What could you do with colourful stamp pads and some creativity?
Thumprint art cards! For my thumbprint art project, the result came in the form of mini Christmas cards.
Thumbprint art is really fun and easy to do. They are great indoor activities for kids and I know that adults love doing them too. You could even make thumbprint Valentine's Day cards since Valentine's Day is round the corner.
To sidetrack a little from my thumbprint craft...
I love making simple little Christmas cards for my co-workers. Instead of the standard-sized cards, I feel that mini cards are a lot cuter and take up lesser space on the noticeboards, leaving them with more space for other important notices at their work stations.
I'm not very good at craftwork so most of the time, my mini cards consist of my simple doodles coloured in with colour pencils or retractable crayons.
These are the farewell cards I made for my ex colleagues in 2011. The cover page consisted of their name in acrostic style with positive adjectives to describe each of them.
The back was where I penned personal messages to them (hoping to touch them to tears with my sincerity... yeah right.)
Though finger-breaking and sleep-robbing (due to last minute colouring and writing), the card is nothing spectacular at all. However, I know that most of them would display their cards up on their magnetic boards and I hope that seeing their names in acrostic positive adjectives every day would create positive energy in them and put a smile on their faces.
I make mini farewell and good luck cards for my graduating students as well. Some of them would keep the cards in their wallets for good luck during their PSLE.
I do not pen personalized messages for my students but I would write a generic good luck poem, adding in my specially-for-students email address in the card for them to keep in contact.
I would also add in a good luck crane in which they get to choose the colour that they like.
For my advanced P6 class last year, I penned personalized message to them since it was just a small class of 6 students.
Back to the topic of thumprint craft...
I thought of making cards for my co-workers last Christmas as despite being in the organization for only a few months, there were already so many people whom I wanted to pen Thank You notes to.
As compared to doodling and colouring, thumprint craft proved to save a lot of time and finger-breaking pain during the whole card making procedure.
You have to buy the right type of ink pads for thumbprint craft. You would need those that come in soft sponge and which ink isn't too pigmented as you would want your drawing to be visible on those prints.
The mini ones you see here are Faber Castell Fingerprinting ink pads. The sponge is soft and the ink runs slightly watery. It is solely for fingerprinting (you can't use it for rubber stamping). The bigger light pink one is from VersaFine which was purchased from an art shop some time back. The pad isn't soft at all. The ink is oil-based yet water-soluble. It has the opacity of a pigment ink, but offers the quick drying convenience of a dye ink. I bought it for rubber stamping from way before but it works very well for fingerprinting too. I really love how versatile this ink pad is as well as the sweet shade of pink.
Prior to making my cards, I googled "thumbprint crafts for christmas" to draw inspirations from and before coming up with the final concept of the 4 little animals on the cover, I played around with many ideas in my drawing book.
I personally find it a good practice to do some rough work first before starting on the actual cards. It allows me to see the various ideas in my head. In the case of Christmas theme, some of the inspirations that I had gotten from various websites did not turn out according to what I had visualized in my mind's eye at all.
Sometimes the same idea would turn out so differently as seen in the reindeer pair depending on how I print them (the amount of ink, the amount of pressure, the angle of my thumb, whether I use thumb or finger etc).
Sometimes, some of the ideas did not turn out quite like thumbprints as seen in the socks theme. It turned out too simple.
I had to also decide on the style of illustration I wanted. Having eyes as dots or having eyes with iris and sclera made a lot of difference to my characters. Also, the positioning of the features affected how my characters turned out.
When I finally decided on the theme of 4 animals, I realized that sometimes some animals turned out cuter than the other depending on the initial size of the print and how I spaced the features. I also realized that I had to eliminate the dog as it was not distinguishable enough. The hubby could not figure out what animal it was (or maybe the hubby is isn't too bright).
I found these 2 cats a lot cuter than the animals above. I used my fingers instead of thumb for them. The style of nose and positioning of ears made quite some difference.
After practising enough, it was time to print on the actual cards. Remember to get some wet cotton pads ready for wiping the ink off the thumbs before going on to the next colour. I worked in a conveyor-belt method. I printed the body of the first animal all at once on the 30 cards, wiped my thumb and switched colour to print the second animal and so on. Last to be printed was the heart.
The ink dried up pretty fast and very soon I was drawing in the features and making animal characters out of these oval prints.
After drawing on so many cards, I began to discover that except for the pig, all the other animals looked just like seals when they were without their ears.
Featured here is just a sixth of the entire number of cards I made that night.
A packet of Marks & Spencer Mini Milk Choc Wafer Curls was the generic Christmas gift for each colleague in the department. Of course, the people in my branch as well as other colleagues who have rendered much help and guidance to me got more gifts on top of this.
Have you ever created thumbprint art? What are some ideas that you came up with?