Making a DIY Four Season Handprint and fingerprint tree is a great way to teach children about the changing seasons while making a beautiful keepsake. Once finished it makes a unique handprint gift idea for mom, dad, or the grandparents.
How to Make a Four Season Handprint and Fingerprint Tree
In order to keep this art project fun, it is best to work in short stints with young children. My 2.5-year-old daughter and I worked on this handprint tree together for about 10 – 20 minutes over a five-day period.
Related: Best Art Supplies for Kids
Four Season Hand and Fingerprint Tree Supplies
- 4 wrapped canvas square frames the same size.
- Acrylic craft paints in several colors of your choice [best selling colors I, best selling colors II, and metallic colors]
- Mod Podge
- Paint brushes
- Foam brush for top coat [In brush set above]
- Artist smock or apron
- Paint tray
- Your child’s hand and fingers
Four Season Handprint and Fingerprint Tree Tutorial
1. Paint Each Wrapped Canvas Square a Color for Each Season
- Choose a background color for each season. Note: At first we chose a golden-yellow for fall. We ended up changing it to coral before we did the fingerprints for the autumn square because we wanted to use yellow for the leaves.
- The background colors we used for each season were as follows: Spring = Celery, Summer = turquoise, Fall = Coral, Winter = Bright Blue.
- Allow painted canvas squares to dry before moving on to the next step.
We like to work on our DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Pie Kitchen. Click on the link to learn how to make your own!
2. Trace Your Child’s Hand to Make Four Season Handprint Tree
- Place the squares together with Spring in the upper left corner, summer in the upper right corner, fall in the lower right corner, and winter in the lower left corner.
- Place your child’s hand in the middle with fingers spread across all of the squares and the arm dividing the lower two squares.
- Trace your child’s right hand and arm with a pencil.
3. Paint Handprint Tree
- An older child may be able to do this on their own.
- Colors used: Cinnamon base with thin lines of espresso applied once it dried to give the appearance of bark.
- Don’t forget to paint the sides to give it a wonderful 3-D effect.
- Allow to handprint tree to dry before moving on to next step.
4. Use Fingertips to Paint Leaves or Snow for Each Season on Four Season Tree
We arranged our four season handprint tree with winter and fall on the bottom so we could paint snow and leaves on the ground. Don’t forget to paint the sides of your canvas squares appropriately to give your painting a 3-D effect.
Cut a semi-circle out of a piece of paper and tape it to the square for both spring and summer. (optional–see photos below)
The colors we used for the four season handprint tree pictured are listed below.
Spring Fingerprint Paint –
- Colors used: Green, apple tart, pink chiffon, pink blast, and fuchsia.
- Use a piece of paper with a semi-circle cut out and taped to square if you want to maintain the shape of a tree.
- Allow your child to use their finger to dip in paint to make the leaves and blossoms of spring.
Summer Fingerprint Paint –
- Colors used: Green, Kelly green, Christmas green, vineyard green, celery, apple tart and bright yellow.
- Use a piece of paper with a semi-circle cut out and taped to square if you want to maintain the shape of the tree.
- Allow your child to use their finger to dip in paint to make the tree leaves of summer.
Winter Fingerprint Paint-
- Color used: White
- Allow your child to use their finger to dip in paint to make falling snow, snow on the thumb branch, and snow on the ground.
Fall Fingerprint Paint-
- Colors used: Dark yellow, buttercream, tangerine, orange, cinnamon, espresso, tapestry wine, metallic copper, and metallic gold.
- Allow your child to use their finger to make falling leaves and leaves on the ground.
Note: mixing paint on little fingertips is perfect and creates a mottled leaf effect.
5. Apply Top Coat to Preserve, Seal, and Protect Four Season Handprint Tree
- Use a foam brush to apply Mod Podge so you don’t ruin your paint brushes.
- Use long top to bottom strokes.
- It goes on milky and dries clear.
- Work quickly – it gets sticky.
- Allow painting to dry.
Related: How to Sew a Button Apple Tree
6. Give Four Season Tree as a Gift or Hang and Enjoy!
We hope you enjoy making this DIY Four season hand and fingerprint keepsake as much as my daughter and I did. It may look challenging, but I assure you it is super simple to do. It’s really easy if you work in steps over several days like we did.
For more gift ideas be sure to check out our gift guide with DIY and ready-made ideas for the whole family!
Have fun getting creative with your kids!
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