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Heart Painting on Canvas- 3 Easy Ways! { For Kids & Adults}

Learn to make a heart painting with 3 easy peasy painting techniques. Fun for all ages!

Heart paintings ❤️are super easy painting ideas, that you can totally get creative with. From kids to adults, these 3 easy heart paintings, will teach you how to have fun with simple (Dollar Store) paints and canvases.

Oh yeah, and no paintbrushes needed!

I want to open your eyes to using unexpected, and unconventional painting tools so that you can discover a world of nifty painting techniques with simple household items.

Plus, if you know me, I love reusing things AND saving $$!

The projects below shouldn’t cost you more than $5 each (including paint), so this makes a great paint party idea or Valentine’s day craft for kids’ classrooms.

I got all my supplies from the Dollarstore, so you should be able to get them too!

Oh, and if you LOVE using the Q-tip painting method below, you’ll also enjoy my tutorial on painting an Easy Cherry Blossom Tree using Q-Tips! Amazing what these little cotton swabs can do!

This project is kid-friendly. If you’re looking for more ideas for the budding artists, check out this 83 painting ideas for kids post.

Valentines Day Inspired Craft

These 3 heart art ideas were inspired by Valentine’s day. My kids and I made them as valentines day crafts. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait for V-day to make these cuties…

Hearts are simple shapes, which makes it easy to get creative & fun with!

Cheap Hack for Making a Heart Stencil

Want a super cheap and EASY way to make a perfect heart stencil (without owning a Cricut)? Then use this simple kitchen item…

Contact paper…or also-known-as kitchen shelf liner!

You know, that water-proof lining that has a sticky side used to line your cupboards or drawers with? You can use that to create simple stencils – a la Cricut (without OWNING a Cricut!).

All you need is a roll of contact paper ( You can pick some up at Dollar Tree or your local Dollarstore), a pencil, and some scissors.

Cut a piece of contact paper to the size of your canvas.

Fold the contact paper in half. Take your pencil and draw half a heart.

Using scissors cut the folded contact paper along the line you just drew.

Unfold and voila!

Peel and stick the stencil directly on your canvas and you’re ready to paint!

You’ll end up with 2 perfect heart stencils. One for painting inside the heart (positive space) and the other for the outside of the heart (in the negative space). I’ll show you what each looks like in the tutorials below.

Positive Space Heart Stencil
Negative Space Heart Stencil

Now that you have your stencils in place, time for some painting! Here are the 3 different heart painting ideas, in no particular order!

Take a look at each, you might even want to do all 3!

1. Heart Painting on Canvas using a Credit Card

Use the heart stencil for the positive space (see above) to start your painting off, then use your favorite paints, and a simple credit card (or any card) to create the super-nifty “swipe” effect.

This one was my favorite technique. I love how rustic it looked- like paneled wood slats. You can totally have fun with and try different colors etc..

It would also make a cool background in an art journal or abstract art piece!

Note: you might want to use a card that you don’t need to use again in stores. Although you can probably wash it off, its best to use an old card you no longer need.

Here’s the first tutorial…

Items you’ll Need:

Step 1: Add your positive space heart stencil (see above) to the canvas. Slightly above the heart (on the edge of the contact paper), pour out your choice of paint.

Step 2: Take your credit card and gently drag the paint downwards until it covers the white on the canvas. Angle the credit card at a 45-degree angle while dragging down (see pictures below).

TIP: don’t drag too hard (I.e. don’t scrape the canvas). Use gentle (light) pressure to drag the paint downwards to get the best effect.

Step 3: Once you’re happy with the pattern (you can go over it multiple times), then wipe off any excess paint from the sides (on the contact paper), before peeling it off.

Step 4: Peel the contact paper off gently. You might get some bleed through (meaning some paint will have run under the contact paper).

This is OK.

Just try to gently wipe any big globs, and wait for the painting to dry. Once dry, use some white paint or any light pastel color, and paint over the negative space to get a crisp and clean painting!

Next, we’ll explore a super nifty acrylic paint technique using a common kitchen item: Cling Wrap!

2. Heart Painting on Canvas using Cling Wrap

Using cling wrap (or saran wrap) in art might sound strange, but it really creates some awesome looking effects. Plus you probably have some laying in your kitchen right now!

The “cling wrapped” paint art ends up looking like a cross between the popular pour-painting (drip-art) and tye-dye.

