How to Get Good Handprints or Footprints of a Baby

Capture a good footprint or handprint of your baby.

Having the print of your baby’s hand or foot is a keepsake that can go into a baby book or onto a keepsake ornament . Getting a clean, clear print of your baby’s hand and foot can be difficult, but with proper preparation, you have a good chance at getting it right.

Lay your baby down for a nap in a baby carrier or on a flat surface. Never leave a baby unattended in a car seat or on a bed.

Gather all of the supplies and lay them around where your baby is sleeping.

Wait until your baby is fast asleep. You can check whether he is in a deep sleep by lifting his arm or foot up and letting it drop. If he does not stir, he is sleeping deeply.

Place the paper, fabric or cardstock onto a hard book so your baby's foot or hand can be pressed against a flat surface. You can tape the paper into place. Have a friend or your partner handy to hold the book.

Squirt a glob of paint onto a paper plate or open the ink pad.

Uncoil your baby’s fist and gently spread out her fingers. To keep the hand uncoiled, hold her fingers and thumb open with your hand. For footprints, grasp your baby’s foot at the ankle.

Paint a layer of nontoxic acrylic paint onto your baby’s hand or foot or press your baby’s hand or foot onto the ink pad.

Press your baby’s hand or foot onto the paper, fabric or cardstock and hold it there for a few seconds. Use your hand to apply even pressure to your baby’s hand or foot to get a good print.

Wipe the paint or ink from your baby’s hand or foot immediately.

Things You Will Need

  • Baby safe ink or nontoxic acrylic paint
  • Paper plate
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Paper, cardstock or fabric
  • Tape
  • Hard book
  • Baby wipes


You might need to attempt the print several times to get a clean print onto the material of your choice.


Don't allow your baby to place his hands or feet into his mouth when covered in paint or ink.