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How to Make Handprint Art on Ceramics

Fun Handprint Craft for Kids

Paint your child's handprints on a ceramic platter to make a sweet homemade gift.

Paint your child's handprints on a ceramic platter to make a sweet homemade gift.

Special OccasionHow to Decorate Ceramic Dish

Birthday

Make balloons with handprints.

Valentine's Day

Turn hands upside down to create a heart shape.

Mother's Day

Make flowers with handprints.

Grandparent's Day

Make all grandchildren's handprints with names and date of birth.

Thanksgiving

Make turkeys with handprints.

Christmas

Make a Christmas tree or angel with handprints.

Homemade Gift Idea for Mom

Ask any mother or grandmother around what are the best gifts they have ever received. Their reply will most likely be those gifts that were homemade and from the heart. These gifts carry so much meaning and can be treasured throughout the years. 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 you and others just how small your kids used to be.

Wanting to do something special for both grandmas for Mother's Day, my boys and I went to work making handprint art on two ceramic platters that I had purchased. They turned out really cute. Refer to the table to the right for cute decorating ideas for each special occasion. If you would like to recreate our "Mimi's Garden" handprinted platter, read further for a list of supplies and step-by-step directions for making this craft.

What Kind of Paint to Use on Ceramic Dishes?

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. We used the Folk Art brand of enamel paint on our platters. This kind of paint is a little more expensive than your 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.

If you are planning on using these dishes around food, you need to make sure your ceramic paint states toxic-free and safe to use around food. Some ceramic paints contain harmful ingredients that should never be used near food. If you are handpainting a ceramic dish for home décor, you do not have to worry about the toxic-free label.

Handpainted Ceramics Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Can I use handpainted ceramic dishes near food?
    • Yes, if and only if you check the label to assure the ceramic paint is non-toxic and food safe.
    • No, it is never recommended to use handpainted ceramics near food.
  2. Can I use my handpainted ceramic dishes in the microwave?
    • Yes, if properly dried and cured.
    • No, never use in the microwave.
  3. I used enamel ceramic paint. Is my dish dishwasher safe?
    • Yes, if dried and cured, your dish can be safely washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher.
    • No, you must hand wash all ceramic dishes by hand when using enamel ceramic paints.
  4. When handwashing my ceramic dish, can I soak the dish under the water?
    • Yes, you can presoak the dish to remove dirt and residue.
    • No, you can't presoak. Wash gently with soap and water.
  5. Can I use my enamel ceramic paint on plastic dishes too?
    • Yes, enamel ceramic paint will adhere to all types of dishes.
    • No, enamel ceramic paints will not adhere to plastic dishes.

Answer Key

  1. Yes, if and only if you check the label to assure the ceramic paint is non-toxic and food safe.
  2. No, never use in the microwave.
  3. Yes, if dried and cured, your dish can be safely washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher.
  4. No, you can't presoak. Wash gently with soap and water.
  5. No, enamel ceramic paints will not adhere to plastic dishes.

How to Paint

To get started making handprint art on a ceramic dish, you will 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 wash your child's hand. Dirt and oil from his or her hand could potentially affect the quality of the paint. Below are the supplies you will need and step-by-step directions for painting your ceramic platter.

Supplies:

  • Ceramic serving platter
  • Ceramic paint - green, blue, yellow, red, and purple
  • Ceramic paint markers - black and white
  • Letter stencils (optional)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Alcohol
  • Paper towels

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry ceramic dish. Wipe down dish with alcohol and a paper towel to remove any residue.
  2. After washing your child's hand, use paintbrush to cover the hand completely with desired color of ceramic paint.
  3. Press child's hand firmly down on the platter. The gloss on the ceramic platter makes it slippery but try to keep the hand from moving.
  4. Carefully lift up your child's hand. If satisfied with the print, move on to the next color of handprint flower. If you wish to start over, quickly wash platter with warm water or use alcohol to help remove paint.
  5. Once you have completed the handprint flowers, paint stems and leaves to bottom of the prints. Add grass to bottom of platter.
  6. Use a black ceramic paint marker to write "(insert name here)'s Garden" up above the flowers. You can also use letter stencils to help with this if you do not wish to free hand the title.
  7. To make the butterflies, cover your child's index finger with black ceramic paint and press firmly to platter. Once dry, add colorful wings, antennas to head, and cute faces to the butterflies.
  8. To make either the ladybug or bumblebee, use red or yellow ceramic paint to cover the tip of your child's thumb and press firmly to platter. Once dry, add black dots or stripes, antennas, legs or stinger, and cute bug faces. I used the black ceramic marker to decorate these bugs.
  9. Once satisfied with the design, set platter on baking pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes on 300 degrees. Do NOT preheat the oven. Let the platter gradually warm with the oven to prevent cracking or shattering.
  10. Carefully take the pan out of the oven and set aside in a safe area to allow the platter to completely cool.

Handprint Art Poll

Fun Art Projects for Kids

This handprint art platter is a really fun art project for parents to make with their kids. Keep in mind that 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. Also remember this craft could get messy, so be sure to protect your table with newspaper or crafting tablecloth to prevent paint from getting all over the place.

So the next time you need a sweet and unique homemade gift idea for a loved one, try making handprint art on a ceramic dish. 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 to creating 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!

More Craft Ideas:

  • How to Monogram Cloth Dinner Napkins
    Read to find step-by-step directions for hand painting monograms on cloth dinner napkins. This budget-friendly, DIY craft idea is super easy to make while adding an elegant and personal touch to your home décor.
  • Budget-Friendly Crafts for Kids to Make
    Looking for easy to make kid craft ideas that won't break the bank? Here are five budget-friendly craft ideas that use recycled products from around the house that both your kids and wallet will love!

Comments

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 from Bucharest 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.

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