Fingerprint Art

27 Mar











Can’t get much more original than fingerprint art!

This is a wonderful way to incorporate art and technology into your forensics science lesson!

I have completed this project with students as young as 3rd grade and as old as 12th grade.  It is VERY simple!

Before beginning this project I teach about fingerprinting history, identification and actual procedure for fingerprinting.

Making Fingerprints Activity

Fingerprint Identification Chart

History of Fingerprinting 

Procedure for Fingerprint Art:

1)   Have students make a fingerprint using an inkpad and 8.5 x 11 white paper.  Have students repeat the fingerprinting process many times on the paper – to ensure at least one clear print is taken.

2)   Scan the paper containing the fingerprints – my scanner places the image directly into Picasa, which is the editing program I use.  Save the scan as an image.

3)   Open the image in a photo-editing program.

4)   Crop the image so only one fingerprint in shown.  I scanned the above example to only show the best and clearest portion of my fingerprint.

5)   This is where the “fun” comes in!  Have students play around with saturation, focus, brightness, shadows… and everything else.  The result will be a fantastic, original work of art!

6)   I printed images up for my students and placed them in a Dollar Store frame.  We displayed these during an open house!  Made a huge statement and parents loved them!


Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Art, Lessons, Resources


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6 responses to “Fingerprint Art

  1. heather

    September 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Hey, which photo editing program did you use for this?


    • STEAM Education

      July 21, 2014 at 10:20 pm


      • Patricia

        August 31, 2016 at 1:27 pm

        Google no longer has this. Have you found another program?

      • STEAM Education

        August 31, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        Yes, last year I used iPhoto or PicMonkey!

  2. Debbie

    November 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Which photo editing app or software did you use for the Fingerprint Art. It’s really beautiful!

  3. Janina MR Bradley

    January 5, 2019 at 10:51 am

    what standard did this lesson support?


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