Baby Feet Imprint DIY

April 15, 2014

Hello dear friends! I’ve been missing from my blog, I know, but man when you have a baby you just want to cuddle him 24/7! Nothing else seems to exist and time stops. We also had guests from London for four days which was wonderful and definitely kept us very active with the little one. It was such a great visit and made us both so happy that our friends traveled all the way to Hannover just to meet little Aidan and spend time with us (thank you Sania, Mark, Luke and Leila!). Baby Aidan had his first zoo visit (6 hours too!), first subway ride, first bus ride, first museum visit (art at the Sprengel where we caught the Michael Raedecker exhibition), first dinner out in a proper restaurant (the same one Thorsten’s family has been dining at since he was little to celebrate special occasions), and he met young children for the first time, a 7-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy (Leila and Luke) whom he just loved so much.

Baby Feet Imprint DIY

Little Leila played with him so nicely and helped me each time I changed his nappy and she even bottle fed him (with supervision of course) and was the perfect little nanny. I loved how she would hold his tiny hand to console him when he cried on the changing table or in his stroller and how she was by his side most of the time over the course of four days. It was lovely to see how children take so nicely to babies. On Friday night, I also had a little first for myself – my first dinner party since having Aidan! I’ve hosted cake and coffee many times since his birth but a dinner party was a big jump but I wanted to do it since it felt like the right time to start living life in a more normal way again as we did pre-baby. So myself, together with 6 adults, 2 children and little Aidan enjoyed a very nice evening in our dining room by candlelight. I can’t take all of the credit for this special time since everyone had a role which made it easier for a new mom and nicer overall for my guests because it felt like a genuine family affair. My friend Tinna cooked the shrimp and asparagus that I picked up from the farmers’ market and mixed it together with saffron risotto (she used this as the base), cream and parmesan cheese, I made a large salad, Christine brought some extra plates and cutlery since I didn’t have enough, Mark brought beer and prosecco, Sania and I set the table and Morten put together a board of his favorite cheeses and fresh baguette paired with coconut and passionfruit jam from Nicholas Vahe for dessert. We listened to French music and spent a beautiful evening together while my baby slept zzZZZzzz and he slept sooo well too.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past week or so, how about you? Are you doing well? Today I want to share a mini project that I started with Sania, Leila and Aidan on Monday and continued and finished today – it’s a little baby feet (or in this case, foot!) DIY project that you may want to try with your sweet little bundle of cuteness.

Baby Feet Imprint DIY

I remember before Aidan’s birth, I asked my husband if German hospitals do finger and foot prints when a child is born because I had mine done at birth, in black, but he said he didn’t think so. When Aidan came, they definitely didn’t do it (I am still so disappointed!) so I have been wanting to do hand and foot prints ever since. It’s been 9 weeks and I finally decided that I would do it before he hit the double digits. The perfect time seemed to be when Sania and her sweet daughter Leila were with me and we were looking for some crafty projects to do together for our girl’s day yesterday. I figured it would also make for a nice memory – I’d always remember that we made this little footprint together. We waited until little Aidan was semi-relaxed and not crying and removed his pants leaving on only his onesie and nappy. I made sure the kitchen was warm and that we did this little project near the sink so we could quickly wash his feet clean. We used black acrylic paint, which we first tested on Leila (Sania’s idea, a very good one!) to make sure it easily came off, and with a paint brush, I held Aidan in a comfortable position and Sania painted the bottom of his right foot. We were laughing the entire time as he squirmed, it was seriously the cutest thing. I pressed his right foot onto the right side of a 18 x 25 cm sheet of Canson acid-free, archival quality watercolor paper (300 gram) and the first footprint was perfect. We were lucky! We then quickly rinsed his foot under warm water with a little soap and he loved it – so there was zero crying – which was a big relief! My son loves water (he never cries during bath time) but I wasn’t so sure he’d love being part of our craft project — but he actually did just fine. We were really proud of him.

