Tag Archives: handprints in clay

Keepsake Handprints

I’ve had several people ask about the handprints on my blog and Facebook page.  These are among my most prized possessions, and I’m happy to share with you the “instructions” to make your own!

  • Find a plastic lid a little larger than your child’s hand.  I wanted three different sizes, one unique size for each of my kids.
  • Place plastic wrap over the cupped inside of the lid.
  • Press air-dry clay into each lid, using the lip of the lid as the mold for the circle.

I used Crayola Air-Dry Clay, but there are other brands available.

  • To make the impression, you’ll need to press the child’s fingers and palm firmly with your hand to get them to sink in deep enough to make a visible impression.  Press each finger evenly, so you don’t get a deeper impression on one than the others.  If you aren’t happy with the impression, knead the clay and start over until you get a nice, even impression.
  • Pinch or press the edges to give it a hand-made look.  Be careful not to wrap the clay around the edge of the lid, or you won’t be able to lift it out.
  • When it’s just right, carve the child’s initials or name and date into the clay.
  • Carefully remove the clay from the lid.  If it gets out of shape, lay it flat and gently press it using something smooth. (If you use your fingers you’ll leave prints in the clay.)
  • Let the clay dry according to the package instructions.
  • For a dimensional, distressed look, paint a base coat in a dark, flat color.  (I used navy blue and hunter green.  Black would look great, too.)  When the paint is dry, use Rub n Buff for the metallic finish.  Rub n Buff is a metallic wax product that gives a beautiful, hand rubbed finish that you can’t get from paint.  It’s available in about a dozen different shades. Protect your work surface, as Rub n Buff is tough to get off.  I usually wear disposable gloves  for easy cleanup.

Rub n Buff comes in many different metallic shades. I blended different shades of gold to get a patina finish.

  • Let the Rub n Buff dry for a couple of days before handling the piece.
  • Display on an easel or hang on the wall with a plate hanger.  Cherish them forever, for their handprints will never be that size again!

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