These DIY handprint and footprint charm keepsakes are so super easy to make, and, I think, such a classic yet innovative way to hold onto your keepsakes forever. For me it's along the lines of having your baby shoes dipped in bronze, yet less expensive and functional.
How to make these hand and footprint charms? Two words that will transform you back to your own childhood: Shrinky Dinks! Yep. I made these pieces of jewelry with Shrinky Dinks. Or more accurately "shrink plastic" because I didn't actually buy the name brand but ordered some shrink plastic sheets off of Amazon.
I use ths stuff for a LOT of craft projects. From jewelry to cupcake toppers. One of my Little one's even uses them to make her "paper" dolls!
So you already know, you don't necessarily need to buy the Shrinky Dinks brand of plastic. You can just do an internet search for "Shrink Plastic" and find packs of sheets for purchase. I've even seen them at local craft stores. And it's fairly inexpensive too. So you can easily make these keepsakes as gifts for friends and family as well.
What You'll Need:
Step One: Press your baby's hand or foot in some water based ink from an ink pad and make an impression on the sheet of shrink plastic. The impression should be made on the side that is frosty looking. Some sheets come completely clear in which case you may want to roughen one side with some sand paper in order to make a surface to catch the ink.
Make sure your ink pad is water based, not oil based. Oil based ink will run and smear, and just not look so nice in general.
You can also choose to add a name, date, date of birth or other pictures to accompany the hand or footprint. I have used names and even rubber stamps with cute images on them.
Step Two: Trim the printed impression from the sheet. Use a paper hole puncher to make a small hole on the border around the handprint or footprint. This hole will be used to hold the charm onto a necklace or bracelet.
I like to use a jump ring threaded through the hole and then hang the chain on the jump ring. You can buy jump rings at your local craft store in the jewelry making section.
Step Three: Heat your oven to 325 degrees and get a cookie sheet ready. I usually cover my sheet in aluminum foil as well.
Place the shrink plastic pieces on the cookie sheet and put them in the pre-heated oven for about 5 minutes. They might start to curl up and twist. If they do it's no problem whatsoever. You can use a spoon or a spatula to flatten them back out when you get them out of the oven.
Let them cool.
Step Four: Once they are cooled you can insert a jump ring through the hold you had punched previous to baking.
I like to go a little further and attach a rhinestone. You can buy flatback, colored rhinestone crystals at the craft store jewelry section as well. I use a jewelers glue to hold the rhinestone on, but you can use whatever kind of glue you'd like.
Step Five: Make it into jewelry! You can hang these handprint charm keepsakes on a necklace or ribbon, on shoe laces or zippers. You can pair them with other charms like silver charms or beads. You can really get creative!