It is really easy to make your own baby footprint and handprint keepsake. The beauty of making your own is that you can personalise it in any way you want – make the dough different colours, different shapes or do different hand/foot combinations. You also don’t have to be arty to make this keepsake and if you mess it up, it’s easy to redo! You can also make it using ordinary kitchen cupboard essentials so there’s no need to spend money on fancy products.
To make the salt dough, you will need:
The recipe is simple: you want equal amounts of salt and water with double the quantity of flour – just mix as much as you need. For my baby keepsake plaque, I used 1 cup salt, 1 cup water, 2 cups of flour.
Mix the ingredients together until you get a stiff dough (like play-doh). If you want a coloured dough, add a couple of drops of food dye to the mix and keep kneading until the colour is even throughout.
Roll the dough out using a rolling pin.
At this point, if you wanted to hang your plaque up when it is done, use something sharp like a skewer to poke holes into the dough.
Now comes the hard bit – get your baby’s hand and feet and press them into the dough. An extra pair of hands may make this task easier, particularly if your baby doesn’t want to uncurl his hand! Press their hand/foot quite firmly into the dough to make sure you get a good impression.
If you want to add carvings such as the date, baby’s name etc, now is the time to do it. If you mess up the carving or the impressions, all you need to do is re-roll the dough and try again.
Leave the plaque somewhere to dry for about three days – you may want to turn it over on the third day to ensure it is fully dry. If you want the plaque sooner, you can place it in an oven and bake the plaque at the oven’s lowest temperature for about 6 hours however this often causes the dough to puff up a bit and so may distort the impression.
Once dry, you can apply paint or varnish if you wish, or use some ribbon to hang it up on the wall.