Handprint Rainbow Art

This past week we came up with a new way to make handprint rainbow art!  It was pretty simple and it turned out really cute!  We put our newest rainbows into our art frames along with the first rainbows we ever painted, and they really do a lot to brighten up our kitchen and our days!!  There’s just something about handprint art that is so super special, isn’t there???

Handprint Rainbow Art

handprint rainbow art

Of course, after we finished our first handprint rainbow, my 5 year old son said, “Mom, why is red on the bottom of my rainbow?”  Oopsy!  So his rainbow is actually a reverse of what it should be.  It’s still such a sweet piece of artwork that we kept it as a conversation piece, and it actually made for a great teachable moment.  I corrected my methodology when helping my 3 year old make hers, and I will make it very clear in the directions that follow how to get your rainbow in proper color order, but do pay attention to the written directions as the photos sometimes show the reverse!!

Materials Needed:


Start by painting the child’s hands in 5 different colors; one color from tip of finger down to base of palm so that you have 5 stripes of color when finished: red on pinky, orange on ring finger, yellow on tall man, green on pointer, and blue on thumb.  

handprint rainbow art

Pay close attention to the written directions because many of our pictures are showing the reverse rainbow goof but were too pretty not to include!  

I used foam brushes to apply the colors.  Work quickly so that the paint won’t have time to dry.  Stamp the child’s hand on one corner of thick paper, at an angle pointing inwards.  We used watercolor paper.  Repeat with the child’s other hand and stamp it on the other bottom corner.  

handprint rainbow art

Be sure to grab a few photos of their very cool-looking hands when you’re done, too!  This is more than half the fun!!

handprint rainbow art

handprint rainbow art

handprint rainbow art

Wait for the paint to dry.  Like a watched pot that never boils, watched paint never dries, so go play a game, sing a song, dance to some music, have a snack, and read some books to pass the time.  

When the handprints are finally dry, gather 5 pipe cleaners in red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.  Carefully poke the ends of the pipe cleaners through the paper at the tips (or just beyond the tips…I did one each way) of the matching fingerprints and gently pull any extra through the back until you get an arc shape running from fingertip to fingertip.  

handprint rainbow art

Fiddle with the pipe cleaner arcs until you get something that resembles a rainbow.  This is what the back of the paper will look like.

handprint rainbow art

The arcs will not be laying flat at this point and will not until you frame the art.  It’s important to get it fixed as best possible before attempting to frame though.  

Now get a frame and carefully lay the rainbow art in it.  Fiddle with it until you get it looking just right, and then hang it on your wall to admire.

handprint rainbow art

handprint rainbow art

handprint rainbow art

I love how symbolic these handprint rainbows are.  My kids truly light up my life, and I’m reminded of that each time I see their little handprints forming a rainbow on my wall.

 Our rainbow handprint art was inspired by B-Inspired Mama‘s signature rainbow handprint photo!

See MORE of our rainbow arts and crafts:

Have you ever tried any handprint rainbow art?

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book! http://www.inlieuofpreschool.com/ http://www.parentteachplay.com/

  • Shannon says:

    These are awesome. I love them framed with the other rainbow paintings. I will be trying this out this week! Thanks for the great post 🙂

  • Renee says:

    That is so pretty and fun 🙂 love it!

  • I love this idea—thank you so much! My kiddos will have so much fun with this project and I love how you have arranged them on the wall—BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  • Amy says:

    I love this! What an amazing idea 🙂

  • I love the rainbows, and the more abstract rainbow art, that ended up on your wall! What a cheerful looking craft when it’s up there! The kids photos are wonderful too.

  • I LOVE this!!! I’m so excited to have inspired it. 🙂

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  • Roopa says:

    LOVE how this turned out and great idea using pipecleaners!! We love painting our hands and will be trying these!

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