- Arts and Design
Handprint Keepsake | Great Personalized Gift
Handprint Keepsake: Preserve Your Child's Handprint
Looking for a unique craft for you to make with your child that you'll both treasure forever? Making a handprint keepsake is easy--this handprint craft uses only three ingredients that I guarantee you'll have in your kitchen.
Making a handprint (or footprint) keepsake makes a perfect gift, too--moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers will all love this little piece of your child.
This adorable heirloom can be set on display, or used as a paperweight or an ornament, too!
Image Credit: Author, all rights reserved
Handprint Keepsake - Simple Craft for DIYers
Do You Consider Yourself Crafty?
Why Make a Handprint Keepsake?
Handprint keepsakes are the perfect gift
This handprint craft is such an easy way to capture your baby's or child's hand or foot print in time. This is also so much less messy than using plaster or even clay. These also make great gifts, and because each batch of this recipe makes several impressions, you can cross several people off of your list. Plus, the kids will love to pass out these handmade gifts, especially to grandma and grandpa!
ATTENTION TEACHERS! If you're trying to come up with the perfect handmade craft idea or art project for your class to make for their parents (I know alot of classes make gifts for their parents for Mother's or Father's Day or around the holidays), this is it! It's incredibly inexpensive, and it's something that the parents will be so excited to get. While the easiest way is to bake these handprint keepsakes, you can simply leave them out to dry in a cool, dry place for about a week to achieve the same result.
Not the crafty type? Hey, I don't judge! Most days I'm happy with the fact that I've worn clean clothes. There are pre-made kits available so all you have to do is get the hand ready, slap some paint on it or push it in some clay, and you're done. Easy peasy.
If You'd Rather Buy - These are Good Options!
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 2 hours 55 min
- Ready in: 3 hours
- Yields: 3-4
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup flour + 1/2 cup extra
- 1 cup water
- Heat oven to 200 degrees Farenheit.
- Add 1 cup flour to the salt.
- Add water to the mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Use the extra flour as needed to result in a fairly dry dough ball. When giving the dough the fingerprint test (press your finger into the dough), your finger should pull away cleanly.
Handprint Keepsake: Shaping - How to make a handprint keepsake
Divide the dough into 3-4 equal sizes. I was able to make 3 handprints out of this recipe--my son was almost one year old at the time and he is a BIG boy, so you may be able to get four or even five prints out of this dough.
Then, roll each lump of dough into a ball. Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface, then flatten your handprint keepsake dough with a rolling pin to about 1/4" thick. We'll eventually be getting these onto waxed paper, so you may want to transfer your rolled-out dough there, now.
Mistakes CAN be fixed!
Simply re-roll your handprint keepsake dough back into a ball and try again!
Getting the Perfect Handprint Keepsake - This may take a bit of practice!
This is where it can get tricky! I had my husband help me with this part (but my baby is jumbo-sized), so you might find it easier to have a second person help you. Hold your child by the wrist, and press his or her hand firmly into the dough; be sure to give a little more pressure at the thumb and pinky, as these fingers tends to leave a light impression.
Warning #1: Something about this causes young children (i.e. ones that are too young to be able to follow directions) to reflexively grasp--they'll almost immediately try to "grab" at the dough. The only way to get around this is to pull their hand away as quickly as possible!
Warning #2: Some babies may also not want to open up their hands for you to press them into the handprint keepsake. If this happens, gently slap you own hand against your babies (as if you were giving him or her a "high five" repeatedly--I don't know why, but they open their hands this way.
Once you have your prints the way you want them, transfer them onto waxed paper (if they aren't on there already) and pop them in the oven for 2.5 - 3 hours.
Looking to hang your handprint keepsake? Poke a hole in the top with a straw before baking.
Handprint Keepsake - All baked and ready to go
This is what my handprint keepsakes looked like when they were done. They don't brown up as you might think from baking. They remain almost white, they just look a little drier. They should be extremely hard to the touch, and should pluck right off the waxed paper.
Note: Check the back of these--if they still look doughy, put them back in the oven for awhile (maybe 20 minutes or so). For whatever reason, mine always looked just a bit doughy, even after I put them back in once or twice. This could be because I live in a humid climate, however.
Handprint Keepsake Before Paint - Natural-looking handprint keepsake
I allowed them to dry on a drying rack overnight for good measure. If you want, you can leave these their natural color--I was making these into handprint ornaments, so I decided to paint them with acrylic paint. There are a ton of different types of acrylic paint you can choose from; I decided to go with a pearl/shimmery white color.
If you decide to paint them, use a stiff brush to apply the paint so that you get into all the crevices. Allow the paint to dry about 20 minutes in between coats. I used two coats of paint on my handprint ornaments.
Crafting Supplies for Handprint Keepsakes - Handprint Keepsake Tools
Handprint Keepsake: Finished Result - My little handprint ornament
Didn't these come out wonderfully? I made them into ornaments by stringing ribbon through them, and I made sure to write the date on the back of it.
Hint: Do you know how to tie a bow/knot so that it doesn't come loose? You know how you cross one side over the other to form a knot? Do that for the first one...and then, re-tie the knot (so that you have a double), but this time, cross the other end of the ribbon over first. For me, I usually cross right over left, so for the second knot, I crossed the left side over the right to form a sturdy one, then tied my bow. My husband showed me this trick--it's called a "square knot."
© 2011 Lauren