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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting
skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen
years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity
ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!
I'm looking for a homemade handprint clay recipe. My daughter will be one next week
and I would love to make a baby handprint plaque to capture her tiny hands as a special
gift for grandma who lives in England. Can you help? It would be great if you could
also suggest ideas on how to decorate baby hand impressions. Thanks! – Dawn, Ontario.
Hand print or footprint frames and plaques make terrific keepsake gifts for family
and friends, especially loved ones we don't get to see very often. It's also a beautiful
way to memorialize the growth and achievements of a child.
Making your own hand print clay at home is not only cheaper than store-bought versions
but also very easy and fun to do. Unlike ready-made kits, homemade ones offer so
much more flexibility and creativity in terms of size, color and design.
There are many different things that can be used to decorate clay handprint plaques
and create truly unique personalized gifts to commemorate your kid's joyous occasion.
You can use pre-made embellishments from craft stores online or locally. And, if
you're looking to save a few bucks or love to recycle, reuse or repurpose things
around the house, my suggestion is, go through your children's toy box or your jewelry
box. Chances are you'll find missing puzzles, broken small toys or mismatched earrings.
Be creative and arrange these free stuff in a beautiful way to jazz up your clay
The ideas to decorate homemade handprint plaques are virtually limitless. For example,
if your recipient loves the sea, a nautical-themed hand print plaque embellished
with an assortment of interesting seashells, corals and starfish is sure to impress
If your gift is intended for the avid gardener, then adorn with cute butterflies,
small silk flowers, seeds or even little twigs from your backyard.
For someone who loves all things sparkly and glittery, embellishments can be anything
from rhinestones, plastic jewels and gems, colored beads, crystals to sequins. Whatever
you choose to use to make your homemade clay plaques more memorable for that special
person, don't forget to add the date!
Here are 2 exciting ways for you to make baby hand prints – the ever popular salt
dough recipe (great for making ornaments) and another that uses quick-setting white
plaster. I personally like the second one as it lasts very well for years to come.
Homemade Salt Dough Recipe
1. Combine these ingredients – 4 cups flour with 1 cup salt and 1½ cups water – in
a large mixing bowl. Add a few drops of food color if desired. Knead dough by hand
(or in mixer) for about 15-20 minutes.
2. Roll the dough out on your work surface. Cut around your child's hand or cut circles
(or any shapes) out for making hand imprints.
3. Make a small hole for hanging and poke tiny holes to prevent air bubbles. Place
on a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
4. Bake at 300ºF for 20-25 minutes or until golden, depending on the thickness. It
may feel a bit soft at first but don't worry, they'll harden as they cool.
How to Make Baby Handprint Plaque with Plaster at Home
The materials needed are some old newspapers, a disposable aluminum foil pan (the
size of your finished plaque), quick-setting cement ( fast setting clay, Plaster
of Paris), embellishments of any kind, acrylic paints in assorted colors, and water-based
gloss exterior varnish.
1. Lay down plenty of newspapers to cover your work surface.
2. To make a hanging wall plaque, use a nail to punch 2 small holes at the corner
edge of the bottom of your foil pan. Then thread a strong cord, or ribbon through
3. Mix clay according to manufacturer's instructions, adding water until you get
a mixture that has the consistency of cream. Slowly pour it into your foil pan.
4. Press your baby's hands – spread her fingers nice and wide – deep into the middle
of the cement. You can help by pushing each little finger and thumb to a good impression.
Gently pull her hands out, taking care not to move the clay.
5. Press the embellishments of your choice into the clay. Allow to air dry completely.
6. To remove, simply turn your foil pan upside down and make a small slit (where
the cord is) with scissors. This will help the dried clay easily release from the
7. Your homemade clay plaque is now ready to paint with your favorite color paints
and remember to protect it with a few coats of varnish. Alternatively, you can leave
it as it is.
Featuring cute homemade soap crayons that are simple enough for kids to make themselves,
or with only a little help from adults. Also, get step-by-step instructions on how
to embed toys into homemade soaps.