How to get a picture perfect Print
Getting picture-perfect footprints and hand prints from a screaming, squalling, squirming baby/child is not always an easy task, let me tell. I have tried many a times.
With so many adorable ways for capturing your child’s footprints and hand prints to cherish forever, it’s an important skill to have.
Eventually, of course, I got the hang of it and I was grateful to pick up a few tricks of the trade for getting the perfect print....
Step 1: Assemble your supplies.
If you buy a DIY kit, try to get the no-mess kind that won’t leave your own hands ink-stained. Make sure it’s a big enough pad for your child’s foot and hand and have at least two for each foot/hand, just in case. Also have an alcohol wipe or other cleaning wipes like baby wipes handy for a quick clean-up before your child kicks and gets ink all over. Alternatively you can use paint (like we have). Make sure you get some non-toxic paint and just some plain paper.
Step 2: Get in position. If you are doing a newborn baby it is easier to do it while your baby is sleeping, this makes it easier for you and usually a better print.
- For footprints: If your baby/child is awake, position yourself so that you are facing your baby’s/child's feet to make it easier to reach. Make sure you have something firm, like a clipboard or a book to place the foot on when you take the print.
- For hand prints/fingerprints: If you baby/child is awake, position your self next to them to make it easier to reach their hands and help guide them when making the print. We suggest you have the baby/child sitting at a table or you have something firm like a clipboard to place the hand/fingers on when you take the print
Step 3: Support the foot/hand.
- Footprint: Grasp your baby’s/child's foot around the ankle, with your thumb on top of the foot and the rest of the finger circling around. Use your right hand for the baby’s/child's right foot and vice a versa.
- Hand print/finger print: Hold your baby’s/Child's hand with there palm facing up in the palm of your hand.
Step 4: Coat and re-coat. Before you get to the next super-important step, take a minute to coat the surface of the area that needs to be covered in ink/paint
- Foot – make sure the entire bottom of the foot is covered, especially the toes–so there aren’t any missing spots in your print.
- Hand - make sure the entire palm of the hand is covered – so there aren’t any missing spots in your print.
- Fingers - make sure you cover the entire finger's 1st section (so the palm side, the top section of each finger to the 1st knuckle line.
Step 5: Shake it out. This step is the real key.
- Footprint - Children and especially babies tend to naturally flex and extend their feet a lot, or curl up their toes at the exact minute you try to take the print, so while keeping the foot firmly (but not too firmly, of course) in your grasp, give the foot a gentle shake. It will help the muscles in her little foot relaxed so hopefully those toes will uncurl!
- Hand print - Children and especially babies tend to naturally flex and curl up their finger at the exact minute you try to take the print, so while keeping the wrist firmly (but not too firmly, of course) in your grasp, give the hand a gentle shake. It will help the muscles in her little hand relaxed so hopefully those fingers will uncurl!
Step 6. Roll from the bottom.
- Footprint - Place the heel of the baby’s/child's foot on the paper first and then “roll” the rest of the foot down, so the toes hit the paper last. Quickly remove the foot so it doesn’t smudge. Wipe the foot and repeat the process on the other foot. We found with the bigger children that getting them to sit on a stool with a piece of paper on the floor in front of them to put their foot on to get the print was the easiest way to get a good footprint.
- Handprint- Place the ball of the baby’s/child's hand on the paper first and then “roll” the rest of the hand down, so the fingertips hit the paper last. Quickly remove the hand so it doesn’t smudge. Wipe the hand and repeat the process on the other hand. We found with the bigger children if the sat at a table and did a couple of practices first before painting there hand we got it first go.
- finger prints- Place the paper on the edge of a clip board or table and press the finger firmly down along the edge. Quickly remove the finger so it doesn’t smudge. Wipe the finger and repeat the process on the other fingers.
Be confident and quick–you got this!
And voila! Admire your handy work and your impressive printing skills.