handprint and footprint keepsake

How to Make a Handprint Keepsake

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Have a special occasion coming up? Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day? One of my mommy friends came up with the idea of giving a handprint keepsake of our little ones to our moms this Mother’s Day. Moms do so much for us. At first we considered doing salt dough molds, but my friend (Rachel) wanted to do something with more depth. Thus, she created this idea. This idea was all her! Full credit to this creative woman!


(Isn’t my mommy pretty?!)

Rachel did a lot of trial runs of the handprint keepsake before I came over, but this is how the process went. Before you start it is important to state there is a lot of trial and error. Not all of them will be perfect and some will break. But we thought the good ones were amazing enough to waste the time on the ones that weren’t.

Materials

Play dough (store bought or homemade)

Plaster of Paris

Water

Sand paper

Spray paint

Wooden board (optional)

Caulking (or something else to glue the hands to the board)

Instructions

We started by making play dough. You could do store bought or make your own. Any recipe will do.

foot and handprint keep sake play doughfoot and handprint keepsake play dough

After you have the play dough is the fun part! Take your little person’s hand or foot and smush it into the dough! You will have to try and retry (little people have a mind of their own and don’t always stay still). We found that the harder and deeper you push in the dough, the better. This way, the plaster is thicker (less likely to break).

We set all or our molds on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

foot and handprint keepsake

Then make your plaster. Read the box for instructions. Note that the plaster dries fast so you will want to have all of your play dough molds made. You will want to fill a plastic baggie with the plaster and then cut a small hole so you have control while filling the molds.

Foot and handprint keepsakefoot and handprint keepsake

Rachel then picked them up and dropped them onto the counter. This helped get rid of the air bubbles.

foot and handprint keepsake

LET IT DRY! Probably an hour or more. I know, I know.  It is forever! We were often so excited to see them that they broke when we took them out. Some will break and you just move on.

I would let the plaster molds continue drying for a while before using sandpaper to shape them. When you feel confident they are dry, you can begin to shape. Again, some will probably break. It is an art.

Now you are ready to spray paint.

Foot and handprint keepsake

After the paint is dry, wala! You have your handprint keepsake! You can keep the hands and feet this way or glue them onto a board. I wrote a poem describing my son to add to the memory. My father thought caulking was the best way to glue them to the board and this seemed to work well!

Finally, you are ready to give (or keep) your little person’s hands and feet. What a precious keepsake!

Poem

These are my fingers, these are my toes.

They are so special at 4 months old.

I’m learning to roll, sing and play;

I like to smile and kick all day.

These moments are precious we don’t want to forget

To love every second we are going to get.

Foot and handprint keepsake

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