Baby, Make

Toddler 2-in-1 Painting & Some Tips

We went to a craft playdate today and made this Christmas tree painting using the Scotch painter’s tape method…however, when I got home I realized that we had TWO pieces of artwork and not just one.

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Using painters tape to create a negative image is nothing new but if you plan ahead you can create a set of matching artwork.

Just line your painters tape up side-by-side and overlap it a little bit. Then draw or trace your image onto it. Peel it up then cut out your design and fix it to your canvas.

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I just told E to paint the whole tree – it gave him something to focus on rather than painting just the edges or in one corner of the paper. Once it dries carefully peel up the tape as a sheet and attach it to a new canvas creating two piece of matching artwork…and only one mess to clean up.

It could be changed up for each season – a heart in pink, or in blues with an umbrella or an Easter egg in pastels…etc.

TIPS for Painting with a Toddler:

Painting with a toddler should be easy right? Just give them some paints and let them go! However if you want to end up with something other than a soggy paper and puddle of brown water – here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

1. Buy a decent painters smock.


It will come in handy for more than just paint (cooking, playdoh, etc). I like this one from Ikea because it covers him down to his wrists.

2. Use a canvas


Obviously if your just painting to keep them entertained computer paper is fine but if you want something you can frame/hang then using a canvas or alternatively canvas paper or canvas panels helps keep their art from wrinkling up. I like canvas paper & panels because they are cheaper than buying a stretched canvas, and easier to frame. You can find it with the paint supplies at any craft store. Also if you use canvas paper you can cut it down and frame the part they painted (since toddlers tend to paint only one area of the paper).

3. Choose the right paint


There are tons of kids paints on the market but usually they are watery and don’t cover or mix well. I just buy the washable acrylic paints. They’re non-toxic and clean up easily. They come in a broad range of colors (including metallics & neons) and don’t run and puddle like kid’s paints do. Which leads me to…

4. Create a palette


If I give E every color of the rainbow, he will use every color of the rainbow, which leads to…BROWN. Lots and lots of brown. Since he’s a toddler and doesn’t fully grasp color mixing – I try to give him 3 or 4 colors that are in the same range – like yellow, lime green, grass green & blue or pink, purple, blue and aqua. It could be cool to do all metallics too. Creating a palette means that their paintings will look different each time rather than just being a mash up of the same five colors.

Good luck and happy painting!



1 Comment

  1. Master Bathroom Artwork | Bliss & Miscellaneous

    March 12, 2014 at 7:53 am

    […] N’s One Year photobook (which MUST be completed sometime before he turns one), 2) E’s Christmas tree paintings (which need to be replaced with new artwork), 3) a bag of birthday party supplies for E’s 3rd […]

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