A Finger-Painted Birthday Present For Daddy

For Mike’s birthday in March, I thought it would be nice if Annabelle made a little something for him to bring to work and keep on his desk, a little piece of “art” to make him smile.

And, ok, let’s be honest, I’m always looking for an excuse to craft it up.

So, off to Michael’s I went to get a few supplies for the project.  I bought a little tiny canvas (so cute!), a sheet of sticky-back sparkly black felt (that’s kind of a mouth full), black stick on letters, black and white patterned ribbon and of course, finger paint.

It was my first time letting Annabelle finger paint and I admit I was a little nervous, but mostly super excited.  The dorky crafter in me couldn’t wait to let her at it.  I set everything up while she was napping and when she woke up I picked her up and squealed, “It’s time to FINGER PAINT!”  I was jumping up and down with her in my arms, so she started giggling and clapping, even though she had no idea what I was so excited about.

I put her in a little white onsie and sweat pants that I didn’t mind ruining, even though the paints are supposed to be washable, and brought her downstairs to see my little set up.  This is her examining her little canvas.  You can just see her creative juices flowing.

And here’s my little set up (note the wipes AND the paper towels).  I wasn’t exactly sure what I was about to be up against, but you can never be too prepared.

Then, I held out a paper plate with paint on it and just let her go for it.

She LOVED it.

She gets this little look on her face, a little smirk when she is doing something that she can’t believe you are letting her do.  She had that smirk pretty much the entire time.  She kept asking for “more paint, more paint!”  For a little peanut who just moments ago didn’t know what mommy was squealing about, she learned the word “paint” pretty quickly.

Despite how delighted she was and how much fun I was having watching her, there came a point when it was time to stop.   With all art, you have to know when that moment is.  I looked at her little masterpiece and feared that one more finger sweep and the piece would look overworked, and you never want that to happen.

Yeah that AND she kept threatening to eat the paint, so after she succeeded once and ended up with a momentarily blue tongue, I decided to call it a day.

Here’s her first little work of art.  Aww…(Sorry the pictures are so dark, I’m working on it.)

All in all, clean up wasn’t so bad.  Just her little hands were covered.  Her clothes, highchair and (my biggest worry) her hair, were surprising paint free.  After letting her little painting dry for a couple of hours, it was time for me to add a few little touches to it.

First I wanted to cover the back of the canvas to hide the staples.

So, I measured and cut out a piece of the sparkly black felt and secured it to the back of the canvas with glue dots.

Next, I wanted to cover the sides of the canvas with ribbon.  So I wrapped the ribbon loosely around the canvas so I would know how much I needed, making sure to leave extra just in case.

Then working on one side at a time, I covered the edges with glue dots and pulled the ribbon tight and secured it.

Then, using the black letter stickers, I spelled out the message “Happy Birthday Daddy Love, Annabelle” on white cardstock.  I used a ruler to keep the letters even, and a heart sticker in place of the word “love.”

Next I cut out the individual words and laid them out on the front of the canvas.  Once I liked the spacing, I secured them using glue dots.  By the way, if you can’t already tell, I heart glue dots.  For real.

Then, using the stickers and cardstock, I spelled out the date and Annabelle’s age and put them on the back of the canvas.

I think it actually came out pretty cute.  Annabelle was pretty excited to give it to her daddy for his birthday.  I think she was proud of her little painting.  Mike, of course, loved it and brought it to work where it now happily sits on his desk, making him smile.  The best part was showing him the pictures of her covered in paint!

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  1. Illanna says:

    What a beautiful work of art! Mike must have been so proud to have it.

  2. donnaheaney says:

    She is the next Jackson Pollock!

  3. She is creative just like her Mommy! Love this craft idea!

  4. Those washable paints do come out really well. It makes you unprepared when you have a regular crayon laying around and suddenly they made artwork out of the carpet.

    • Yeah, Annabelle tried making some artwork on the sofa in the den the other day. Luckily, our sofa is brown so you couldn’t tell.

  5. diana rossi says:

    That came out so cute! I did something like that with Michael for father’s day but I wrote on it and I didn’t even think of backing it or putting ribbon on the sides.

  6. Annabelle is a true artistic genius! You can totally see mountains and lakes and sky in that painting. Brilliant.


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