I am a sucker for any craft involving little hands or feet. Not only are they just adorable, but they serve as a sweet little memory.
E is still really little (she’s always be a sweet little babe in my eyes), but reflecting on her handprint and footprint ornaments from last Christmas was a bittersweet memory. My how she’s grown from a 6-month old little peanut to a walking (or running 🙂 ), talking, snugglebug little toddler. How can that happen in just one year?!
But I digress…
If you have a little one and are searching for a sweet gift idea for Daddy, Grandparents or just for a special (functional!) keepsake – you must try this craft!
It’s super easy and produces an adorable memory that is sure to be treasured!
This post may contain affiliate links and pictures. You can read my full disclosure here.
Here Are The Supplies You’ll Need:
A cute little set of footprints. 🙂
Paintbrush & Foambrush
Mod Podge (LOVE Mod Podge! – Plus, I always find it cheaper on Amazon than craft stores!)
How to Make Your Clay Footprint Dish
Prepare Your Clay
Preheat oven. If you use Sculpey clay, preheat oven to 275 degrees F. If you use a different brand, read the box for more specific instructions.
Start with the clay. When you first open the package, it may feel dry or crumbly, this is fine! You just want to work it and knead it with your hands until it’s smooth. Roll into a ball.
Cover the ball with a piece of wax (or parchment) paper. Using your rolling pin, evenly roll dough to thickness of your liking. I typically roll mine to roughly 1/4″ – 1/2″ – any thinner and I find it cracks.
To make this step easier, I place my dough on a silpat mat. The mat helps grip my counter, which prevents the dough from sliding. (Plus, these mats are LIFESAVERS for tons of tasks in the kitchen!)
Once your dough is rolled to your desired thickness, it’s time to imprint those little footprints.
Here’s some tips that I’ve learned that help this process go a bit smoother:
- Place the dough on the ground and let your child step on it or pick a little one up and press their feet on it.
- Apply a decent amount of pressure when pressing footprints. This might not be an issue with older children, but is particularly relevant for little ones. One of the perks of using clay is that it’s mess free, but it also makes it a bit harder to leave nice imprints.
- If you mess up, no problem. Just re-roll the clay and press the footprints again. 🙂
- Feel free to change it up and use handprints or one hand and one foot. I even made a ring bowl with E’s footprint and our dog’s paw print. So cute!
Once you have footprints that you’re happy with, cut away the excess clay into a heart shape.
Try to make the edges as clean as possible.
Bake Your Dish
Place your clay into a bowl to bake. Here are some tips I’ve learned from experience:
- These Pyrex bowls work wonderfully for a perfect bowl shape.
- Avoid bowls or containers that aren’t perfectly smooth. I tried laying my clay on the backside of a bowl. Unfortunately, the lip of bowl created a ugly imprint in my clay. Yuck.
Put your bowl on a baking sheet and stick it in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes per 1/4″ of thickness.
Your bowl may still feel a bit soft when you remove it. It will fully harden as it cools.
(Tip: If you are having a hard time getting your clay to fully harden, remove it from the bowl and bake an additional 5 minutes.)
Let your clay fully cool.
Once your dish is completely cool, take a piece of fine grit sandpaper and smooth the edges, if needed.
Decorate Your Clay Footprint Dish
Depending on the age of your child, you can let them paint it themselves. If your child is too young, grab a paintbrush and paint your clay footprint dish to your liking.
I’ve tried several different varieties of this with lots of different colors. I love painting the footprints themselves silver or gold. It helps to really bring out the adorable little details.
But use whatever color you prefer…red, pink, orange, blue etc. They all will look great!
Once your paint has fully dried, using a foam brush, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge. Let it dry completely and apply a second coat, if needed.
Enjoy Your Keepsake!
Write name and date on back and enjoy your beautiful, functional, sweet little keepsake dish!
I love using them as ring dishes!
Be sure to check out my list of 14 Valentine’s Day gift ideas for him! It’s full of great ideas for any guy!