Helping Hands-School Auction Item

When I joined Pinterest this summer I came across this idea for a school auction item. I immediately repined it and knew I would try it for our own school auction in the spring. Since this is just a photo linked to a Flickr account, there were no directions on how to go about doing this, or what materials were used. It appears to be a canvas with water colored hands glued on. At first I was going to go the canvas route but decided that I wanted the art to be framed. Here’s how I went about doing my “Helping Hands” piece.


  • 27×40 Frame (fit 14 hands)
  • Matte Board (I bought 36×40 and trimmed it down to 27×40)
  • Elmer’s Spray Glue
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Watercolors
  • Sharpie Marker(s)

I traced each child’s hand/arm on their own sheet of watercolor paper and the kids watercolored their hand/arm. *Tip: the less water, the brighter the colors will be.

I then traced each of the hands with black Sharpie marker and cut them out. I arranged the hands on two pieces of paper from a large roll that I measured out to 27×40. I wanted to ensure that all 14 hands could fit on that size.

After trimming the yellow matte board to 27×40, I arranged the hands again. One at a time, I sprayed the Elmer’s spray glue on the back of each hand and placed it back on the matte board. *Tip: This glue is heavy duty! You need to do this outside on newspaper. Attempt to not get any of this glue on YOUR hands! I did this at home in the backyard…not really something I wanted 14 first graders helping with!

After all of the hands were arranged, I wrote the quote in pencil and placed it in the frame to transport back to school.

I then traced the quote and hearts in black Sharpie marker. I filled the hearts in with red Sharpie.

Here’s the item on the auction table at our event. I’m very pleased with how it came out!


5 thoughts on “Helping Hands-School Auction Item

  1. I LOVE this too!! I would like to produce something similiar. Can you tell me…did you finalize the writing by actually using the black and red sharpie directly ON the glass? So you actually traced over your writing in pencil with the sharpie once the piece was framed INSIDE the glass. By your directions, it appears as such. Want to be certain this is true. Thanks so much!!

  2. Did you have a problem using the spray glue? I sprayed it all over the back of the hands, but they would not stay glued onto the board. Any tips??

    • I didn’t have an issues at all…other than getting it off me! I put each hand face down on cardboard. I then sprayed it, picked it up, and set it onto the board. I pushed it down with the lid. I used Elmer’s Spray Adhesive glue.

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