Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bunch of Balloons Happy Birthday Card - A DIY Fingerprint Art Project

My 2 year old son and I decided to make Daddy a special DIY Happy Birthday Card.

For Easter, we got a beautiful set of pastel watercolor paints. My son had never painted with watercolors before and I’ve been wanting to create a fingerprint art project with him for a long time, so it was a good time to incorporate both into our homemade birthday card. For the theme, we kept it simple and full of birthday fun with BALLOONS! :)

Materials Needed
To make your very own custom fingerprint balloon birthday card, you’ll need:
- White Card Stock
- Watercolor Paints
- Thin Black Sharpie Marker
- Small Bowl of Water and Wet Paper Towel or Cloth
- A Cute Little Finger or Thumb, Big Ones Work Too ;) - No paintbrush required!

Inside the Card
To get started, I first printed the inside of the birthday card on the computer. At the top it says “Happy Birthday Daddy!”. Then I inserted clip art of a small bunch of balloons and added a recent family photo. For the message I wrote “We Love You Bunches and Bunches!” and we signed it: Love, Mommy and Matthew. Then I scored the card and folded it in half.

Front of the Card
Next we were ready for the fun part, decorating the front of the card with watercolor fingerprint art!

Testing Fingerprints on Scrap Paper
We first tested making fingerprints on a scrap sheet of paper, which turned out great. A small bowl of water and a wet paper towel or cloth makes quick work of cleaning up between color changes, which is important unless you want a bunch of murky brown balloons.

My son was having a blast with the paint, so we jumped right into decorating the front of the birthday card with colorful little fingerprints.

After the fingerprints dried, I took a thin black sharpie and drew outlines of the balloons and squiggled in a string underneath each balloon.

When I originally thought of the card design, I wanted to create a bunch of fingerprint balloons grouped together on the card so I could draw the balloon strings all together and add a thin ribbon tied in a bow on top for a little extra dimension, but my 2 year old had other plans. He had so much fun making “dots”, as he called his fingerprint art, that they ended up scattered all over the front of the card. So I just went with his updated design and drew the balloons individually flying into the air. I love how our custom balloon birthday card turned out!

I didn’t add birthday text to the front of the card, that way we can frame or display our 2 year old's fingerprint art after the birthday celebration has past and it won’t look outdated.

Back of the Card
For the back, we used pink watercolor paint and my thumb to make a simple fingerprint heart. Surrounding it with the text “Made for you with Love” by “Mommy and Matthew”.

Fingerprint and Thumbprint Art
We’ll definitely be doing more fingerprint art! I love that depending on how much paint you load, the angle you put your finger to the paper, and how hard you press down each fingerprint is completely unique. It is lots of fun and an easy project for little kids and big kids too. :)
Melissa & Doug Rainbow 6 Color Stamp Pad
The only thing I didn’t like about using watercolors was that the fingerprint details were not sharp and visible like they would be if using a stamp pad. I think we’ll try a stamp pad next time, I’m eyeing up this bright and cheerful, Rainbow 6 Color Stamp Pad by Melissa & Doug for our next project. Not only is it multi-color with extra large stamp pads, but it's washable ink and important, especially when working with little ones.

Ed Emberley's Complete Funprint Drawing Book

I also added the book Complete FunPrint Drawing Book by Ed Emberley to my wish list. It's two books in one including the Fingerprint Drawing Book and Great Thumbprint Drawing Book.  His happy little animals and creative creatures all from simple fingerprint or thumbprint combinations look like so much fun and super easy too! It would definitely provide lots of inspiration to get started on all sorts of one of a kind fingerprint art projects.

The fingerprints especially of little ones are special, one of a kind keepsakes! Daddy loved his balloon birthday card.

1 comment:

  1. How fun! I haven't done this in awhile and I just picked up that stamp pad at the craft store - on clearance! Yay! I love the balloons idea! :)