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How to Make a Handprint Plate (Ceramic Painting for Kids)

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A paint plate with your child's handprints on a ceramic platter makes a sweet homemade gift. Ceramic painting for kids is a fun activity any time of year!

A paint plate with your child's handprints on a ceramic platter makes a sweet homemade gift. Ceramic painting for kids is a fun activity any time of year!

A Guide to Ceramic Painting for Kids

Ask any parent or grandparent about the best gifts they've ever received. Their reply will likely be the ones that were homemade and from the heart. These gifts carry so much meaning and can be treasured for years to come. If you are looking for a sweet and unique homemade gift idea, try making handprint art on any kind of ceramic dish. Preserving your child's handprint is a wonderful way to remind both you and others just how small your kids used to be.

Wanting to do something special for holidays like Mother's Day? To celebrate both their grandmothers, my boys and I went to work making handprint art on two ceramic platters I'd purchased. They turned out really cute! If you'd like to recreate our "Mimi's Garden" handprinted platter or create something similar, read on for a list of supplies and step-by-step directions for making your own.

Supplies you will need for painting a ceramic platter.

Supplies you will need for painting a ceramic platter.

Creating Your Handprint Ceramics

To get started making your own handprint art, you'll first need to gather all the necessary supplies and decide what kind of dish you are going to paint. Be sure the dish has been thoroughly washed and dried. You also need to wipe it down with alcohol and a paper towel to remove any hidden residue.

Before attempting to make the handprints, make sure to also wash your child's hands thoroughly. Dirt and oil from their hands could potentially affect the quality of the paint. The supplies you'll need and step-by-step directions for recreating the ceramic platter pictured are laid out below. Obviously, it's up to you on colors and what you depict, so adjust accordingly!


  • Ceramic serving platter, plate, or any dish of your choosing
  • Ceramic paint (we used green, blue, yellow, red, and purple)
  • Ceramic paint markers: black and white
  • Letter stencils (optional)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Alcohol
  • Paper towels


  1. Wash and dry the ceramic dish. Wipe down the dish with alcohol and a paper towel to remove any remaining residue.
  2. This craft can get messy, so be sure to protect your table with newspaper or a crafting tablecloth. This will prevent paint from getting all over the place and is much easier to deal with when cleaning up.
  3. After washing your child's hand, use a paintbrush to cover their hand completely with the desired color of paint.
  4. Press your child's hand firmly down on the platter. The gloss on the ceramic can make it slippery, so try to keep the hand from moving. Otherwise, you may end up with a blurry print and the scene could be hard to depict!
  5. Carefully lift up your child's hand. If satisfied with the print, move on to the next color. If you wish to start over, you need to quickly wash the platter with warm water or use alcohol to help remove the paint so you have the chance to try again.
  6. Once you have completed the handprint flowers, you can paint the stems and leaves below them using a brush. Paint some grass below the flowers and add in any other details you think would make your art look more complete.
  7. Use a black ceramic paint marker to write "(name's) Garden" above the flowers. You can also use letter stencils to help with this if you don't want to write the title freehand.
  8. To make the butterflies, cover your child's index finger with black paint and press it firmly to the platter. Once dry, complete the butterflies with colorful wings, antennas, and cute faces.
  9. To make a ladybug or bumblebee, use red or yellow paint to cover the tip of your child's thumb and press it firmly to the platter. Once dry, add black dots or stripes, antennas, legs or stingers, and cute bug faces. I used the black ceramic marker to decorate these bugs.
  10. Once satisfied with the design, set the platter on a baking pan. Place it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Important: Do NOT preheat the oven. Let the platter gradually warm with the oven to prevent cracking or shattering.
  11. Carefully take the pan out of the oven and set it aside in a safe area to allow the platter to completely cool off.

Handprint Art Ideas

Here are a few ideas of what you can depict with your hands for different holidays and special events. After placing the hands, make each ceramic dish even more special with a cute title or sweet poem.

Special OccasionWhat to Depict With Hands


Make balloons with handprints.

Valentine's Day

Place hands going left and right but connected at the bottom to create heart shapes.

Mother's/Father's Day

Make flowers from handprints.

Grandparent's Day

Place all their grandchildren's handprints with names and dates of birth.


Make turkeys with handprints.


Make a Christmas tree or angel with handprints.

What Kind of Paint Can You Use on Ceramic Plates?

You may be wondering what kind of paint to use on your ceramic dishes. I suggest choosing an enamel acrylic paint, which is specially formulated for use on both ceramics and glass.

Enamel Acrylic Paint

We used FolkArt's brand of enamel paint on our platters. This kind of paint is a little more expensive than standard acrylic paint, but it is more durable and scratch-resistant. You also can wash these dishes on the top shelf of your dishwasher once they are dried and cured in the oven and the designs should stay vibrant and distinct.

