Decorating for the holidays is fun and a great thing to have the kids get involved in! Independence Day is a time to celebrate everything our country stands for and to share your American Pride. Help younger kids learn about our patriotic symbols and join in on the decorating fun by creating cute Fourth of July Hand Paintings. These canvas art tutorials featuring a handprinted Uncle Sam and an American bald eagle will look festive hanging in the home every year!
Fourth Of July Canvas Art With Patriotic Hand Paintings
Make these Fourth of July Hand Paintings on canvases, as posters, or even on cards. It might be helpful to teach kids what these patriotic symbols mean beforehand.
The bald eagle was chosen as our national bird in 1782 because of it’s long life, strength, and majestic appearance. The bald eagle also represents freedom, which makes it the perfect art for a 4th of July canvas!
Uncle Sam is a symbol of patriotism and represents the United States and our government. While there are many stories of how Uncle Sam came to be, nowadays it is mostly depicted as “an elderly white man with white hair and a goatee, wearing a white top hat with white stars on a blue band, a blue tail coat, and red-and-white-striped trousers.” (source)
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- Black Marker
- Optional: star stickers, embellishments, glitter glue
Uncle Sam Handprint Instructions:
To start, help paint your child’s hand with red, blue, white, and flesh toned paint. You will need four different paintbrushes ready with the four paint colors open to assure fast application. The trick is to make sure you get everything painted on before the first color gets even a little dry. If for some reason it does, just go back over it with the paintbrush and a tiny amount of paint.
The index, middle, and ring fingers should be painted using red. Paint a thick, white stripe in the center of the palm and the rest of the palm plus all but the tips of the thumb and pinky with blue. Finish by painting the tips with a flesh tone color.
Firmly press your child’s hand down onto the canvas with the fingers pointed towards the bottom edge.
To create Uncle Sam’s face, paint your child’s middle finger blue and the index and pointer fingers red. Paint the palm with a flesh toned color. The thumb will remain unpainted.
Turn the canvas back around. Press your child’s hand down firmly onto the canvas slightly overlapping the first handprint. Allow the handprints to dry completely.
To finish creating the hat shape, paint the index finger red and press down along the top of the palm print. This creates the hat’s rim. Repeat with white paint making a smaller print just above the red rim.
Next, ask your child to give Uncle Sam ears using fingerprints dipped in the flesh toned paint. Then have them dip their fingertip in white paint and give Uncle Sam some hair next to the ears as well as a beard. Make rosy cheeks with pink fingerprints.
Decorate the white part of the hat by using markers or paint to create yellow stars. Stickers would be cute too!
Set aside to dry for awhile.
Use a black marker to draw on eyes, a nose, and a mouth.
Trace the stars and the white areas of the hat, hair, and beard. Draw stripes on the white portion of the shirt.
Your Uncle Sam handprint craft is complete! Kids can embellish the background with glitter, stickers, etc. and write a saying if they’d like.
How To Make The Handprint Bald Eagle:
Place the canvas in landscape position.
Paint the three middle fingers with white paint. Press the fingers down firmly towards the bottom of the canvas. This creates the feathered tail.
Next, paint the palm and fingers brown and the thumb with white paint. Have them press their hand down onto the canvas making a sideways handprint just above the fingerprint tail. You will want the thumb to be in the ‘up’ position and centered to the tail. This create’s the eagle head/neck area.
Repeat this step with the other hand by turning the canvas and having their sideways handprint with the fingers pointed opposite the one you just created. Help your child gently lift their hand off the canvas to avoid smearing the paint. Create the beak by making a yellow fingerprint off to one side of the white thumb prints (head). Allow the hand paintings to dry completely.
Once dry, use a black marker to add eyes and to outline around the white areas to make the paint stand out.
That’s it! Don’t forget to have them add their name, age, and the date on the backside of the canvas! If you enjoyed this Fourth of July Hand Paintings craft idea, you may also like this little man handprint canvas art idea.