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Easy Idea for Guest Sign In Keepsake

I thought of a way to create a fun reminder of Reina’s Art Party when Reina was creating some of the art for her party a few days before her party. She had so much fun making hand and footprint panels to hang at the party, so it got me thinking that a ‘sign in’ canvas would be both fun for the kids and an awesome memento to put up in Reina’s playroom.

We included this activity part of the Art Gallery “Guest Admission” station which connected it to other gallery areas like Patron Libations and Interactive Art Experience (see the full party information here).

This was a late in the game idea but was super easy to pull together. Here’s how to do it:

  • Gather materials needed: large paint canvas, variety of paints (we used acrylics), 1 paper plate per paint color, fine tip sharpie marker, rags or paper towels.
  • Designate 2 adults: 1 person to help the kids create their hand print and 1 person to help wash the paint off.
  • Make a list of each guest’s name (carefully double check the spelling) so that you can mark them off as they make their hand print.
  • Pour enough paint into paper plates to cover the plate with a slightly thick layer of paint.
  • Ask the child to choose their preferred color.
  • Assist them with pressing their hand on the plate so that they get their palm covered well with the color. Tip: gently hold their wrist throughout the paint process so they don’t ruin their clothes.
  • Explain to the child how to get a great handprint: they need to keep their fingers spread apart a bit, you’ll guide them to a good spot on the canvas and they should press down evenly on the canvas and hold still for a few moments afterwards.
  • Guide the child’s hand to where you’d like their hand print and gently but firmly press their hand to the canvas. It’s best if you ask them to hold their hand in place for a few moments while you press each finger and the palm down to be sure of a good print.
  • Lift their hand away from the canvas and guide them to the hand washing station where the second adult assists them with cleaning up.
  • Either keep a note with the color/area of each child’s hand print to snap a quick pic on your phone with the child and canvas showing.
  • Once all guests have made their hand prints and the paint has dried, use the sharpie to note each name next to the hand print. Variation: you could also write the names along one finger if you’d like a pure white background.

One thing (not shown) that we did after the fact, when the paint was fully dry, was add Reina’s handprint to the area that we’d left empty. It did overlap slightly which actually looked cute although it’s not what we’d intended to do…we’d simply forgotten to leave a big enough space.

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All photos by Marla Smith