Hot Mess Canvases Are Easy Paintings For Kids To Do – Give it a Try!

With Valentine’s day just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to do a painting project with my little men (ages 2 & 4). It’s a well-known fact that love isn’t perfect. The truth is that love can be downright messy at times. So, with that being said, what’s a more fitting tribute to love and the day dedicated to love, than creating some hot mess works of art. Hot mess paintings not only look great but are also really easy paintings for kids to do.

Love & Art Can Both Be Messy

Hot mess canvases are pretty popular in the crafting community. They don’t require much along the line of painting skills. Which also makes them easy paintings for kids to do. Even my 2 year old toddler is a hot mess master-painter!

My kids love painting… but whenever I paint with them, it’s usually a big mess of colour. I often defer to the fact that I believe they are little Jackson Pollock protegies. Well, the great thing about this project is that the crazier the picture looks, the better! Because in the end that chaotic work of art gets reworked to look like something totally different!

For this project, we created our own stencils with a sheet of cardstock paper and duck tape (no fancy Cricut cutting machine required). Our end results were museum-worthy works of art (move over Pollock). – See the process on how to make your own stencil and hot mess paintings below.

Because we decided to do a Valentine’s day hot mess canvas, we stuck with colours and objects relating to the holiday. But, you can choose whatever colours or objects that you want. Have fun with it. Go wild. And let your creative juices flow!

Hot Mess Canvas - Kids Painting Project

CategoryDifficultyBeginner

Materials
 Child-friendly paints (I used Crayola brand non-toxic kids paint)
 Items to paint with, brushes, sponges, even fingers work
 A small canvas
 Krylon Clear Gloss Spray
 1 sheet of cardstock - colour doesn't matter
 roll of Duck Tape or painters tape
 Scissors
 white paint (acrylic or milk paint), this is for adult use
 stencil brush or paint brush

1

Start by protecting the surface area of your workspace as well as your children's clothes. This project can get messy. For this project, my kids used Crayola non-toxic paint.

2

Using their paint tools of choice (ex: paintbrush, sponge, fingers), have your child apply different colours of paint to the canvas. Make sure that there are no blank spots and all of the canvas has been covered. Let the painted canvas dry (usually 1-2 hours)

3

After the paint is dry, spray the paintings with the Krylon clear coat and again allow it to dry. I use the Krylon as a protective layer so that when I remove the stencil the painting under it stays in place. (Read the directions on the can for the Krylon application instructions).

Make A Stencil
4

Trace or have your child draw an object onto the sheet of cardstock (in our example we traced a hand). I prefer to use cardstock because when applied with paint it's thick enough that paint doesn't soak through.

5

Cut out the object from the paper. When cutting, make your cut slightly smaller than your object (about 2-3mm all around) As we will be making up the area with tape.

6

I cut a heart into our handprint by folding the handprint in half and cutting half of a heart out of the paper (as seen in the photo).

7

Lay and stick the cutout object over top of duct tape.

8

Cut the tape in the same shape as your paper cut out. Leave about 2-3 mm of tape showing (the same amount that you cut your object smaller by). The 2-3 mm of tape will help to adhere the image to the canvas. I cut the heart out the center of the hand the same as before by folding the hand in half.

9

Position and adhere the stencil onto the canvas. Make sure the edges are all firmly pressed down. If the edges don't adhere to the canvas, the white paint applied over top will bleed under the stencil.

10

With a stencil brush or a regular brush, start applying your white paint over the entire canvas.

11

I did 2 coats of white paint, allowing my paint to dry between coats. If you like how the white paint looks after the first coat, you can stop there.

12

Allow the white paint to dry. After the canvas is completely dry. Remove your stencil and admire your hot mess masterpiece!

Ingredients

Materials
 Child-friendly paints (I used Crayola brand non-toxic kids paint)
 Items to paint with, brushes, sponges, even fingers work
 A small canvas
 Krylon Clear Gloss Spray
 1 sheet of cardstock - colour doesn't matter
 roll of Duck Tape or painters tape
 Scissors
 white paint (acrylic or milk paint), this is for adult use
 stencil brush or paint brush

Directions

1

Start by protecting the surface area of your workspace as well as your children's clothes. This project can get messy. For this project, my kids used Crayola non-toxic paint.

2

Using their paint tools of choice (ex: paintbrush, sponge, fingers), have your child apply different colours of paint to the canvas. Make sure that there are no blank spots and all of the canvas has been covered. Let the painted canvas dry (usually 1-2 hours)

3

After the paint is dry, spray the paintings with the Krylon clear coat and again allow it to dry. I use the Krylon as a protective layer so that when I remove the stencil the painting under it stays in place. (Read the directions on the can for the Krylon application instructions).

Make A Stencil
4

Trace or have your child draw an object onto the sheet of cardstock (in our example we traced a hand). I prefer to use cardstock because when applied with paint it's thick enough that paint doesn't soak through.

5

Cut out the object from the paper. When cutting, make your cut slightly smaller than your object (about 2-3mm all around) As we will be making up the area with tape.

6

I cut a heart into our handprint by folding the handprint in half and cutting half of a heart out of the paper (as seen in the photo).

7

Lay and stick the cutout object over top of duct tape.

8

Cut the tape in the same shape as your paper cut out. Leave about 2-3 mm of tape showing (the same amount that you cut your object smaller by). The 2-3 mm of tape will help to adhere the image to the canvas. I cut the heart out the center of the hand the same as before by folding the hand in half.

9

Position and adhere the stencil onto the canvas. Make sure the edges are all firmly pressed down. If the edges don't adhere to the canvas, the white paint applied over top will bleed under the stencil.

10

With a stencil brush or a regular brush, start applying your white paint over the entire canvas.

11

I did 2 coats of white paint, allowing my paint to dry between coats. If you like how the white paint looks after the first coat, you can stop there.

12

Allow the white paint to dry. After the canvas is completely dry. Remove your stencil and admire your hot mess masterpiece!

Hot Mess Canvas Kids Paintings

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and learn about my hot mess kids painting project. If you liked this project, make sure to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook or sign up for email notifications when I put up new posts.

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