Handprint 4th of July T-Shirts

These 4th of July t-Shirts are a kids crafts idea by Mackenzie, Raising Wild Things Blog. She's a regular contributor to our website and does the most amazing crafts projects together with her three kids!

Handprint Fireworks T-Shirts for Kids

I've wanted to do a painting project with the kids for a while now, but I wasn't having any luck coming up with a fun and creative idea. I wanted to do more than just give them some paper and paint and let them have at it, so I came up with a fun and easy 4th of July crafts: handprint fireworks t-shirts.

Suggested ages: 3 and older

Time required: Approximately 10 to 15 minutes per shirt

Mess level: High

Supplies we used

  • Plain solid-colored t-shirts (We happened to have red and blue on hand.)
  • Craft paints in various colors (In keeping with the 4th of July theme, we used red, white, and blue acrylic paints; you can also use fabric paints.)
  • Small containers to pour the paint into (We used a few small paper plates.)
  • Paint brushes
  • Baby wipes (or wet paper towels/any other wet cloths) to wipe off hands
Materials needed for kids crafts project

Steps we followed:

  1. Lay out the t-shirt on a dry, flat surface. (We lucked out with a gorgeous day when we did this project, so we did it outside on the kids' plastic play table where I wasn't worried about making too much of a mess.)
  2. Pour some of your paints into separate containers.
  3. Using a paintbrush, paint your child's palm with one color. (Or, if your child is old enough, he or she can paint it themselves.)
  4. After your child's palm is coated, press his or her hand, fingers splayed, onto the shirt wherever you want the "fireworks" to appear. (Again, if your child is old enough, he or she can do this unaided.) Each handprint will make up a part of one complete fireworks burst.
  5. Repeat this process at various angles in a circle pattern (palms overlapping) and with all of the colors you'll be using to create the desired number of fireworks bursts. (We did one color at a time and used 1 - 2 handprints in each color to achieve our 4th of July t-shirts; we were able to get two complete fireworks bursts on each shirt.
  6. How to make a handprint fireworks t-shirt

  7. Optional: Paint the year and/or child's name onto the shirt. (We did the year.)
  8. Let paint dry completely.

Fun 4th of July Crafts

My kids had a blast (pun intended) doing this project and were so proud of their work. We're now trying to come up with more ideas for handprint painting projects!

Kids with their self-made handprint t-shirts

Helpful Hints

This project was fun, but it was very messy. I was originally going to do this with all three of my children, but after seeing how messy it was even with my 5- and 3-year-olds, I decided against doing it with the baby.

I wiped the kids' hands off with baby wipes between colors and then had them wash their hands.

Although I have no doubt I could have done this project alone with my kids, I was grateful my husband was around and could help with hand washing between colors so that we didn't have handprints all over the house.

Read also our tips and tricks for paint clean up.

About the Author

Mackenzie writes about the hilarity (and sometimes missteps) of raising young children on her blog, Raising Wild Things (www.raisingwildthings.com, www.facebook.com/raisingwildthings ). She has three wild things of her own (well, four, if you count her husband): a 5-year-old daughter, a 3-year-old son, and a nearly 1-year-old son.

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