How to make your own fingerprint kit

Written by katherine harder
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How to make your own fingerprint kit
Create your own fingerprint kit to use for amateur sleuthing. (fingerprint image by dip from

No two people have the same set of fingerprints, which is why detectives collect fingerprints at crime scenes to use as identification tools. A clear set of fingerprints easily ties criminals to their unlawful activities. If you consider yourself an amateur sleuth or an aspiring crime scene investigator, you can add fingerprint detection to your list of amateur investigation skills. Regularly practice with your homemade fingerprint kit to hone your amateur crime scene investigation skills.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tablespoon size measuring spoon
  • Powder brush
  • Roll of clear packaging tape
  • Small pencil pouch, about 8 1/2 inches by 5 inches
  • Small bottle of talcum powder
  • Small tin of cocoa powder
  • Black construction paper, several sheets
  • White construction paper, several sheets
  • Scissors
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Pencil box, about 2 1/4 inches by 5 1/4 inches by 8 1/4 inches

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  1. 1

    Place your measuring spoon, powder brush and roll of tape inside your smaller case and close the case.

  2. 2

    Place the pencil case into the larger pencil box.

  3. 3

    Arrange your powder containers next to the pencil case.

  4. 4

    Cut each sheet of black construction paper into 12 equally sized pieces. Repeat the process with your white paper.

  5. 5

    Place these sheets inside your sandwich bag.

  6. 6

    Put your paper filled bag into the fingerprint kit to complete the kit. You're now ready to detect and lift fingerprints.

Tips and warnings

  • Press your palm and fingers against the centre of your tile to create a print to detect and lift. Measure a tablespoon of talcum powder for the black surface; use the cocoa powder for the white surface. Sprinkle the powder over the entire tile. Use your powder brush to gently move the powder across the entire tile, creating an even coating. Fingerprints will start to appear. Lift them by applying tape to the powder and then attaching the tape onto a piece of construction paper. Use construction paper that matches the colour of the original surface.
  • Don't use your fingerprint kit to solve actual crimes. Always notify law enforcement if you suspect that a crime has occurred.

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