Are you wanting to preserve your little one’s hand and footprints as a keepsake? If you are then you are reading the right article.
In this article, we will list our favorite clays for making handprint and footprint impressions in clay. We will also offer some tips on what to look for in clay, and answer a few commonly asked questions.
As this helpful video below shows, it is very simple to create great impressions. That is if you are using the right clay.
In a hurry and don’t have the time to read the entire article. Here is a quick summary of what we consider the best clay for handprints and footprints.
|Product Name||Why We Picked It|
|Pearhead Babyprints Keepsake Kit||This kit from Pearhead includes clay, a shaping ring, three different colored ribbons, and a rolling pin. It is an air-dry clay kit so no baking is needed and it comes with everything you need.|
|Co Little Baby Handprint & Footprint Kits||These keepsake quality kits come with everything you need to create a print set that would thrill anyone. It includes the following items; air-dry clay, a standing picture frame, a set of lettering stamps, and a lifetime warranty. These kits are ideal for creating newborn handprints.|
|Little Hippo Baby Ornament Keepsake Kit||This kit from Little Hippo includes air-dry clay, two display easels, four ribbons, lettering stamps, paints, design cutters, and paintbrushes. It delivers amazingly detailed clay handprints.|
|Staedtler Fimo Air Basic Modeling Clay||Sculpey III is polymer clay which means it has to be baked in an oven to be hardened. Some might see this as a negative but, as a rule, polymer clays are more durable than air-dry clays. Sculpey III comes in a variety of colors and is a very soft handprint clay.|
|Sculpey III||If you prefer to free form your keepsake instead of using a kit, we recommend using Staedtler Fimo Air Basic Modeling Clay. It is oft enough to not require too much pressure. Yet, it captures amazingly detailed handprints.|
|BITMEE Baby Handprint and Footprint Kit||BITMEE has made every effort to make this the safest baby footprint kit on the market. From certified baby-safe clay to the acrylic safety glass in the frame the BITMEE Baby Handprint and Footprint Kit every part of this kit says safety.|
Best Clay For Handprints and Footprints
In the overall scheme of things you have three main options when it comes to clay for handprints and footprints They are:
- Air-dry clay
- Polymer clay
- Make your own
By far air-dry clay is the most popular and is what comes in most kits. Polymer clay offers a few advantages but requires baking to harden. Making your own is a great way to involve older children in welcoming a new addition to the family.
There are many recipes for making your own online and the subject is deserving of its own article.
Here we will share our recommendations for the best individual clays and clay kits for making footprints and handprints.
1. Pearhead Babyprints Keepsake Kit
A great baby shower gift or keepsake for yourself. This kit includes everything you need to create beautiful clay footprints and handprints suitable to be hung on your wall or displayed on an easel.
Included in the kit:
- A package of baby-safe air-dry clay
- Shaping ring,
- Rolling pin (White, Pink, and Blue)
- Three ribbons
- A pin to create a hanging hole
Making your keepsake is very simple. You roll out the clay using the included rolling pin, then gently press your little ones’ feet and hands into it. If you want to use your impression, you can use the pin in the kit to make a hole. If you are going to use your artwork as an easel display skip this step. Let your clay dry for a day or two and you are finished.
2. Co Little Baby Handprint & Footprint Kits
The Co Little Baby Handprint and Footprint Kit are one of the most complete kits available and one of the cutest. It comes with a wood pine frame, a three-opening mat, full instructions, and a premeasured amount of air dry clay for handprints and footprints.
The pre-sealed frame features areas for pictures along with impressions and acrylic glass for safety and longevity. Its display area encompasses:
- 11.1-inch x 9.09-inch Total size
- 4.7-inch x 6.3-inch Clay Area
- Two 2.75-inch X 2.75-inch Photo Areas
Also included in the kit is a full set of lettering stamps so you can record your baby’s name and the date right in the clay.
3. Little Hippo Baby Ornament Keepsake Kit
If you prefer your keepsakes to be freestanding rather than framed you will love the Little Hippo Baby Ornament Keepsake Kit. It gives you everything you need to create an easel-mounted baby footprint and handprint.
