Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hand Prints: Memories into Ceramic

A few weeks ago I volunteered to be a tester for Memories in Clay; designer, Jessica, was looking for newborn hand prints to try out a new product.  Memories in Clay is a really unique company where prints are transferred from a mold, which you create, into a beautiful and permanent ceramic display.  Not only does this make for a durable print but it also preserves the intricate details of your child's hand or foot.

Our package arrived and I was impressed to find all the materials we needed to make the mold were included.  Jessica even included a small roller, plastic wrap and aluminum foil in case we didn't have these on hand. 
I was so excited to try the print, that I read over the directions and we decided to try it that evening.  We warmed up the molding material by kneading it into a ball, and then placed the plastic wrap over the ball and rolled it out onto the foil.  Easy.  Next we removed the plastic wrap and were ready to make a print.  My husband positioned the camera and together we carefully placed baby E's hand onto the molding material and pressed.  What a perfect moment, right? The print came out well, but I wasn't satisfied that there was a partial print from his wrist.  The perfectionist in me said we should try the print again: after all, the molding material can be re-rolled as many times as needed to achieve the "perfect print."  My husband disagreed, he liked the print and thought we wouldn't get a better one. 

Of course after smashing and re-rolling the molding material, baby E decided his hands could only make tight little fists for the rest of the night. I tried stroking the back of his hand, prying those little fingers open, and waiting for him to get sleepy.  It was a total failure.  I was ready to give up and do a footprint, but my husband said we should try again another day.

I should have known that newborns have their own schedules.  The next day baby E fell asleep in his bouncy chair and I saw an opportunity to try the print.  My 2-yr-old and I quickly gathered the supplies.  We put the molding material on a cookie sheet and brought that to the bouncy chair with sleeping (and unsuspecting) Baby E.  Baby E had a bit of startle reflex, which caused him to open up his hands and they went flailing up  to the sides of his head.  I quickly grabbed a hand and we squished it into the molding material.  I thought I had success until Baby E curled his little fingers and gouged into the mold.  OK, try again.  We repeated this about 4 times, and finally... perfection!  It was so funny trying to sneak over to our sleeping baby and squish his hand into the mold before he figured out what was happening.

My 2-yr-old had such a fun time helping me with the mold, that she spent the rest of the day playing with play dough and making "hand prints" of her own.

Our mold was baked in the oven to harden it, and returned to Jessica in a pre-paid envelope she had sent.  Although the print did have some lint and dirt on it (from multiple print attempts, and dirt hiding in those little baby hands) that won't matter: our mold is just a tool in the creation of the final product.  The final product will be sparkling and forever preserved in ceramic!  I can't wait to see what Jessica creates with our print, and I'm so glad we had a fun story to share about its making.


  1. that's hilarious and so cute! i'm glad that your 2YO had some fun with it too!

    1. She had a ton of fun! I felt a little bad that we didn't have a hand print kit for her to do, but she didn't seem to mind much. I'm so excited to get the final product back, especially since our hospital didn't do newborn foot prints for us :(. We did our own paint foot prints at home, but it wasn't quite the same. Now Baby E will get a special hand print to make up for it!

  2. Thanks so much for posting this.... I'm so glad you enjoyed the process. I'll send some preview pictures soon.

    1. Awesome! Thanks Jessica! I'll upload any preview pictures you have as a sneak peek to the final products :)