Feb 12

Toddler-made finger paint Valentines Cards two ways

finger paint valentines made two ways at theexperimentalhome.com

I try to help my son, YMGP, make cards to send to his grandparents and great-grandparents for various holidays. While walking through Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago, I came up with an idea for Valentines cards… and honestly had no idea whether or not it would work. Hello experiment.

I picked up a package of heart-shaped doilies, some rubber cement and some red finger paint. The idea was to use the doily as a reverse stencil, protecting a heart-shaped area from an onslaught of finger paint that would stand out once the doily was removed. I was hoping that the rubber cement would allow me to remove the doily after it was coated in finger paint. Hoping.

So I did a little experiment. I coated the back of a doily in rubber cement and stuck it to some card stock… or at least I tried. The back side of the doily is curly, and it just didn’t get enough contact with the card stock to stick. Fail. So I tried again, this time applying the rubber cement to the front. It stuck just fine, so I let it dry for a while and then painted over the top of it with finger paint (yeah, mama got to play too!). Then I tried peeling up the doily, but I had a tough time getting the doily back off. Fail. One more try, this time I finger painted over the doily while the rubber cement was still wet. Success! The doily came up no problem.

a reverse stencil experiment at theexperimentalhome.com

Before, I move on, lets talk for a second about rubber cement. Its nasty stuff. Don’t use it near fire. Don’t sniff it. Don’t eat it. Also, since ideally a little one will be doing the finger painting, please make these cards with them in a well-ventilated area. Okay PSA over.

I used a thin layer of rubber cement to stick two doilies at a time to card stock, added a dollop of finger paint to the middle and then encouraged, helped, prodded, and pushed YMGP into spreading it out over the heart. He is almost 2, and it showed during this little craft project. Oh well, these finger paint Valentines got done somehow.

I cut his “masterpieces” into rectangles and glued them to blank pre-made white cards, “signed” his name and these finger paint Valentines cards were ready to send off.

finger paint valentines made with a doily at theexperimentalhome.com When assembling the cards, I looked over at my desk and had an “aha” moment. The Silhouette Cameo that I got for Christmas and had yet you play with was calling my name. I figured, if I could use a doily, I could turn any shape into a reverse stencil. All I needed was to design a shape and cut it out of card stock. You see, I had so many ideas for first projects with my Cameo that were so over-the-top ambitious that I was too overwhelmed to fire the thing up, but this was the perfect first project, simple, straightforward and superfluous. So I sat down to plug the thing in and figure it out. An hour or so later, I had four of these little hearts cut out of card stock…. and I fell in love with my new Cameo. Seriously, that thing is even cooler than I thought it would be.

free silhouette cut file to make finger paint valentines at theexperimentalhome.com.

I did run into a small problem with the cutouts from my Cameo. When I took them off the cutting mat, they curled up a bit. They had to spend a day under a pile of books before I did anything else with them. Anyone have any tricks to keep delicate shapes from curling?

Other than that, they worked perfectly as reverse stencils under finger paint. And I just love how the cards turned out.

finger paint valentines made with a silhouette at theexperimentalhome.com. Free cut file.

If you want to cut out these little hearts with your Silhouette machine, you can download the free cut file here.

Now that I have broken in my Cameo, I am sure that I will be whipping up all sorts of things with it. I am so excited. But, right here and now, I promise that The Experimental Home will NOT become a blog that you need a Silhouette to attempt any of the projects. 

finger paint valentines made two ways at theexperimentalhome.com

YMGP’s finger paint Valentines cards are in the mail and should reach their destinations by Friday. I hope you have a great Valentines Day with the ones you love.

If you love thees cards, don’t miss his water color turkey cards for Thanksgiving, or his Mother’s Day finger paint notebooks.

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  1. Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    Wow! What a stellar first Silhouette creation, Laura. I absolutely love that you and your son collaborated on this one. His grandparents are going to LOVE these Valentines. Consider this project pinned! (Oh, and a tip for avoiding the curling issue – – with new mats that are super sticky, you can de-stick them a little using a pair of jeans…just blot em on the mat a few times. And when it comes to peeling away your design, peel the mat away from the design rather than vice versa (so flip the mat face down). That helps immensely.) Brava, Laura!

    1. Laura

      A pair of jeans. Seriously? I knew I befriended you for a reason 🙂 Whoda thunk? Thanks for your support Lauren!

  2. Kristy gd

    Amazing project Laura! I love this! And instead of repeating everything the amazing Lauren just said, I’ll also through out that this would be the perfect project for some vinyl. 🙂 I want some of these cards for myself now!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Kristy! Does vinyl come off of card stock cleanly? I guess I thought it would be a bit stickier than that.

      1. Kristy gd

        I was thinking some of the lighter stick vinyl, the indoor Oracle 631. I used that on my kitchen walls, and it comes off cleanly, so I was thinking that it would work with cardstock as well. Admittedly my walls aren’t cardstock though! I have that (plus some silhouette vinyl) here. I’ll give it a try and let you know the results!

        1. Laura

          Indoor Oracle 631? Sounds fancy! Thanks for experimenting for me. 🙂

          1. Kristy gd

            Since I replied in the Facebook group we are part of with a pic, I thought I’d reply here for people who aren’t part of that group! I tried it with both Oracle 631 (which is just a type of indoor vinyl) as well as the silhouette vinyl, and neither of them stuck to the paper. So yes, you can do this with vinyl!

          2. Laura

            Thanks again Kristy! You rock!

  3. Rita

    What a fun project. We will have to give this a try and send out some just because cards to family out of state. I think my son who is 7 will love this as well. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Laura

      What kid doesn’t love finger paint? Heck, I enjoyed playing with them. Thanks for stopping by Rita.

  4. "Grammie"

    It never ceases to amaze me: Laura has such an abundance of creativity!! We always enjoy the cards from YMGP and can’t wait for the next one!!

  5. shannah @ Just Us Four

    These cards are so super cute. My kids lover finger paint so this would be a great activity for them.

  6. Joyce Fisher

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for letting me feature your darling finger-painted Valentines, along with projects from our other partners in the Silhouette Portrait Giveaway, on http://www.peaceloveandjoyce.com today! I think it’s especially great for people to see how awesome a project can be when you’re first learning how to use the machine.

    Peace, Love and Joy,

    1. Laura

      Awesome. It was totally my first project!

  7. sumatra surf

    I am not very fantastic with English but I get hold this really easygoing to read.

  1. Guess how much I love my new Silhouette? Enough to give one away! - The Experimental Home

    […] my cutting deficiencies don’t slow me down any more. As I told you last week, I got a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas. I freaking love that thing. I can cut out anything I want, […]

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