- Two easels
- Two packs of baby-safe clay
- A heart and
- A circle cutter
- Two sheets of non-stick paper
- Four colored satin ribbons
- Two rustic twine hangers
- A hole-punch
- A set of lettering stamps
- Acrylic paints and brushes
With everything, this kit contains, you are ready to start creating as soon as you open the box. In fact, by simply buying more clay you can create wonderful impressions for your friends and family. This makes it one of the most cost-effective kits on our list. This is despite coming with a slightly higher price tag than some others.
4. Staedtler Fimo Air Basic Modeling Clay
Fimo is widely considered one of the top air-dry clays on the market. It is soft and playable yet still holds fine details extremely well.
If you like to make your own creations then Staedtler Fimo Air Basic Modeling Clay makes an ideal clay for handprints. Even if you have little to no experience working with clay you will find this clay easy to work with.
For less than ten dollars for enough clay to create several sets of prints, you can send copies of your baby’s hands to all your relatives.
5. Sculpey III
If you don’t mind having to bake your baby’s footprints and handprints then we highly recommend Sculpey III polymer clay. Polymer clay is naturally waterproof and chemical-resistant so many consider it more durable than air-dry clays.
Sculpey III is an ideal clay for handprints due to its softness. It takes very little pressure to get very detailed impressions and once baked they will last almost indefinitely.
Sculpey II comes in a wide variety of colors and they can be easily blended to create your own custom palate. If you are at all comfortable working with clay we consider this one, the best clay for handprints on the market
6. BITMEE Baby Handprint and Footprint Kit
The BITMEE Baby Handprint and Footprint Kit make our list simply because we love the elegance of its design. Its frame allows you to Set a picture in the middle with left and right impressions on each side.
Beyond this, it is very complete. The kit contains:
- Non-toxic clay
- Acrylic safety glass in the frame
- Two-sided tape for baby’s photo
- A rolling pin
- Three different colored mats
- Wall hanger
- Table stand
- Detailed instruction sheet
If you are looking for an easy-to-use handprint clay kit that is a little different then this is our choice.
What to Consider When Buying Clay For handprints and Footprints
There are four primary areas that you should consider when choosing a handprint kit or clay for creating baby footprints.
Your Personality and Experience Level
People come in all varieties. Some love doing everything themselves. Others prefer to have everything laid out for them.
By the same token, there are people who are master potters, people who have some experience working with clay, and those who haven’t touched clay since elementary school.
If you are a complete novice it is probably best to start with one of the kits on our list. They take all of the guesswork out of creating heirloom quality prints. If you want to create your own shapes then stay with air dry clay handprints. They don’t require baking and are easy to use.
If you have some crafting experience then you can choose between air-dry clay and polymer clay handprints. Then create whatever work of art fits your talents.
If you are a master-level craftsperson, do whatever fits your fancy and interest. You can even make your own clay.
Durability is how much wear and tear your impressions will be able to stand without suffering damage. As a general rule, Poly-clay prints are more durable than air-dry clay handprints. That is, of course, comparing clays of equal quality.
Air-dry clay can be damaged by moister if they are washed. Polymer clays don’t have this problem. In drop test polymer clays also have a slight edge, but this varies greatly from brand to brand.
You can improve the durability of air dry clay for handprints by coating them with polyurethane or acrylic clear coats.
Elasticity is a fancy way of saying how stiff or soft a clay is. You want soft clay for making prints. A baby’s hand is very delicate and you want to be able to use the minimum pressure possible when making a print.
This one is a no-brainer but we would be remiss if we did not mention it. Whether you are printing a small child, infant, or older person, you want to use non-toxic clay. Sometimes you will see them marketed as baby-safe, or child-approved but it all means the same thing.
The point is to make sure your clay is safe for you and your child.
Price is always a consideration for most people. Considering your child’s hand will only be small for a little while. It is hard to put a price on the value of preserving that memory.
Even if money is tight, you can rest easy. Most kits are less than $50 and buying the clay alone is very inexpensive.
Can you use modeling clay for handprints?
Yes, you can. Most modeling clays are air dry-clay which are most commonly used for creating hands and footprints. Be careful though not all modeling clays are non-toxic. be sure any clay you buy is safe before purchasing.
Can you make your own clay for handprints and footprints?
There are many recipes for clay online that will work very well for creating foot and handprint art. Noy having evaluated all of the different mixtures available we can not recommend any as being the best clay for handprints.