Ducks 'n a Row: Valentine Thumbprint Art

31 January 2015

Valentine Thumbprint Art

I'm Susan, a lifestyle/food blogger from the most - - of every moment and I’m so excited to be writing for Ducks ’n a Row today! 
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Two tiny hearts in miniature frames have been displayed in our home for many years. They are as valuable to me as any purchased masterpiece. 

thumbprint art, framed hearts

Flowers and candy are traditionally associated with Valentine’s Day, but one year I received a precious gift from my daughter that was neither of these. Had she given me flowers, it is quite possible I would not still remember what color they were.  Details about a box of candy would likely have been forgotten as well. But this small gift, made for me by my daughter in preschool, is something I will treasure forever.

framed art, thumbprint, Valentine's Day Gift
A gift from my daughter
My daughter could hardly wait until we got home from preschool to proudly present me with her gift.  It was a framed heart, made with paint and her tiny thumbprints.  Although quite a lovely little piece, I immediately realized the real value of it was sentimental.  I knew that one day I would look at it, and be reminded of her tiny hand in mine, and of how those little fingers would fondly stroke the ladybugs she loved to find.

preschool, siblings, tiny hands
Sibling day at school
I knew that in the future I would feel regret if I did not have a similar keepsake made by her little brother. Using paint for this project seemed a little ambitious for my busy two-year old. With a stamp pad, we accomplished the craft and I was able to preserve his thumbprints in a heart-shaped pattern as well. Doing this only took a few moments, but they were moments wonderfully well-spent!

heart, framed art, gift
An art project with my son
 The idea for this inexpensive, easily-made craft is not new, but I consider it an idea worth sharing.  It could be just the perfect Valentine’s Day present for someone in your life.  
  • Teachers could help their young students make these as gifts for parents.  
  • Daddies could help kids surprise their mommy with one.  
  • Grandparents would love to get something like this from their small grandchildren.
  • This would even be a meaningful romantic gift. It could be given with the message, “Your thumbprints will aways be on my heart!” (Wow, I just thought of that! Not bad!)

treasured artwork, kids thumbprints

If this sounds like something you would like to make, here are the easy directions: 

Framed Thumbprint Heart 
You will need: 
A picture frame (From the dollar store, or as costly as you prefer.)
White paper
Pink construction paper or pink cardstock
Red ink stamp-pad or washable red paint
A thumb!
  1. Lay a sheet of white paper beside an open and ready-to-use red stamp pad,  where it can easily be reached. (OR: Spread a small dab of paint out on a disposable surface (cardboard or a plastic container lid would work) until it is fairly thin, but still a wet puddle of a larger diameter than the thumb.)
  2. Press your thumb (or guide your child’s thumb) onto the stamp pad or paint until the pad (inside area of thumb from first knuckle to tip) is well covered in red.
  3.  Carefully press the inked/painted portion of the thumb onto the middle of the white paper, rotated left to form one half of the heart.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, but this time angling the thumb to the right, with the bottom of the pad overlapping the first oval to roughly form a heart shape.
  5. While paint or ink is drying, draw or trace a heart onto the pink paper. Be sure this heart is somewhat bigger than the one you imprinted on the white paper, and that there is enough of a pink boundary left around it to fill in the square viewing area of your frame.
  6. Carefully puncture the center of the pink heart with your scissor tip, then slide the scissor blade into the hole and cut out the heart shape without disturbing the rest of the paper.
  7. Create a picture frame mat for the red thumbprint heart, by centering the pink heart cut-out shape directly on top of it. Using the glass from the frame as a template, center the layered heart shapes in the middle of it, and then draw a square around the glass.
  8. Carefully hold the papers securely together and cut them both,following the guideline of your square, so that the white paper and pink mat fit nicely in your frame. (It is best to do this step after you put the thumbprints on the paper, because then you don't have to worry about  creating them off-center.)
  9. Clean any smudges from the glass, and insert your artwork into the frame.
  10. Done!  Be sure to write the date and the child’s name and age on the back of the frame!

This is an simple way to help a child give someone a Valentine’s Day “gift of their heart.”

It could even be a sweet way to add a bit of sentiment to a more expensive gift for an adult, to tell “a special someone” just how much you care.

heart thumbprint saying

Have you ever made a thumbprint picture before?

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Bio: Susan is a nurse, wife, and mother; her blog the most - - of every moment is about making the most of all life’s moments. Recipes, tips, inspiring stories and photos are posted at least four days a week: topics include entertaining, homemaking, family, pets, holidays, travel, and excerpts of life in Montana.

Susan, thank you for sharing this sweet  treasure with us! ...Sinea
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