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)
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: