How to Make Your Baby’s First Handprint or Footprint Mold

Do you want to capture those baby hands and feet? You don’t need to go to a craft store or get fancy materials. Here’s a simple recipe to make a homemade handprint or footprint—it’s really really easy!

All you need to make the mold:
1 cup fine grained salt (A must! But most store bought salt is fine grained)
1 cup of flour
up to 3/4 cup of water
To Finish: acrylic paint(s) and a waterbased sealer or acrylic clear sealer

Directions: Mix the flour and salt together first, before adding in the water. Knead the ingredients together for about 15 minutes or until a smooth textured dough forms. Try to knead until the salt crystals have completely dissolved and been incorporated into the dough. Break into smaller molds and roll or press into a flat surface about ¾ inch thick. Then get your baby’s hand or feet and press to make an imprint! You can use plastic wrap, parchment paper, baking paper or a flattened plastic bag on the bottom of the mold to prevent it from sticking to the tabletop.

When the imprints have been made, put these molds in the oven on baking or parchment paper to dry out on low heat at 100 degrees C or 200 degrees F for 2-3 hours. Halfway during this drying process, stop to turn the molds over. If needed, you can continue to dry them out in the oven for a bit longer, or leave them in the oven (after turning it off) overnight so that the molds can harden sufficiently. Finally, paint as desired with acrylic paints and then use an acrylic or water-based sealer to coat it and finish it off. That’s it!

Note: Instead of using the oven, I tried the approach of just leaving it to dry for as long as possible, in a cool dry environment with low humidity. Since I was in Singapore at the time, because of the extremely high humidity, I had to use an air conditioned room, and tried to leave the molds for a few weeks (and then quickly applied the acrylic pain and sealer!). When the molds were brought back to a temperate low humidity climate, they seems to stay shelf stable. However, the molds left in Singapore started to turn color, become soft and gather green mold! So using an oven is the best method for drying out these imprints!



A Few Words on Diapers: Cheap, Expensive, Thin, Thick, Cloth & Disposable…

Cheap vs. Expensive
A more expensive or name brand diaper product may not necessarily be the best one for your baby. It could be actually reeking of fragrance and quite thick in material. What matters most is if the diaper is absorbable, and minimizes the chances of your baby getting diaper rashes. A good thin absorbent diaper may be more expensive in Singapore, but well worth it! What I have found is that in the US, most diapers (even the cheap, store brand ones) seem to be actually quite thin already, so it matters less which ones you use. I was actually surprised as I had been using what I thought was a thin absorbent diaper from Singapore, but when I got to the States, I saw that the products here was actually even thinner!

Mix & Match
Who says you need to stick to one type or brand of diapers? As your baby gets older and if diaper rash becomes less of an issue, you can use a mix of diapers. I use the more absorbent better diapers at night and for her long naps, and the cheaper diapers during the rest of the day.

Cloth vs. Disposable
Some say cloth diapers are better for baby especially in terms of diaper rash, while others say there is not much difference to using cloth compared to disposable diapers. I am not an expert on cloth diapers, but here are my 2 cents’ worth based on some experience with them. They work great if you use a cloth diaper service, or if your baby doesn’t urinate a lot! Because the moment the cloth diaper is wet, you pretty much have to change it, or your baby will be sitting in a wet diaper with the wet soiled cloth next to the skin. My little one would wet a cloth diaper almost every half hour. So if you want to use cloth diapers, here’s my advice: use them in the daytime when you don’t mind changing the diaper often, but not at night or during daytime naps. Oh, and you may not want to use cloth diapers if you baby gets the loose stools when teething, like mine. Trust me, it’s really not a pretty sight.