Babies grow up quickly, but you can cherish the imprint of their tiny hands forever with a baby hand print impressed into sculpey clay. Sculpey cures in the oven to create a sturdy keepsake that will last for many years. This project makes a great gift for grandparents and aunts and uncles, and is a wonderful way to document family history for parents, when the framed hand print is hung with baby pictures on a gallery wall of family pictures.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 0.68 Kilogram sculpey clay
- Aluminium foil
- Rolling pin
- Baking tray
- Water-based acrylic paint
- Foam brush
- Paper towels
- Low-temperature hot glue gun
- Glue sticks for glue gun
- Frame with a 5-inch by 7-inch opening, glass removed
Pre-heat the oven to 135 degrees C.
Condition the clay by kneading it for at least five minutes. This warms it and makes it malleable, so that the hand print will impress properly.
Cut a piece of aluminium foil to a size that will fit your baking tray. Flatten the clay and place it on the foil. Roll the clay out to a 1/2-inch thickness with a rolling pin.
Press your baby's clean, dry hand into the clay. You will need to use the weight of your hand on the baby's to achieve a clean print. If the print does not turn out as desired, flip over the clay and try again. If you still are not satisfied, re-knead the clay before rerolling it.
Cut the clay into a 5 1/2-inch by 7 1/2-inch slab, with the handprint centred. Remove any excess clay.
Transfer the foil to the baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes. Monitor the clay closely; if it begins to brown at the edges, remove it immediately. Cool completely.
Brush the slab with acrylic paint. Use a wet paper towel to remove some of the paint while still wet, in order to highlight the patterns within the handprint. Let dry completely.
Run a line of hot glue along the inside edge of a standard 5-by-7-inch frame. Place your sculpey slab into the frame, so that the handprint shows through the front opening. Allow glue to harden completely.
Tips and warnings
- Clean your hands, your baby's hands and any tools with baby wipes, and follow up with soap and water.
- Do not allow the clay to cool after conditioning it by kneading. If the clay cools, you will not have a clear impression of the hand print, and it may crack.
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