How to Make a Childs Handprint on a Ceramic Tile
This is a fun craft to do with a group of moms and their kids,
one child per adult works the best. Each mom will need:
---One soft brush, any size but 1/2" works the best
---One jar of "One-Stroke Ceramic underglaze", either Duncan
E-Z Stroke or Gare One-Stroke. (Of course they can share these,
but it's best if they have at least 3 colors to choose from. The
best are a dark green, a dark blue or a dark brown. One jar of
each color will do 50 hands altogether)
---One pint jar of "clear gloss glaze", which all can use.
---Paper towels and a washcloth
---One blank UNglazed ceramic tile, 4-1/4" (for kids 2 or 3
yrs. old or so) or 6" (for kids over 3) Unless you know someone
who does hand-painted tile as a career, these would have to be
ordered in cases of 100 or so. The best thing is to call the
hobby ceramic stores, where you will get the underglaze and clear
glaze, and ask if they have a "molded greenware or bisque tile
they sell", and order the quantity you need. Tell them you would
like them "fired to bisque."
The most important thing is that the childrens' hands are
scrubbed with soap and water, then dried well. Salt, sugar or
oils on the hands will prevent the glaze from bonding with the
tile. Make sure to wipe the tile well with a clean sponge in
plain water. Allow to dry a few minutes.
Tell the kids that it is like hand-painting only without
wiggling their fingers. Make it fun, some get scared. Hold their
clean hand gently over a tile to make sure their hand will fit,
fingers spread out a little. Pick the right size tile and paint
one wet coat of glaze across the flat of their open palm, not too
runny but not too dry, follwing the instructions for mixing on
the bottle. Try to keep their fingers from touching, the more
still they keep their hand, the better the clarity. A good print
will show fingerprints! But if it smears, it usually does, it's
all for fun anyway. If it starts to become a battle with the
child, let him go, when he sees the other kids having a good time
he will offer his hand to be painted. (I say "he" because it is
usually the boys that wimp out, the girls are more adventurous.
Make sure the paint goes all the way to the ends of the
fingers and thumb and press the hand straight down onto the
surface of the tile, quickly but gently and firmly, rolling the
fingers slightly so the print doesnt look like skeleton fingers
lol. Lift the hand straight up and see how cool! Wash their hands
with soap, the paint is water soluable and non-staining, but don't
let them lick it. With a fine brush, write the child's name and
date or birthday or age right on the tile. Set it in a safe place
to dry well.
If you are nervous about smearing the dry glaze, have them
fired at "cone 04" before painting the clear gloss on top. This
is the proper way, but if the underglaze is good and dry and you
are very careful, it is ok to put the clear glaze on unfired
underglaze and fire the tile once at "cone 06" and the results
will be the same. Either way, get the large floppy brush again
and paint 3 thin coats of clear gloss on the tile and fire to
You can buy frames from most ceramic stores that sell the
tiles. They will last forever. Have fun!
Dy Witt used to display and sell at street fairs, and painting
kids handprints was always a fun thing. Her 21 years experience
painting with ceramic glaze is obvious when you view her murals
and tiles here on her website. http://www.dyztilz.com
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