Andrea Mulder-Slater: The Art of Childhood


All Hands on Deck: 5 Holiday Fingerprint Paintings for Kids

Things are about to get messy

All Hands on Deck for These Holiday Keepsake Paintings

There's no easy way to say what I have to say, so I'll just go ahead and say it:

You, your kids, and your kitchen are probably going to get messy when you try out these cool holiday painting ideas. But here's the thing: Sometimes making art means getting dirty and in fact, the best projects are often the ones that leave a trail.

Couple Shells Out $50K for Fingerpainting

And, because these are fingerprint pictures, they will become instant keepsakes for you to look back on and smile as you remember that time when your daughter was so excited at the sight of her Christmas tree craft that she grabbed onto your shirt with a little hand that couldn't possibly be covered with more paint.

You really only need a few supplies to make this happen...


  • Paint (either acrylic or tempera is fine, as long as it's washable)
  • Paper (white and dark)
  • A plate (for the paint)
  • A black Sharpie marker
  • A pencil (optional)
  • Cotton swabs
  • A covered work surface
  • A crapload of paper towels

You will also want to make sure that EVERYONE involved is wearing painting smocks or is dressed in old clothes.

Ready? Great, let's get started...


My friend Kelly showed my daughter (and 29 other kids) how to make these lights and not one piece of clothing got dirty. Kelly is superhuman.

First, draw a squiggly line across the paper using a Sharpie marker.

Fingerprint Christmas lights

Add some square shapes along the line - top and bottom.

Fingerprint Christmas lights

Dip into the paint and start adding fingerprints at each of the square shapes.

Fingerprint Christmas lights

When finished, you will have a string of colourful Christmas lights! Wouldn't this be great with all family members adding their own fingerprints to the painting?

Fingerprint Christmas lights


Using a dark sheet of paper, simply fill in a snowman shape with your fingertips dipped into white paint. (I drew three circles as guidelines but this is certainly not necessary.)

Fingertip Snowman Painting

Once the snowman is completely dry, you can start to add details. We used cotton swabs for this step.

Fingertip Snowman Painting

Fingertip Snowman Painting

Voila! Your very own Frosty.

Fingerpaint snowman


Create three holly leaves using your fingertips dipped in green paint.

Fingerprint Holly

Then, add the red berries. It's just that easy. These would look lovely as decorations on holiday cards.

Fingerprint Holly



The technique here is simple. Dip two fingers into red and white paint and alternate the colours on a dark sheet of paper.

Here's one where I drew a cane shaped outline...

Candy cane painting using fingertips

Candy cane painting using fingertips

And here are two that were made freehand.

Candy caneCandy cane


For the Christmas tree, I drew a quick outline of a tree on paper and let my daughter fill in the space.

Fingerprint Christmas Tree

Fingerprint Christmas Tree

Once the paint was completely dry, she added ornaments by dipping her fingers into paint and dabbing them onto the tree.

Fingerprint Christmas Tree

As you can see, things got a little "out of hand" but hey, it's still a tree, and a cute one at that!

Fingerprint Christmas Tree

You can also create a tree by making one fingerprint, followed by two, followed by three and so on.

Fingerprint tree

Now go wash your hands!

If you're a bit too squeamish to give these fingerprint paintings a try, check out these paint-free Christmas crafts instead!

Fingerprint Christmas Lights