A few weeks ago my 5 year was grabbing her normal mile high stack of books at the library and one of the books she popped into the cart was this darling Fingerprint Book from Ed Emberley.
All the ideas in the book about how to draw a monkey, caterpillar, tree etc.. with children’s fingerprints were so adorable I really wanted to do some sort of keepsake craft with my girls.
So finally I came up with an idea to do a spring potted plant as a little gift idea for the Grandparents. This was so easy and so inexpensive- it would be a really fun idea for a Spring party or class project or Girl Scouts activity.
To start I bought an inexpensive pot from the home improvement store- just a plain terra cotta pot and I believe this was about $1.00 or less.
Next I took some yellow spray paint I had on hand and painted it a cheerful yellow. Any color would work perfectly though- green, blue, white or you might even leave the pot unpainted. For older children it would be fun to do an ombre pot with maybe really light blue at the bottom and darker blue at the top.
I only painted the outside of the pot but it is probably best to paint the inside and outside. I read recently that moisture can go through a terra cotta pot painted on the outside only and cause the paint to bubble. I haven’t had that experience with pots I have painted in the past but just a little tip to consider.
After two coats of spray paint and a day for dry time, we just sat outside with several dabs of paint and the Ed Emberley book and my 7 year old chose what to paint. I put a bunch of color options on a paper plate for her to choose from and then we used a second paper plate to practice the design and after the practice round she dipped her thumb in and added the color to the pot. The trick is to get just enough paint on the thumb so it isn’t a smeary blob on your pot. You also want to take care to completely wipe off fingers in between color choices so there isn’t any blending.
We used assorted acrylic craft paints I had on hand. If you are off to buy new paint for your project, look for patio/deck/outdoor paints. Those will have lasting power on your pot. The price at the craft stores is usually $.50-1.00 for paint so not an expensive investment at all.
It looks kind of strange because you will just have dots all over the place but once you have finished all the artwork, set the pot aside to completely dry. I had mine outside on a sunny day so it was dry within about an hour.
I sat down after it dried completely with a fine point sharpie marker and added in all the lines to create the actual drawing. We did little birds, butterflies, flowers a tree, a snail, sunshine… so many cute little things for the pot. I am definately not an artist but anyone can draw two little straight lines for feet and a beak or little swirls to make a snail shell. It really is so simple and the book will actually show you step by step how to draw in the lines.
On the backside she wrote her name and the year. Oh and that is a little frog you see below. So cute right?
And you are done! You can put a little plant inside- I went back and forth between an herb for my kitchen and a succulent and decided on a succulent. For potted herbs it would be cute to have the child write the name of the plant on the front (i.e. Rosemary) and then decorate around that.
Please note if you plan to keep this outside where it will be wet you will want to spray the pots with a clear poly coat or a terra cotta pottery seal spray to be sure the paint stays on and doesn’t wash off or fade.
You can find those types of sprays at craft stores or home improvement stores.
And if you try this project please come back and let me know how it goes for you! I’d love to see your masterpiece
Here are a few other fun projects to consider:
How to Make colored rice- fun alternative to sand!
Homemade Bouncy Balls
How to Make Puffy Paint