selection from Twas the Night Before Christmas. I chose to very lightly sketch my words out with pencil to ensure the spacing was how I wanted, but that is totally optional. If you do use pencil, once the paint pen has dried, use an eraser to remove any visible pencil marks. You can also add the mouse eyes, nose and whiskers at this point.

3. Now add decoration to the edges of the canvas. You can either use the brushes to create holly leaves and berries in the corners, or use the black paint pen and various colors of paint to make strings of lights.

4. Allow paint to dry. Spray with glossy sealer. (optional)


Christmast Tree Handprint Craft

Handprint Christmas Tree

You will need:

– Blank canvas

– Small artist’s brushes

– Acrylic paint (green (2 shades if for 2 children, yellow, assorted colors for lights)

This project turned out to be a great way to combine the handprint of 2 different children in one canvas painting. The end product is fun, colorful, and whimsical; the perfect Christmas art piece.

1. Decide if you would like your tree painted on white or colored canvas. White works really well, but you can also use a bright blue if you want more color. If you want a background color, begin by painting the entire canvas this color and letting it dry.

2. Paint one hand of the child creating the tree. If you are completing this project with 2 children, paint one hand on each child. Use a different shade of green for each. Depending on the size of your canvas, start stamping the 1st set of hands across the bottom of the canvas. You can do this with the fingers pointing up or down. You may want to experiment some on paper to see which way you prefer. The bottom row should have 5 or so prints.

3. If you are using 2 shades of green to show individual children, use the second shade of green for the next row. Stamp these handprints so that they barely overlap the original bottom row. Each row should have one less handprint than the last and you can continue to alternate colors/children for each row. For the very top of the tree, you can do a single hand.

4. After the green has dried, use yellow to paint a star at the top of the tree. Use the black paint pen to make a loose zig zag back and forth across the tree. Use the assorted colors of acrylic paint to add colored lightbulbs to the black “cord.” It works best to create a pattern with the colors just like actual Christmas lights.

5. You can fill in any blank spaces with painted ornament style balls. I love using a metallic paint for this.

6. Once all of the paint is dry, spray with a sealant.


Snowman Footprint Craft - great gift idea

Wintery Snowmen Painting

You will need:

– Blank canvas

– Acrylic paint (bright/light blue, white, black, color for scarf, orange, brown)

– artist’s brushes

This is a great project because it is not necessarily a “Christmas painting,” but one that can be easily displayed throughout winter. It’s also nice because you can easily include several different children as snowmen.

1. Cover the entire canvas with a bright/light blue. Think of the bright blue sky that you can sometimes find on days when the snow is melting away in the wintertime. Allow the blue to dry. (This blue paint step is a great one for kids to do themselves.) Add a curvy white line of snow to the bottom of the blue canvas. Fill in the space thoroughly with white paint.

2. Paint the bottom of each child’s foot who is planning to be a part of the art project. With the toes pointing to bottom of the canvas, carefully print each foot so that rests on the white snow line. This is the “ground” for the footprint snowmen to stand on.

3. Use white paint to slightly fill in the body of the snowmen if needed.

4. Once the bodies are dry, add different features to the snowmen using different colors of acrylic paint. Keep in mind that each snowman needs: carrot nose, eyes, mouth, hat, scarf, and stick arms.

5. Allow the completed canvas to dry. Spray with a glossy sealer if you wish.

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