Baby Feet Imprint DIY

We then tried his left foot but weren’t as successful. It seemed he caught on to what we were doing so he tried to resist with each little imprint we tried to make. About 12 rounds later (yes really!), we still couldn’t get a good impression because he kept curling his toes the minute foot met paper, so we decided to just be happy with the one footprint and give him a break. We could tell her was getting a bit cranky after 5 minutes of crafting, so we left the good print out to air dry and this morning, I decided to finish the project since Sania and her family flew back to London last night. I took the little print, tore the paper very roughly on all four sides reducing the size significantly, and started to think of how to display this in his nursery in the best way. I thought that on a canvas would be nice, versus framed, and that I could add linen to the frame to somehow make it look more handmade and add that tactile quality and a little warmth that I love so much.

Baby Feet Imprint DIY

I had this linen pocket I’d been saving and it happened to be the perfect size, so I glued it to the canvas. Easy. You could do the same but simply cutting a piece of nubby linen to size. Then I busted out my rubber stamps and a black ink pad, other crafty bits, and here is what I came up with below. I really like it because I was able to hide the left footprint that was a bit smeared, but still nice, inside of the pocket — it wasn’t nice enough to display but still gives us a record of the special day and his left foot! I also stamped his first name (Sania gave me the idea to incorporate my rubber stamps), added a little star, and how many weeks old he was when this was made… I was going to date it but I preferred just stamping “9 weeks”.  I glued everything to the canvas, added a little ribbon and a button, tucked it inside of the gray Ferm Living shadow box above his changing table, and here is the result…

Baby Feet Imprint DIY

Baby Feet Imprint DIY

I really hope you like this little DIY. The only word of caution I would like to add is PLEASE make sure you use either kid’s halloween face paint or normal acrylic paint that you’ve tested first (apply, rinse off, see how well it rinses off) before applying it to your infant and MAKE SURE you do not do this alone – have your friends help you so that your baby feels comfortable, safe and his body is supported when you are doing it. I recommend making the prints in the kitchen on the counter, next to the sink, and to wash the feet (or hands) as soon as you get a good print. Use a very soft paint brush on the feet and mix the paint with a little water so it’s not too thick. If you do handprints (which we didn’t, his are still too clenched into little fists given his age), do not allow the hands near the face or mouth. Really. It’s not worth hurting your little baby for the sake of an art project!

Sania and Leila thank you for helping me stamp his little feet and Thorsten, thank you for holding him today while I took the photos above for this post! xo

So now I have a question… Have you ever made HAND prints for your baby? I want to do them for his little keepsake book. At what age do they stop making fists and have hands that are open and relaxed enough to try this???

(images: holly becker for decor8)


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  • Reply Karencita April 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Every mother would entirely empathize, and I do. Those early Mommy days are long past for me (now a Grammy) but a word of advice… enjoy every minute 24/7 because they don’t last long, I can tell you from experience. ♥

  • Reply Karencita April 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm


  • Reply Astrea April 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Dein Projekt hat mir sehr gefallen, aber ich muss sagen, bei meinem Mädchen wurden nach der Geburt Fuss- und Handabdrücke gemacht, wahrscheinlich hängt es doch von der Klinik, wo man seine Kinder auf die Welt bringt:)
    Liebe Grüße aus Baden-Württemberg an eure junge Familie:-)

    Ach so, und was das Kind betrifft, warte mal ab, nach einem Jahr wird dein Baby freiwillig überall im Haus seine Abdrücke hinterlassen:)

  • Reply Glenda Childers April 15, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Sweet little baby feet … oh my!


  • Reply Bryony April 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    What a cute project.

    Both my girls had foot and handprints done at 6 days old. We gently stroked their palms to encourage them to open up their hands. Good luck!

  • Reply Nicole April 15, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    What a lovely post, Holly!
    I’m crazy about making baby/kids memories in all forms! I have made hand and footprints on plaster, paper and fabric of Mathilda from the first week on. She was always so easy and relaxed. I have it integrated into a kind of baby massage, so I even got her tiny hands and sweet fingers! Now she is 7 and we still love to make prints! XO Nicole

  • Reply Lucy April 15, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    If you’re breastfeeding, I always found my two boys had relaxed hands straight after a feed, I’m sure the same applies with a bottle feed.

