Keepsake Handprints

Some of my best college memories are the ones from my Ecology lab. Specifically the days spent hiking around Oklahoma dealing with my Entomophobia. Loved the class, loathed the insects. Still do. But the point of this is in that class I met my friend Dawn. We were both Biology majors and over the years spent countless hours in classes and study sessions together, but as life has a way of doing, once we graduated and moved back to our respective homes, we lost touch. Thank GOD for Facebook. We’ve since reconnected and been able to share a little bit of our lives with each other again.

In 2012, Dawn started a business, Tiny Prints and Paws, taking the hand and foot prints of her friends’ children (and pets!) in clay and preserving them in beautiful plates. For over a year, this was something that could only be done if you were local to Tiny Prints and Paws or saw their set up at a craft fair. Which was great, but for those of us living 10 hours away, that meant we missed out.

But then… in March Dawn contacted me to see if I’d be willing to be a long distance tester!! I mean… of course!! She mailed me a package of the polymer clay and I emailed for instructions the night before I planned to get my kiddos hand prints. I then separated out clay for each child since we decided to do a plate with both their hands. I rolled the clay out to about 1/4 inch thick (using a playdough roller!) and then pressed each child’s right hand into the clay. Then, I hid the clay. It needs to dry for 72 hours and my kids weren’t convinced that this was a special project just yet and they loved the texture which led to them begging to play with the “special playdough” a LOT.


Once the 72 hours was up, I wrapped up the clay up and mailed them back to Dawn. We talked about colors for their handprints and then what words to write on the plate. I got more than a little emotional because this is just so perfect for me to freeze this moment in time. Their little hands will never be this small again and not only do I have their handprints, I get to have them together, which is even more special because these two are just glued together so it’s the perfect representation of this season!


Each plate takes between 8 and 10 weeks to complete as there is an additional drying period followed by sanding and firing before the paint is applied. Finally, the plate is given one last firing before it’s sent off you! Tiny Prints and Paws has several options, the paint colors are endless and the wording on your plate is up to you! The whole experience is personalized so that the impression plate that returns to you is a one-of-a-kind keepsake!

Make sure to check out the gallery of plates on the Tiny Prints and Paws website, like their Facebook page and see more of the creative custom plates she has showcased there! For you, dear readers, Dawn is extending a special free shipping on your completed plate with the code SUMMERFUN! Don’t waste time taking advantage of this offer, because as I mentioned before, the process takes some time, so you don’t want to wait until the Fall to start if you are thinking of Christmas gifts!

Contact Dawn either through Facebook or via email {tinyprintsandpaws(at)gmail(dot)com} to start your special impression plate today!

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