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How to Make Handprint Art on Ceramics

Updated on May 11, 2016

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. | Source
Special Occasion
How 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.
Make each ceramic dish special with a cute title or sweet poem.

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.

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Our finished handprint garden displayed on an easel.Supplies you will need for painting a ceramic platter.Paint your child's entire hand with ceramic paint and press firmly to platter.Continue with different colors of paint for the rest of the flowers.The ceramic platter with all four handprint flowers.Add stems and leaves to flowers. Paint grass below stems.Using a black ceramic marker, I wrote out "Mimi's Garden" above the flowers.Use fingerprints and thumbprints to create the butterflies, bumblebees, and ladybugs.Place on baking pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.
Our finished handprint garden displayed on an easel.
Our finished handprint garden displayed on an easel. | Source
Supplies you will need for painting a ceramic platter.
Supplies you will need for painting a ceramic platter. | Source
Paint your child's entire hand with ceramic paint and press firmly to platter.
Paint your child's entire hand with ceramic paint and press firmly to platter. | Source
Continue with different colors of paint for the rest of the flowers.
Continue with different colors of paint for the rest of the flowers. | Source
The ceramic platter with all four handprint flowers.
The ceramic platter with all four handprint flowers. | Source
Add stems and leaves to flowers. Paint grass below stems.
Add stems and leaves to flowers. Paint grass below stems. | Source
Using a black ceramic marker, I wrote out "Mimi's Garden" above the flowers.
Using a black ceramic marker, I wrote out "Mimi's Garden" above the flowers. | Source
Use fingerprints and thumbprints to create the butterflies, bumblebees, and ladybugs.
Use fingerprints and thumbprints to create the butterflies, bumblebees, and ladybugs. | Source
Place on baking pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.
Place on baking pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. | Source

Handpainted Ceramics Quiz

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

Which special occasion will you be making handprint art for?

See results

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!

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      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.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      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!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      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!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      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!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      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!

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

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

    • lasertekservices 4 years ago from Fargo, North Dakota

      Children will surely enjoy this activity.

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      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!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      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!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

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

    • Debbie Varas 4 years ago

      Very cool idea and fun for the kids!!

    • Linda 4 years ago

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

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

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

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      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!

    • joanne 4 years ago

      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?

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      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!

    • sarah clark 3 years ago

      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!!!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 3 years ago from Normandy, TN

      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!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      my kids are going to enjoy this handprints craft, thanks

    • Cirjan Raluca profile image

      Cirjan Raluca 2 years ago from Bucharest

      This is really nice.

    • Sarah 19 months ago

      where do I find food safe enamel paint???

    • Caryn Fortunato 15 months ago

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

    • AnkitaSiddiqui profile image

      Ankita Siddiqui 14 months ago from India

      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.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 13 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      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!

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