Karyn Cole Karyn Cole is the lucky mom of 2-year-old girl/boy twins, Mia and Miles. After teaching elementary school for over 15 years, she now spends her days trying to enrich her class of two and organizing the chaos that is her household. After bedtime, she enjoys baking, crafting, and watching bad reality TV.

My kids love to paint and I enjoy adding a little holiday decor around our home. This simple Valentine canvas craft was perfect for our family.


First, I picked up two inexpensive canvases at Hobby Lobby. I planned to purchase plain white ones, but then I fell in love with these small burlap squares. Using my Silhouette Cameo, I created two vinyl stencils. I cut out a simple heart design and some heart-shaped balloons. You could also use Contact paper to cut your designs by hand. Once cut, I placed the stencil on top of my canvas and adhered it securely to the burlap.

I set up our painting area while my kids were napping. It is much easier to keep the mess to a minimum if I have all the materials set up before I bring them out to paint. I always cover our table with brown butcher paper, purchased by the roll at the dollar store. Then after we are done with our project, I let Mia and Miles go wild and create a mural on the paper before we clean up.

My vision was for Mia and Miles to fill in the open area of the stencil using their fingerprints. As usual, they had a different idea. Rather than dabbing their fingers on to the canvas, they decided to create more of a finger-painted look. Their art rarely looks like the initial picture that served as the inspiration for the project. I try to go with the flow – this is a time for them to be creative, not follow set rules!

I used four colors of paint, but I gave them to Mia and Miles one at a time on paper plates. Once they finished with one color, I gave their hands a quick wipe and then gave them a new color. The only guidance I gave them was to try to fill in all of the blank space.

Once they were done and happily painting on the butcher paper, I gently peeled back the stencil. I allowed the paint to dry for a few hours and then outlined everything with a Sharpie marker. I added a Valentine quote as Mia and Miles proudly placed our new Valentine canvas masterpieces in our entryway.

These paintings make me smile every time I see them. I can’t wait to pull them out every February for years to come. And each year when I do, I will always remember Mia and Miles frozen in time, paint all over their bodies, huge smiles on their faces, creating on our back patio.

Will you try your hand at making a Valentine canvas, too? Let us know how they turn out!

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Category: Arts & Crafts

Tags: crafts