The Expressive Hand #BabyArt

For Christmas this year, Brooks wanted to make a little something special for his immediate family. He’s not at the best age for arts & crafts things, but we were referred to The Expressive Hand by a friend and decided to check it out in hope we would be able to make a little somethin’ somethin’ for Brooks’ grandparents and aunts & uncles.

express yourself

Side Note: I was not paid or compensated for this post in any way. The Expressive Hand folks don’t even know I was there! Just wanted to share our experience & Brooks’ artwork from our visit! 

expressive hand

The Expressive Hand is a paint your own pottery studio in the Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Handprints, Footprints and Paw Prints are Always FREE and Make Great Design Motifs – Pricing is All Inclusive and the Pottery ranges in price from $8to $60 per piece {No Studio or Sitting Fee!} and their services include: Unlimited colors, Tools, Supplies, Stamps, Stencils, Glazing and Firing -> not to mention the Employees were very helpful too!

paint art

We knew we wanted to make something for the family members special from Brooks, but because we had a number of people to buy for and would be giving other things as well, we didn’t want to spend a small fortune. So we initially went there with the plan of doing handprints on tiles {which were $8 each!} the expressive handbrushes

We picked out the pieces and they decided to pick out the colors as well.


The employee working that day – sadly, I forget her name – was very helpful & patient with Brooks. We went as soon as they were open on a Sunday morning before the place got busy so we had extra time to work with little man.


Unfortunately, much like our Valentine’s Day DIY Baby Hand & Feet Love Print gifts for the family, Brooks wasn’t really into doing the whole hand print with paint thing. He was more interested in the squishy feeling of the paint on his hands and not too interested in putting his hand flat on the tile for a proper print. handprintupclose

We gave it a few tries but the handprints weren’t looking so great so then we decided to go a little different route -> Abstract Baby Art!

art print

We put a bunch of paint down on the tiles and let Brooks go nuts. We tried to space the colors out as much as we could, to get some colorful variety of his masterful finger strokes, but other than that he was given free range to “create art.”


Obviously, he had a blast.

green handprint

And apparently he took the whole Artist thing very seriously – maybe we have a future Picasso on our hands?

serious artist

Also, fortunately for everyone involved in Brooks’ creation – all the paint used was water based, safe for little ones, and easily came out of all our clothes – because by the end of this outing, both Brooks & I were covered in paint! Charles, the photographer & visual art director stayed pretty clean! Ha!


An action shot of Brooks going nuts

in the moment

I love the serious little look he has on his face the entire time. He was on a mission!

little artist

I would say we were there about 45 minutes or so – start to finish – and this is what Brooks ended up with!

finished work

I think he did a pretty good job of spreading out the colors and I love how you can totally see the little prints where he painted with his fingers.

I added his name and date to the bottom – so everyone would be very clear about who is was from and when he created this magnificent pieces!

Abstract Art at ten months old?! Obviously, Brooks is very advanced…{#notbiased}


We left the tiles at the studio for a week where they were in charge of the glazing and firing -> they told us to pick it up in a week -> and they offered curbside pickup so I didn’t have to get out of my car or park to get the goods.  I was excited to see how everything turned out. shoulders

And here’s what the finished product looks like:
brooks the artist

I think they look like fireworks on the tiles, which is pretty fun – and as you can see the colors totally pop from the glazing. I got little tile/frame holders as a part of the gift as well, so the tiles can proudly be displayed in the grandparents houses!

I also gifted a framed photo of Brooks creating the tiles as part of the gift too – so you can see little man in action!


I’m so happy we went to check out The Expressive Hand – the prices were great, the pieces turned out nicely and we had a lot of fun. I can see us totally going back there again -> this might turn into a regular holiday event for little man!

pain your own pottery****************

Do you have any fun arts & crafts creations you’ve done with your little one?

Please share!


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  • Reply Katie D. December 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I tried salt dough ornaments with my 5 month old and it was a no go! I couldn’t hold her, pry her fist open and press her hand flat at the same time! There was a studio like this that set up shop at a baby boutique but tiles started at $45! Too much $$ for me!

  • Reply Patty O December 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    All I can say is that I absolutely loved my “Work of Art” from my very talented Grandson Brooks! What a great and original idea for the Grandparents! Thank you Sweetie!

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