If you are planning on using these dishes to serve food, you need to make sure your ceramic paint states it is both non-toxic and safe to use around food. Some ceramic paints contain harmful ingredients that should never be used near food. If you are hand painting a ceramic dish just for home décor, you don't have to worry about finding paint with a non-toxic label.

Our finished handprint garden displayed on an easel.

Our finished handprint garden displayed on an easel.

Fun Art Project for Kids

This handprint art platter is a really fun art project for parents to make with their kids. Keep in mind it will take some practice to perfect the handprints. Several of our handprints did not turn out so well, but we just washed or wiped away the print and started again. A good idea would be to practice on paper before applying the handprints to the platter.

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Read More From Feltmagnet

The next time you need a sweet and unique homemade gift idea for a loved one, try making handprint art on ceramics. This is one gift that will truly be treasured for many years to come and serves as a wonderful reminder of just how small your child once was.

I hope you have found this guide helpful for creating your own handprint art on ceramic dishes. If you have any comments or questions about this art project, feel free to leave these in the comment section below. Happy crafting!

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Jolene on November 22, 2017:

Is this 300 degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius?

Molly on April 08, 2017:

Do you seal your project with a spray sealant after you bake it.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on December 15, 2015:

Alissa, what a great craft idea for this hub. I believe I did something like this when I was little, except my handprints weren't in paint. This looks like fun and easy to do with your kids. Nice work!

Ankita Siddiqui from India on November 26, 2015:

Thanks Alissa. I love doing weird things with my kids. Infact the easy language with which you have explained it is wonderful.

Please let me know incase I can use ceramic tiles also.

Caryn Fortunato on October 29, 2015:

Can they be used in a dishwasher after they've been baked with out destroying the art work????

Sarah on June 10, 2015:

where do I find food safe enamel paint???

Cirjan Raluca on November 28, 2014:

This is really nice.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 10, 2014:

my kids are going to enjoy this handprints craft, thanks

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on December 09, 2013:

I used Folk Art acrylic paint like in the Amazon box above. I remember having to put a lot of paint on my kids hands to get the prints that bold. Hope that helps - thanks for stopping by!

sarah clark on December 08, 2013:

I asked the "Michaels" expert what kind of paint to use for this project and she pointed me in the direction and showed me some watercolor kind of paint transparent glass paint which I didn't like at all. I want the hand-prints to be bold like yours. what kind of paint did you use exactly for the art on the plate? Thank you very much!!!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on December 22, 2012:

Hi Joanne! I did not use a varnish on this platter as it was just a decorative gift for our grandmothers. I monogrammed coffee mugs with ceramic paint pens this past summer without a varnish as well and so far none of the paint has come off while handwashing them. Hope this info helps - appreciate you stopping by!

joanne on December 21, 2012:

Do I need to use a varnish after baking it? I did this, but on a mug. I would like to use the mug of course, but will handwashing it remove any paint over time?

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on December 20, 2012:

Hi Linda! You can use any type of ceramic plate or dish in this project. The key is to place it in the oven as soon as you turn it on. This allows the plate to gradually heat up so it won't shatter in the process. Hope this answers your question - thanks for stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on December 20, 2012:

Thanks Debbie! My boys really enjoyed this project and both of their grandmas loved the gift. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Linda on December 18, 2012:

How do you know what plates to get that wont shatter when put in the oven to set?

Debbie Varas on December 16, 2012:

Very cool idea and fun for the kids!!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on May 16, 2012:

Hi lasertekservices! My boys definitely enjoyed it. They love anything to do with painting (and getting dirty!) :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on May 16, 2012:

Thanks so much Danette! I know what you mean - there is nothing more precious than your child's handprints. I got to make my own platter soon :) Appreciate you stopping by and for the votes!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on May 16, 2012:

Thanks so much Cara! I hope your mother-in-law loves the gift as much as my mom and mother-in-law did. Appreciate you stopping by!

lasertekservices from Fargo, North Dakota on May 15, 2012:

Children will surely enjoy this activity.

Danette Watt from Illinois on May 15, 2012:

What a sweet idea! I love children's handprints (especially my own kids', haha). Voted up and beautiful.

cardelean from Michigan on May 15, 2012:

I love this idea, it is so cute! Thanks for sharing another one of your great craft ideas. I think I know what my mother in law will be getting for her birthday!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on May 14, 2012:

Thanks Rebecca! You definitely should update the old plates. There are so many cute ideas I found for Thanksgiving and Christmas that I want to try out. Appreciate your visit and for the votes!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on May 14, 2012:

Thanks so much teaches12345! It took us a little bit of practice to get the handprints just right. Definitely not as easy as putting them on paper. But by the second platter, we finally got our technique down :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on May 14, 2012:

This is good! I have bunches of old plates i really don't want any more and what a perfect recycle idea, we will paint them up for all occasions. Voted up and very useful!

Dianna Mendez on May 14, 2012:

You do make this sound practical and simple enough to follow. Great job. As a teacher, I would love to do this with children as it makes a great parents gift for any occasion.