I love making things myself to hang on our walls. I think it really helps make our house feel like a home when we’re surrounded by meaningful artwork. For example, check out this simple canvas my girls helped me make! I’m also pretty fired up about these state canvases I made in an afternoon. I wouldn’t say that I’m an “artist” by any means, but I do enjoy some good DIY projects every now and again. And I am all about things being as easy as possible!!

This project here is another attempt at creating something that’s meaningful and sweet to help decorate our home. With four girls (read about how I’ve changed as a mother over time here), I decided to freeze time by stamping their feet to make butterflies. I first got the idea here – this mom framed her daughter’s butterfly footprints (so cute!). I decided to stamp my girls’ feet on wood. You could also use a canvas.

I hung these butterfly footprints in a room that used to be our (infrequently used) sunroom. We decided to repurpose that room by moving the furniture out and moving some desks in – my girls now do their homework and other projects in that room that’s right near our kitchen. Such a better use of space! See how my girls helped me paint their own chairs for their homework room. I used the same paint colors here for this project to help tie in the chairs and add even more color to the room.

As you can tell by this chalk wall in our mudroom, I love a colorful, happy home!

Find the how-to for these butterfly footprints below…

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I started with some wood pieces I picked up at Michael’s. You could also use a canvas, or stamp on paper and then frame the finished product.

I chose different sizes and shapes for visual interest (make sure both feet can fit!). I could have primed them, but I didn’t bother. I just used wall paint I had left over from various rooms in our house – I also used that same paint to finish the chairs shown here. These butterflies would be hung in the same room as the chairs, so I was trying to pull the colors together.

Butterfly Footprints_Paint

I did some light sanding to smooth out the wood.

Butterfly Footprints_Sand

I then added one more coat.

Butterfly Footprints_Second Coat of Paint

Done! (My girls helped me paint, too – they each did their own wood panel. I just painted the baby’s piece.)

Butterfly Footprints_Paint Complete

After much trial and error, we finally decided that this was the easiest and neatest way to stamp their feet. I had my daughters sit up on the counter, and I moved a bench in front of them. That way I could get down low and make sure we stamped their feet in the right place. The sink (not shown) is also right next to her. So after her feet were stamped, she just swung her feet right into the sink to wash off the paint.

Butterfly Footprints_Sit on Counter

I asked each daughter how she wanted her feet painted, and I did my best to carry out her wishes – stripes, various colors, patterns, etc. I globbed on a pretty good amount as you can see!

Butterfly Footprints_Paint on Feet

Make sure the big toe is on the outside when you stamp each foot. Press firmly across the foot, and then have them lift it carefully so as not to smear the paint.

Butterfly Footprints_Press Feet

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I let the butterfly “wings” dry, and then I then took a paint pen like this to draw the body.

Butterfly Footprints_Paint Pen

I started with a circle for the head.

Butterfly Footprints_Body

I then drew the outline for the body, curling the lines out to touch the wings.

Butterfly Footprints_Outline of Body

Next, I filled in the body. When the paint was dry, I decided to draw a smiley face and eyes – I just used Sharpies for this. Each butterfly’s eye color matches that of each daughter. :) (I drew the mouth with a fine-tipped permanent marker.)

I then drew the antennae. I also decided to add the year, along with my daughter’s name and age – I used the paint pen for this as well.

Tip: Really make sure you have some good flow in the paint pen for best results. Keep pressing the pen down on a piece of paper to get the paint flowing to the tip. You may need to repeat this process as you keep using the pen.


Butterfly Footprints_Lila

Butterfly Footprints_Anna

Butterfly Footprints_Kayla

Butterfly Footprints_Ella

I hung them with 3M strips like these. So easy!

Butterfly Footprints_Collection on Wall

Do you like this idea?

If so, please pin the image below to share it with your friends.

Thanks for spreading the word! :)

Butterfly Footprints by Harvard Homemaker

Hope you like this idea – it would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift! I’m always a sucker for anything involving footprints – or handprints! Check out this “Best Sisters, Hands Down!” art. Something like this would make a fun gift for someone special, too! I also created this Mistletoes plate one Christmas – a sweet way to capture Baby’s First Christmas!

For more Mother’s Day gift ideas, check out this post with 20 thoughtful and creative gifts for her.

What DIY projects have you done where you used footprints or handprints?

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