How to Make Handprint Molds

    by Heather Thomas

    About the Author

    Heather Thomas has written professionally since 2010. Her articles draw from a lifetime of experience in home education, business management and health and nutrition. Thomas is a member of Writer’s Village University and a moderator for their nonfiction study group.


    Handprint molds capture precious moments in time that can never be relived. Display these molds as an accent along with a school picture, use as a garden stepping stone or give as a gift to relatives. Often these molds are created with plaster of Paris, which can cause skin irritation and is messy to use. Salt dough provides a safe alternative for even the youngest sensitive skin and can easily be reworked if necessary. It also allows you to sculpt your finished product into any desired shape without the use of a mold.

    Things You'll Need

    • Salt
    • Flour
    • Water
    • Wax paper
    • Rolling pin
    • Sculpting tools
    • Acrylic paint

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    Clean your work surface to avoid debris becoming incorporated into your project. Cover area with wax paper.

    Prepare the salt dough by combining 2 cups fine salt, 2 cups flour and 1 cup water. If you want colored dough, add food coloring to the water prior to combining it with the dry ingredients. Knead well until thoroughly combined and you can no longer feel individual salt crystals.

    Use a rolling pin to achieve desired thickness.

    Roll dough to a uniform thickness of approximately 3/4 inch. If your dough is too thin, your impressed print will weaken the finished product and could cause it to break. A rolling pin is the best tool for this job, but if you don’t have one available to you, use a plate or dish with a smooth bottom to flatten your dough to 3/4 inch.

    Sculpt the dough into your desired shape. This will depend on how you intend to display your project. Hearts, ovals and rectangles are popular shapes for this craft. This is also the time to create any holes necessary for hanging.

    Press your child's hand firmly in the center of your sculpted shape. Use adequate pressure to press his hand no more than half way through the thickness of the dough. Etch your child’s name and age into the dough prior to drying.

    Allow your handprint mold to dry for 48 hours. Or bake it in a 200-degree oven for approximately two hours or until completely dried.

    Paint your completely dried mold with acrylic paint. If you used colored dough, use clear acrylic paint to seal it, especially if you intend to use the project as an outdoor decoration.

    • Additional shapes can be formed and used to accessorize your hand mold.
    • Press heat tolerant items such as stones, marbles or shells into your finished product prior to baking for added detail.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images