Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What To Do And What Not To Do When It Comes To Salt Dough Handprints

To me, salt dough handprints are the easiest, cheapest way to beautifully display how little our babies truly are. I have made several handprints and footprints for Baby Z. I've even given some away as gifts (my mother-in-law and grandmother absolutely love these!). Salt dough has been around forever and its fairly easy to do. Here's what I did:

1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1/2 cup water
food coloring (optional)

Things needed:
cookie sheet or aluminum foil
rolling pin (or something else to flatten the dough)
knife or molds

Optional Things I Use:
latex gloves (optional but I prefer it)

In a medium size bowl mix the flour, salt, and water. Then add whatever color of food coloring you want into the dough (optional). **I prefer to mix this all by hand (hence the gloves) as it will get done faster and it mixes better. This will also help prevent air bubbles (see mistake below).

To prevent sticking, sprinkle the foil or cookie sheet with some flour. Separate your mixture into two parts (or however many handprints/footprints you want to do, I usually only get 2).

Use the rolling pin to flatten each piece to about 1/2 in. thick.

If you have a mold, this is where you use it to make the shape you want, if you're just freehanding with a knife, I would wait until you put the handprint on there first.

Press your child's foot/hand on the mold firmly and pull it off by pulling it straight up. Sometimes this takes me a few tries. Once you're happy with your print, this is your chance to write on it and/or poke holes in it so you can hang it. I usually write Baby Z's name, the year, and poke two holes with a straw so I can hang it.

Lastly toss into the oven and bake it at 200 degrees for 1 to 2 hours, check it a few times for cracking. In all honesty, it takes days to completely dry so I usually let it sit in the oven til I need to use it again (but turn the oven off after an hour of two).

When dry, string some ribbons through the holes you made and there you go!

My only improvement I want to make is I want to invest in some sort of finishing or clear coat to put over them to make sure they last.

Mistakes I Have Made Before:

This green one was my very first one I did. As you can see, there are a ton of air bubbles and you can't see her handprints very well. You can avoid this by mixing your dough by hand for a good long time (I do it until my hands start to hurt. That's how important it is.) and making sure to have your child press down firmly.

This pink one is one I did recently. I was so pleasantly surprised at how awesome her handprints turned out because she fought me the whole time. Then after a few days it started to crack. The crack got bigger and bigger and bigger. I cried. Ha. This was one of the best handprints I got out of her and it cracked. And let me tell you why so you can avoid the cracking: 1.) I rolled it too thin. I prefer them to be on thinner side but this time was just a tad too thin. 2.) I skimped on the salt a bit. I was experimenting with the ingredients and left out about half of the salt. That's bad. Don't do that! lol

Have you ever done salt dough handprints before? How did they turn out?


  1. I've never tried this, I always bought the one from Target and gave it as gifts for baby showers. I would love to try this since, the 6 year was the last one. Thanks for the infor.

  2. This is perfect-- I needed something special just from baby Catherine and this is it-- I am always looking for special things for our littlest ones--perfect for Grandma's

  3. Could it be sealed with modge podge?


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