Some hospitals have the practice of imprinting the feet of newborn babies on commemorative birth certificates for the parents to keep as souvenir. Now is that not cute? It is a lifetime remembrance of the tiny size of the infant – something that can never be duplicated anymore in a lifetime. Some parents these days also like to celebrate their children’s youth by recording each phase in their lives through videos, photographs and handprints. The first two – videos and photographs are common ways of journalizing your children’s growth and development. Yet making handprints is a unique way of keeping an account of your kids’ growing up years.
Plaster of Paris handprints are more often preferred because they are tangible reproductions of the hands. Here are the steps in making plaster handprints:
- Bring out the materials in making handprints. You need to prepare a ribbon or string, paper clip, permanent marker, disposable gloves, plaster of Paris mix, aluminum pie plates, old newspapers, large plastic spoon and large plastic bowl.
- Look for old clothes to use while doing the project. You could get dirty with the paint and you do not want good clothes to be soiled. For your child, let him wear old shirts and pants which he does not use often anymore, and so with you too. You may use disposable plastic aprons too.
- Read the plaster of Paris package and carefully note down each instruction. Combine the plaster of Paris with the correct amount of water as indicated in the instruction. You can buy plaster of Paris in craft and art stores. They can also be found in some bookstores. If you buy a package of this item, you will usually find a set of molds for handprints, facial masks and footprints.
- Put on your gear. Wear the old clothes and apron and put on the disposable gloves. Help your child as he put on these paraphernalia to make sure everything is in order.
- Mix the plaster of Paris thoroughly in the plastic bowl. The mixture should have enough water to hold, but not too watery or creamy. It should be stiff and thick so the handprints you will do will hold well. Knead the mixture with your hands if it becomes very thick already that the plastic spoon or wooden ladle cannot handle it anymore. Just make sure that you are wearing your disposable gloves. If you are sensitive to the smell of plastic of Paris wear a clinical mask so you will not inhale it as you do the mixture.
- Transfer the mixture into a shallow and flat tray. You may use a disposable aluminum pie pan or any shallow baking pan. As soon as you have poured the mixture to the new container, immerse your child’s hand into the plastic of Paris. Hold him so he will not move. Unnecessary movements can ruin the mold. When the imprint is done, remove the child’s hand and wash off with cool, tap water.
- Make a small hole at the edge of the plaster of Paris. This hole will be used for inserting a wire or thread so you can hang the molded handprint.
- Allow the handprint to dry fully for about 24 hours. When it has dried up, take out the mold from the aluminum pan. You can see how tiny your child’s hand is – a remembrance that will last forever.
You can make handprint projects each year to mark your child’s growth. You may also use a glass frame to protect it from wearing out in time. Hang the handprints on a spacious wall according to the age of your child when they were made.