Use a bath sponge to make larger paw print stamps.

How to Sponge Paint Paw Prints

by Joanne Thomas

Sponge painting paw prints is a fun idea for a children's arts and crafts project or for decorating walls or furniture in kids' rooms. The motif is simple enough for children and parents to create successfully, and it can be adapted to any size and to look like it was made by any animal, making it especially appropriate for little ones who love pets and animal storybook characters. The necessary supplies are inexpensive and easy to find.

Find a picture of a paw print to copy or trace. For inspiration, look at clip art programs, storybooks and websites with information about animals. Look for an image that is made up of basic shapes -- one larger, rounded half-moon shape for the "pad" part, and four smaller, irregular oval shapes above for the "toe" parts of the paw print. Trace the paw print shapes onto tracing paper, or keep your picture close by to copy.

Cut the paw print shapes out of tracing paper, place them on a dry, clean sponge and trace around the outlines with a marker. If you didn't trace your print, just draw it freehand directly onto the sponge. For smaller paw prints, draw all the shapes on one kitchen sponge. For medium size prints, draw the pad on one kitchen sponge and the toes on a second sponge. For large prints, use bath sponges.

Cut out the paw print shapes -- the pad and four toes -- using scissors.

Stick the cut-out shapes onto the flat surface of a whole sponge using a hot glue gun. The four toe shapes should be lined up above the pad shape to resemble a paw print. The backing sponge will serve as a handle for the stamp. Wait for the glue to dry.

Wet your sponge stamps with cold water and ring them out so that they are slightly damp but not dripping. Pour some paint onto a paper plate. You can use just one color, or as many paint colors as you like.

Hold the sponge stamp by the handle and press into the paint so that the whole stamping area is covered with paint. Dab it on the paper plate a few times to remove excess paint, then press it onto the surface that you are painting on. Press it down flat on the surface for a few seconds without wiggling the stamp, then pull it back up.

Rinse the paint from the sponge stamp with cold water so that it can be used again.

Items you will need

  • Kitchen or bath sponges
  • Tracing paper (optional)
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paints
  • Paper plate


  • Test your stamp on a piece of scrap paper before starting your actual project. This will help you learn how much paint you need to apply to the stamp to achieve the effect you desire. You can also try applying paint to the stamping surface with a paint brush.
  • For a fun craft project at a children's party, buy plain white t-shirts and fabric paint, and let each child stamp their own shirt to take home.
  • For whimsical, animal-themed decor, sponge paint a winding row of paw prints along a surface. For example, you can leave a trail along the top of a dresser or crossing a hardwood floor, to make it look as if a bear, dog or lion has walked by. Optionally, paint the silhouette of the animal at the end of the row of prints.


  • Only adults and supervised older children should use a hot glue gun, which can cause burns if used incorrectly.

About the Author

A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.

Photo Credits

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