This painting technique, in particular, is fun for the kiddos. My 8 year old LOVED this one and helped with spreading to paint.

Plus there is ZERO mess!

This technique would also look amazing being used on the entire canvas! There are endless possibilities with this technique…

Items you’ll Need:

Step 1: Add your positive space heart stencil (see above) to the canvas. squeeze some paints onto the white part of the canvas.

Nifty Trick: I added some squeezes of gold acrylic paint in places, and loved the metallic effect in the heart!

Step 2: Cut a generous size of cling wrap (enough to cover the canvas), and place it over top the heart. Now the fun part! Use your hands and move the paint around (kids love this!)

Step 3: Once you’ve had some fun squishing and moving around the paint (clean hands and all!), time to lift up the cling wrap to reveal your masterpiece!

Nifty Tip: Peel the cling wrap in the direction away from you while keeping the cling wrap at a 90-degree angle with the canvas.

Step 4: Peel the contact paper off your canvas. If you have some “bleed-through” paint outside the heart border, simply let it dry and paint over it with white acrylic paint.

Next let’s explore some a fun negative painting technique, using cotton swabs / Q-tips.

3. Heart Painting on Canvas using Cotton Swabs

Using cotton swabs is one of my favorite tools in painting. I’ve used cotton swabs in some other popular painting tutorials too like my Paint Lavender with Q-tips and How to Paint a Cherry Blossom Tree.

Most of us have tons of them laying in the bathroom, and could spare a few, for art’s sake!

Here’s the tutorial!

Items you’ll Need:

Step 1: This time add your negative space heart stencil (see above) to the canvas. Using some bright red paint, dip your cotton swab in it and create a border around the heart. Don’t go all the way to the edge of the canvas with the red.

Step 2: Now take a pink color (either mix some red with white or use a pure pink if you have one). Using another cotton swab, dot the pink into the red dots and extend it beyond the red border.

Step 3: Using an even lighter pink (I like to use fluorescent pink mixed with lots of white), take a cotton swab and dot this lighter pink in the red and extend it to the edges of the canvas

Nifty Tip: To get the cool starburst like effect, concentrate the dots in the center around the border of the heart and lesser as you move away towards the edges of the canvas. Add some gold dots, for a fancy twist!

Step 4: When you are happy with your design, remove the contact paper, and voila! You’ve got a nifty heart art (in the negative space!)

I hope you enjoyed these 3 ways to make a heart painting on canvas- and enjoy making your piece of h-art! ❤️

Here are some more pictures of the finished pieces!

If you liked this tutorial, please show some love ❤️ and pin it!


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Monday 15th of January 2024

Could you use card stock instead of canvas and and tape it down with painter's tape?

Jasmine Dhillon

Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

Hi Cindy,

You most definitely can use cardstock instead of canvas. Enjoy painting these hearts!

Cheers, Jasmine

Kristin S.

Friday 20th of January 2023

I did the q-tip project. I was so giddy when I was done. Super easy and adorable. My kind of craft.

Jasmine Dhillon

Wednesday 15th of February 2023

That’s awesome Kristin!! It’s a fun project for sure- so glad to hear you enjoyed it too :) Thank you for letting me know!

Cheers, Jasmine


Friday 11th of February 2022

The contact paper keeps coming off

Jasmine Khinda

Friday 11th of February 2022

Hi Lisa,

Sorry to hear that. I find some of the cheaper brands have done that to me too (maybe less sticky glue on them?). You could try a different brand if you're able to.

Cheers, Jasmine


Saturday 8th of January 2022

On the painting with the Q-tips, do you have to let the paint dry first before taking off the heart?


Tuesday 1st of February 2022

@Jasmine Khinda,

On the Q-tip painting, is it better to let each color dry between each application?

Jasmine Khinda

Wednesday 26th of January 2022

Hi Nicole, Either ways would work. The only thing I can think of is if you let the paint fully dry it could peel off some of the paint that's stuck on the edges of the heart sticker. So it might be best to take off the sticker carefully while the paint is still a bit wet. Enjoy! Cheers, Jasmine


Saturday 13th of February 2021

I have a question. How long does it take each of the above projects to dry?

Jasmine K

Friday 26th of February 2021

Hi Angie,

It depends on how thick your paint layers are but usually they should dry within 30 minutes.



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