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How To Make Butterfly Footprint Art

Affiliate Disclosure | in Crafts | by | with 22 Comments

How To Make Butterfly Footprint Art

Can you hug the internet?

If anyone figures out how please let me know. You see, I ♥ handmade gifts, but apart from making my own balms, soaps and shampoo, my crafty score is 0. With Mother’s Day around the corner, though, I decided to look for a homemade gift idea that doesn’t require sewing skills, decoupage, or, um, talent.

Fortunately, I came across this gorgeous photo of a flower pot decorated with butterfly footprints and thought “Hey, my five year old could do that . . . maybe I can too!

Thanks to washable canvases . . .

And water-based acrylic paint, it turns out I CAN! I’ll bet you can, too. If you want to give it a go you’re going to need some kids to get started. I recommend using your own.

[Note: If no kids are available and you want to make this for your mom go ahead and use your own feet. Don’t forget to write your age on the back because she might get them confused with your earlier creations. I mean, sure, the size 7 print might help her keep things straight, but just in case . . . ]


Okay, so you have your kids

The first step is to gain their cooperation. Promise them that they will get messy and hand them their own custom blend of colors. You should be good.

Now grab your supplies and follow these steps.



  • Canvas (9×12 inch or whatever size you prefer)
  • Acrylic paint *
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint pen or permanent marker (optional)
  • Stencil (optional)


  1. Squeeze paint onto a plate or piece of cardboard
  2. Place your child on a surface that allow them to stretch their feet out for easy paint application
  3. Paint the sole of your child’s feet with the main color you’ve selected, then dab on accent colors if desired.
  4. Pick up the canvas and place it against the child’s foot, gently pressing down each toe. You can also reach around the other side of the canvas and press the canvas from the other side to make sure you get a good print. Remember that you’ll want to switch the prints so that the foot that is normally on the left is on the right side, and vice versa.
  5. If you like your print, continue on with the other foot. If not, rinse the canvas with water and try again! If you move quickly it will most likely completely wash off.
  6. Once you have the butterfly shape, add embellishments as desired. I used a paint pen to add antenna and the kids first initial.

* The manufacturer says they’re non-toxic. I’m not sure we have the same definition of toxic, but the paint was on and off my kids feet in a flash. Judge me, okay?


Now for step 7

Give the butterfly print to your mom. Or, if you’re like me, decide to keep them and send her this tutorial instead. Just kidding, Mom! I’m going back to the store tomorrow.


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22 Responses to How To Make Butterfly Footprint Art

  1. MelissaM says:

    What a great idea! Thanks! I too am ‘art challenged’. This looks easy enough though!! I might even do all three of my kids on one canvas.

    Happy Spring!

  2. Abigail Cole says:

    Really cute idea! I love the effect you got as opposed to just one color.. I had to giggle when I pictured myself doing this with my own feet and giving this to my mom…that would one big a** butterfly, lol!

  3. Libby says:

    Oh my gosh! Too cute for words. These types of personal touches make the best gifts anyway!! It’ll be interesting to see what these look like after my boys have a go at it…ummm perhaps they’ll require just a little artistic direction. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Angie Johnson says:

    I think these are darling and am thinking of helping my granddaughter do this as a gift for her mom on Mother’s Day. Thank you for the idea!

  5. Becky says:

    I love this and am actually doing it on the flower pots for all my kids Grandmas and of course Me! Then they get to plant whatever flowers, herbs or vegetables my son picks out (the other 2 are <1 this year). It's triple fantastic and I cannot wait!

  6. Lauren Erickson says:

    Thanks for the lovely idea – I’m always looking for gifts with heart and you have nailed it with this one! We have to mail our gifts, so this will be perfect – not too heavy, bulky or breakable. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

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  9. Danielle says:

    Where did you find washable canvases?

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  11. Bridget says:

    Love Love Love this!!!

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  14. angela says:

    Why do the canvases have to be washable? I feel like I missed something? Can you not do this on the regular canvases you can get at the craft store? Please advise, I really want to do this with my kids….thank you!

  15. angela says:

    Ok, I reread the instructions & saw where you said if you don’t like the imprint you can now wash off the paint try again….I guess I wasn’t awake 100% when I read it the first time :)

  16. lisa moore says:

    Love this

  17. Denise says:

    I just did this with my Twin Granddaughters who are two years old,we had so much fun….had to do it a few times before I got all the toes down….lol I love how it came out….. a wonderful way to remember those beautiful little feet forever….<3

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  20. BeSeven says:

    WHY, WHY, WHY WHY couldn’t I have found this when my daughter was younger?! [Insert desperate wailing sounds here.] She’s almost 12 now, wears a woman’s size 8 shoe, and almost definitely would say it was “too babyish” to do anyway.


  21. manosztar says:

    I want to do this using my 4-month old’s feet while he’s snoozing (we’ll see if I succeed). How easy did the paint wash off?

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