Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 15, 2010

Fingerpainting & A Little More Mess

Anna’s been really into finger-painting lately.

I’ve gotten a few questions about what paints we use – we’re using the Crayola Washable Fingerpaints.

This project is almost always followed by a bath as it tends to be a full body adventure – we just take off her clothes and let her paint wearing just her diaper (hence no photos I’m comfortable sharing here). It’s all usually done right after lunch and before nap time in the early afternoon – she usually goes down for a nap sometime between one and two.

I’ve got a layout in mind using some of these little masterpieces. It’s on my list.


A few months ago I wrote up a little review of Keri Smith’s newest book release Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes. I’ve been opening up the book on random occasions and attempting to make a mess according to her directions. Here’s my latest little adventure in that book:

(1) Grabbed a screw from the top of my desk. Yep, it was just laying there. Not sure where it really belongs.

(2) Did a bunch of scratching on the page with the screw. Tore it out of the book (left the bottom part that has the instructions for the page before).

(3) Used my trusty glue stick to adhere the torn up scratched pieces into the book. I couldn’t resist drawing in a little grid for all those torn up pieces.


  • 1.

    My daughter called it “handpainting” when she was smaller, and it ALWAYS turned out as a full body affair! love her handprints!

  • 2.
    Alexandra said…

    My two experienced finger/body painting in much the same way – I used to strip them down to their diapers, put a drop cloth on the floor, put some paper down and let them go crazy right there on the floor. Add a little fun music and you’ve got yourself a party! A bath after was a must for us too :)

  • 3.
    Jennifer said…

    I bought 4 of Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal’s from Amazon as Christmas gifts. (One being for myself) We’ll all get them the same day and I’m looking forward to see how we (our ages span over 30 years) all interpret the directions. We’ll come back together next Christmas and compare. Fun Fun

  • 4.
    dawn said…

    I love that you have Anna finger paint. She must love it and have so much fun. Can’t wait to see what you do with them, hope you will share it. Such a neat thing for you to do in your book,looks cool to me.

    I keep forgetting to ask you, are you working/thinking/planning on what to do with your pictures from Greece?

  • 5.
    Judy Webb said…

    I am LOL. No way do I have to artifically make a mess. They ( messes)follow me. I have taken photos of my scrapping space and will certainly record that mess, not to mention the top of my desk. Love you Ali and love your children.

  • 6.
    Kendra said…

    Ha ha…..full body experience… funny! And appropriate!

  • 7.
    Diana H said…

    I bought the book on your advice. I just have such a hard time ripping, tearing, painting in a book! But looks like I need to get over it! Thanks again for your inspiration!

  • 8.
    leah a said…

    Hey Ali! Just wanted to share this link with you because in your santa letter you wrote that you wanted a new electric toothbrush-

    Hope Santa fulfills your wish! :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks Leah!

    • ….
      leah a said…

      no problem! what a great deal! :)

  • 9.
    Tinka said…

    My sister always put her kids out on the patio with paints and/or sidewalk chalk….and stripped down to diapers or underwear. Those were always full body experiences since the kids invariably ended up using each other for their canvases! Using Scotch tape on each other to make funny faces was another great creative outlet. Need to pull out those photos and make some layouts! I know how much my nieces and nephews will appreciate it…now that they are all grown up!!

  • 10.
    Leah said…

    My son loves “handpaint” too. Because of the mess, we often do it outside on sunny days (which in California can happen any time of year…)

    • ….
      Steph said…

      We love fingerpainting here too. In the summertime, we will fingerpaint outside with vanilla pudding, wearing bathing suits. I put food coloring in it and they have a blast!

  • 11.
    Melanie K said…

    I finally got the Mess book and I love it! Whenever I need to make something, but have little time … and too big of a mess to sort through, I flip to the first page that I can do (with things available and in my eyesight). Bam. Instant gratification. And I inevitably LIKE what I do!
    Instead of cutting strips of paper and dropping them into glue on the page (have you did that one yet?), I used aluminum foil pieces. so pretty!

  • 12.
    Yolanda said…

    I remember those painting in a diaper days. Enjoy them while you can!
    The mess book looks interesting; I’ll have to look into that.

  • 13.
    Kellee said…

    When my daughter was small, I would tape up paper in our walk in shower. She loved her “painting room” and cleanup was a breeze….when she was done, remove the art, close the door, turn on the water, and done!

  • 14.
    Sarah said…

    Thank you for addressing my PAINT question. We’ll have to try it sometime. I’m sure my son would LOVE IT. Although, we may have to do it on the kitchen counter because I would hate for us to get paint on the area rug in our dining room. Great tip on wearing JUST a diaper, too. I’d imagine it is messy. FUN, FUN! :)

  • 15.
    Kelly said…

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    My December Daily page today included painted hand prints of both my sons. They loved doing it as I told them it was for something very special. And I love the end result.

  • 16.
    Els said…

    My daughter was into the full body painting experience too and still is if given half the change (she’s 7 now). She made a comment about dancing and painting at the same time the other week.
    I used to tape paper from a roll that we got at Ikea on our salon table. It was an exact fit in width and she would have a go at that.

  • 17.
    DaniW said…

    We have another variation here in Australia, just add a few drops of food colouring to shaving cream (the foamy spray can kind), preferably outside in the garden, strip them down and let them go.

    The shaving cream acts almost like soap, so clean up is super easy, doesn’t even matter if it gets in their hair. Our kids just love it and end up covered from head to toe!

  • 18.
    linda said…

    Wow, Ali! The color combinations that Anna came up with are beautiful and very rich- especially the lime/turquoise/green combination! I think you’ve got a budding artist there. :-)

  • 19.
    Diane said…

    When my kids were little, I found fingerpaints designed for the bathtub. I stripped them down, threw them in (no water until clean up) for some great fun decorating paper, toys, walls and each other. Then when it’s time to clean up, turn on the water and rinse everything down.
    **We had no trouble with staining, although you should check depending on your bath surfaces.

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