Make Your Own Baby Handprint MagnetsCan anyone ever have too many refrigerator magnets? Probably not. And if you've fallen in love with your baby's feet and hands (who wouldn't!), its fun to see them everywhere. In this article we'll walk through getting magnets made of your little one's feet and hands, plus give a few recommendations on where to have the magnets made.
Here's what you'll need:
- a dozen blank sheets of paper
- baby safe ink (available here, or you can use any child-safe ink that will wash off with soap and water)
- a sponge or paint brush to apply the ink
- towelettes handy for quick clean up
- a relaxed, rested, happy baby who's willing to co-operate
First you'll need the imprinted image. To get a good image takes a little practice. Experiment with different ways to hold your baby while pressing their foot or hand against the paper sheet.
Once you've got that down, then paint your baby's foot with the sponge or brush, and press their foot down on to the paper. It may take a little more practice to get a few really good prints - that's what the extra paper is for.
When you have at least four good-looking baby footprints or handprints, its time to stop. Clean up the inky feet and hands with the towelettes, and give your baby a break for awhile.
While your baby rests, take a look and the imprint you made. Pick a favorite, but be sure not to smudge the ink - it may take several minutes to thoroughly dry.
The next thing to do is to digitize the image. If you have a scanner - great - just scan the image at home. If not, you can bring the imprint into a Kinko's and ask them to make the scan for you.
For do-it-yourselfers, the easiest way to make magnets is to buy some printable magnet sheets (available from Amazon.com) and just print the image on them directly. Avery labels have a nice feature - the templates are pre-loaded into later versions of Microsoft Word, so you don't have to worry about the imprint image going over the magnet edge. Once the labels are printed, you can cut them in a regular paper cutter, or if you can cut really straight, with a pair of scissors.
You can also make three dimensional magnets from plaster of paris casts. To get detailed instructions on how to make plaster casts for hands and feet, see our article on the topic. Of course, you'll be making shallow casts for refrigerator magnets - too much weight and even a strong magnet won't hold.
The only difference between making a shallow cast and a cast magnet is that you press in a large round magnet into the plaster after its had a chance to "gel." If you put the magnet in immediately after pouring, it may sink into the plaster. Also, be sure to put the right side of the magnet into the cast - it's wise to test which side is which on a metal surface first.
If you want other kinds of magnets, you'll need to have them made. A service like Vistaprint can set you up with magnets of all sizes and colors. They'll print as few as ten magnets for you.
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