Kids Craft – Footprint Truck Art

Finished canvas #1.

When my son finally transitioned from his crib to a full-size bed, we let him choose what theme he wanted for his big-boy room. Being the typical 3-year-old, he enthusiastically chose the construction truck bedding, and announced that he wanted his room to be all about trucks.

Challenge accepted!

I bought several canvases of different sizes that fit his room and used the pictures of trucks from his comforter to inspire our very own truck painting (using his feet and hands as the parts of the trucks).

He was eager to help me with the paintings, so much so that I had to “sacrifice” a canvas to let him just smear paint all over it (this masterpiece is hanging in his bathroom… he said it was a painting of a dinosaur). Letting him have his own creative space helped me convince him to do the rest of the paintings “my way.” Win!

I let him pick the trucks from the comforter that we would copy, and he first selected the cement mixer (an excellent choice!). I used a paint brush to carefully apply paint to his hand so that I could better control the amount of paint (you don’t want it to be too globby).

I held his wrist and guided his hand to the canvas, instructing him to keep his fingers together so he made the shape of the cement mixer’s back end. Then I removed the canvas from his reach! He really does love painting and he wanted to take globs of it to smear all over the canvas. Again, putting another paper in front of him while I finished the truck painting was essential. He was happy and so was I.

Here is the comforter my son picked out from Target. We used these colors and truck shapes to inspire our art.

Using the picture from the comforter as a guide, I carefully painted the rest of the truck. Once the paint dried, I used a marker to add in the smooth lines to further define the truck shape.

We used his foot for the front end loader, my foot for the dump truck, and his tiny forearm for the back of the tanker truck.

Two smaller canvases.

After all was said and done, I realized that our paintings needed backgrounds, so I carefully added in the blue sky, buildings, road, grass, and crane. I think the end result is fairly close to the original pictures, but the important thing is that when my son looks at the paintings on his wall, he remembers the fun we had that day and is proud that he made his own art.

Daddy Doll Tutorial

Daddy Doll

Lots of people travel for work or are separated and little children often have a hard time understanding why Daddy or Mommy isn’t around all the time. When my husband went on long trips for work, I decided to make a doll version of him that I had seen online. The concept is pretty simple. The final doll winds up being about 11 inches tall and is shaped like an oval. I took the boys to the fabric store and they chose a very cozy fleece fabric for the back, so that their Daddy Dolls are very hug-able.

Materials needed:

1/4 yard each of

  1. plain white fabric
  2. cozy fabric of your choice for the back

Poly-fil stuffing for the doll

photo transfer paper for fabric

photo of the person (fully visible from head to toe with as plain a background as possible)

Step 1: 

Take the photo and print it in reverse onto the photo transfer paper (follow directions that came with the paper). Trim the photo close to the edges of the person so that it has very little excess.

Step 2: 

(Again, follow the directions that come with the transfer paper). Iron the photo onto the white fabric, making sure to put a light pillow case in between the paper and the iron so that it doesn’t stick. My first try was a failure because I didn’t iron the photo long enough. The second time, I did it for twice as long as the directions suggested and had more success.

Step 3:

Peel back the paper backing so that the photo is on the fabric and let it cool.

Step 4: 

Place “wrong” sides together of cozy fabric and the photo fabric and sew it almost all the way around.

Step 5: 

Turn the doll inside out and stuff with Poly-fil. Sew the end shut.

Bonus – add a silky tag to the doll before sewing the end shut so that the doll has another cozy piece for little fingers.

Easy way to keep your children’s loved ones close when they are far away.