Art Lesson Plan: Handprinted Card


  1. pencil eraser
  2. black paint or black-inked stamp pad
  3. fine-tip black pen
  4. fold 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper into 4 OR re-use end pieces of white bristolboard, folded in half OR pieces of white cardboard found inside bought shirts or undershirts.


  1. using ink or paint, stamp three black dots, touching each other, using a pencil eraser, or your finger
  2. with pen, add antennae, a V-shape with two small dots at the end of them, then add three legs on each side of the centre dot (6 total).
  3. use fingerprints to make other figures (Ed Emberley’s Great Thumbprint Drawing Book is excellent). For a bird, put your thumbprint horizontal, put a beak on the right, a reverse “3” for a tail on the left, a reverse “3” for wings on the body, between the beak and the tail, then add 2 sticks for legs at the bottom, adding a small “7” touching his left foot, and a small reversed “7” touching his right foot to make his toes. For a Christmas Santa, make your thumbprint vertical, add 2 double horizontal lines just above the centre of the print, add a pompom on top of the print for his hat, make a smiley face with 2 dots for eyes and a smiling mouth in the bottom part of the fingerprint, then make a beard outside of the fingerprint by starting at the left outside corner of the fingerprint touching the bottom hat line, and going around and around like a curly loopy line, on the outside edge, continuing his beard around to the right side and finishing at the bottom hat line on the right side. A bunny for Easter can be made by putting 2 thumbprints horizontally, one on top of the other, adding 2 floppy ears on the top print and dot eyes with the “u” shaped nose sitting on top of the 2 larger “U” shapes for the cheeks drawn down from the centre of his nose. Add 3 whiskers on each side of the cheeks, a cotton ball tail on one side of the bottom print, along with 2 small “u” s for each of his feet, under the bottom fingerprint. For Valentine’s Day, a heart is made by overlapping 2 tilting-outward vertical fingerprints, joined at the bottom, then adding an arrow through them.
  4. Have students practise their rhyming/writing by making a verse or poem for inside, in their best printing or handwriting.***Stress RE-USING pieces of cardboard to create new and useful cards.***

This project is one of Ten Easy Environmentally-Friendly Arts and Crafts Projects:

  1. Coasters: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  2. Pencil Holder: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  3. Magazine Holder: for siblings, friends, parents
  4. Shell Butterfly Magnet/Brooch/Barrette: for siblings, friends, parents… (symmetry)
  5. Bird Feeders: for anyone
  6. Twig Picture Frame: for anyone
  7. Handprinted Card: for anyone
  8. Tin Can Stilt Walkers: for anyone
  9. Goldfish Bowl: for anyone
  10. Pop Bottle Terrarium: for anyone

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