- Washable white paint (you can also use acrylic but I try always to use washable)
- Black card stock or construction paper
- White paint pen, crayon, or colored pencil
- Black permanent marker
- Paper plate (optional)
- Cookie sheet (optional)
- Wash tub (optional)
After you’ve gathered your supplies, write “Happy Halloween” or another festive phrase at the top of your paper. I used some black card stock I had on hand but I would expect construction paper to work as well. For the text, I used a paint pen, which worked nicely although I found that going over my lines twice made for much brighter text. You can see the difference between the “Happy” which has been traced over a second time, and “Halloween” which had not yet been traced.
Now you’re ready for those adorable little footprints! Squirt some white paint onto a paper plate and use a small foam paintbrush to coat the bottom of your little artist’s foot. (I find the foam paintbrushes to be faster and tickle less than a standard bristled brush. I stock up when Michael’s has them on sale 20/$1.) My kids are used to footprint art and I trusted them to cooperate, so I went ahead and painted both feet at once. If this is your first time doing footprint art or you have a wiggly toddler, I recommend painting one foot at a time.
After this step, I got really busy with the kids and an unexpected repairman showing up (“I have to answer the door. DON’T MOVE!”) so I didn’t get photos of all the next steps.
I put the prepared paper on one of our crafting cookie sheets and brought the paper to the child’s foot. In my experience, trying to bring a painted foot to paper is much more difficult than keeping the foot still and bringing the paper up to meet it. I stamped one foot at a time and then set the paper aside to dry. Be sure to stamp the foot with the heel of the foot at the top of the paper and the toes near the bottom so your ghost will be right-side-up!
I had a tub of water next to the craft table so after stamping, the kids could wash their feet off right away and dry them on some old towels. In retrospect, I should have put a drop cloth down before we started–I did end up cleaning a few spots of paint (and cloudy water) off the floor but it wasn’t too bad.
After the paint was completely dry, I used a black permanent marker to draw eyes and a mouth on each footprint ghost. I added “Boo!” a few times for extra detail and wrote each child’s name and the date (not pictured) on the bottom of the page. I didn’t trace over the “Boo”s because I was concerned about smearing the footprints but they still came out totally readable. And that’s it! All in all, a cute, easy project to get ready for Halloween!
(There are many versions of this craft online. I remember seeing this one at Balancing Home.)