I saved this recipe from when I made Danny’s first hand prints almost 4 years ago. Its not as easy as going out and buying pre made clay but I found that product was to hard to form a hand print. I messed with it for a while. Trying to warm it up and knead it but never got the right consistency. So I set out to make my own. Its far more memorable to do it yourself anyway!
- 4 cups four
- 1 cup salt
- 1 & ½ to 2 cups water
- Food coloring (optional)
- Combine ingredients and knead dough for 15 to 20 minutes. If you have a Bosch or Kitchenaid it cuts the time to 5 minutes.
- Once mixed, take out desired amount and form a ball with your hands, lay on wax paper and roll out. Make print.
- Make a small hole for the hanger and prick to prevent air bubbles.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. They may not feel hard right away but will harden as they cool.
- Paint and decorate as desired. Acrylic paints work best and use varnish to make them shiny!
The instructions were easy to follow but I added a few tweaks that really seemed to help.
First off the water I used was warm. Not hot, warm. I found if the dough was warm it was easier to work with and it stayed soft longer so I didn’t have to rush.
I added the cup of salt and the four cups flour:
Next I added 1 & 1/2 cups water and turned on my Bosch. While it was mixing, I added the last half cup. I had to stop my Bosch a couple times and push the contents down to the bottom.
After I got it mixing properly I added food coloring!
To keep the contents warm and moist I put a warm wet cloth over it.
You might have to add more flour. You want the consistency to be sticky feeling but you don’t want it sticking to your fingers like bread dough. I needs to feel sticky without being sticky 😉 That’s the best way I can explain it…
If you peel our child’s hand off the dough and it looks like this…
Its to soft and you need to add more flour. Your child’s hand should roll off the dough without any sticking to their little fingers.
This is what it should look like…
Making the dough and rolling it out is the easy part. Getting your (my) 5 month old son to cooperate, is another story. It took several attempts but we got two good sets of hand and foot prints! My four year old was much easier to work with!
The dough is pretty forgiving. If you completely messed up you can easily pick it up, roll into a ball and roll it out again.
If you really want to get creative you could make the dough heart shaped 🙂 Oh the possibilities!
I didn’t paint them, I used food coloring instead. Again, that is your option.
Here is how they looked when they came out of the oven.
Don’t forget to prick them with a toothpick so bubbles don’t form. As you can see in the above picture the pricks you make show. Making a pattern can make your craft stand out even more!
I have Danny and Eli prints galore! Must say a thank you to my beautiful boys for being patient with me! It took a few tries to get them right 😉
Look at the excitement in their eyes! It was a lot of fun and the memories we made are priceless.
After I let them set for a couple days I varnished them with this.
Notice my spotty green grass. Its spring here so our lush green hasn’t filled in yet…
Here is what the clay mold looked like after I put the varnish on!
It gave it the perfect coat of gloss! I am really happy with how they turned out!
I got all this ribbon on sale to hang them with! It was in the dollar bin! Gotta love a sale 😉
My next project is this awesome looking bird house!
My little brother Jaryd makes these very unique bird houses and feeders and sells them! How fun will it be to decorate?! After that I’m going to (with hubby’s help) screw it to a post and set it up in my yard. I want to plant a little flower garden under it as well. Oh the lucky little birds to own this home 😉 Stay tuned as I decorate and stage this beautiful bird house in my yard this spring!