  • Reply Aga @ Passion shake April 16, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Aww it really sounds like you guys had a great time :) The black foot print looks amazing and it is a great idea but I’m pretty sure this is the first time I hear about making feet prints. I know that in Poland babys get the salt dough footprint keepsakes, but the black foot seems to be more awesome! :) Hugs for all three of you x

  • Reply Ellen Moore April 16, 2014 at 5:05 am

    We didn’t think of that wonderful craft until we had grandchildren who were in school. I had the 3 girls, 2 sisters and 1 cousin, put their red painted hands on muslin, and write their first names on muslin also. in red. After the paint dried, I cut out the pieces shaped like mittens, with the print and names in the middle of the pieces. I used pinking shears for that. I sew the pieces together with a bit of batting in between. And tucked in a loop for hanging. I also made one for their moms. We still hang them on our Christmas tree and the girls are in their 20’s now.

  • Reply Kristina April 16, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Was für ein tolles Projekt, der schwarze Abdruck sieht so edel aus und das ist als Erinnerung so schön :)
    Ich glaube manche Kliniken machen schon Hand- und Fußabdrücke, aber leider nicht alle.
    Meine Freundin hat von ihrer 6 Monate alten Tochter Abdrücke in Salzteig sowie einer Gelatinemasse gemacht, das sah auch super aus und hat sehr gut funktioniert!

  • Reply Lucy Chen April 16, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Oh these little prints are so so precious! I also saw photos of those magnificent animals you husband posted on Instagram. Oh I love them! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Alisa April 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    When my daughter was 6 months old – my son was 3 years old – we made a family hand picture and a family foot picture. Each member got a color for both the hand and foot. They still hang in our hallway 9 years later and both kids love to go “measure” their hands and feet against what they used to be. My son at age 12 has bigger feet than me. I am so glad we took the time to do that.

  • Reply Corinne April 16, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    What a nice idea :) Need to keep this in mind for when I get kids! :)


  • Reply Susan April 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Oh I would love this for my new grandbaby due in September! I love baby feet!

  • Reply Evi April 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Was für eine wundervolle Idee !

  • Reply ananda April 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    oh darling delicious little feet! so happy to see you are enjoying each precious moment fully! and holly your saffron risotto is making me drool!

  • Reply Laura April 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Well don’t feel too badly that you didn’t get newborn hand and footprints. We did, and the ink they used smeared so badly that it almost ruined his baby book.

    I redid them when we got home, but that didn’t go so smoothly either.

    And now he’s almost two and his hands and feet are huge! So you did well to capture them at nine weeks.

    Just keep trying with the hands, maybe while he’s eating even…..

  • Reply Kylee April 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    So so cute! I did my twins footprints using an ink pad (washable and non toxic of course). Might be easier than paint because you can just roll the foot on the pad and then onto the paper (we used mini canvases). But paint might give a more interesting texture. They’re nine months now and I still haven’t done their hand prints – now I think they’d be far too wriggly and interested in it all. Ink would be everywhere! :)

  • Reply Anusha Ram April 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    The result looks lovely! You could also try wet clay, and have the foot/ hand prints preserved for life :D

  • Reply Haelyn April 16, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I love hand and foot prints! I do them every year with my three kids, and the oldest is 8, who every year marvels at how big his hands and feet have gotten since his “baby days”. I use a non-toxic ink pad on acid-free watercolor paper… Easy clean up with baby wipes!

    When they were infants, my husband did a lot of imprints while I breastfed. I realize that no one wants to bother a sleeping baby, but I have even done handprints alone while he was sleeping. Handprints can be a bit tricky, but if you make sure that the baby is relaxed while breastfeeding or even asleep you could gently open up the hand to apply ink, place the fingertips down on paper first, quickly place and press the entire hand on paper in rolling motion, then lift. You have to make sure to do this swiftly! And you will get better and faster with practice. :)

    Another wonderful, memory building, keepsake DIY we do every year is outlining their hands with color pencils. Align the bottom of the hand where the palm meets the wrist on top of the older one to make new outlines on top of the old ones, and you will see how big your child has grown in such a short amount of time! I did them every three months for the first year, then every year after that. Now I have the child pick out his/her favorite color to make one. Super easy, and super cute!

    Have fun! :)

  • Reply Anita April 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I did it with all of my three boys at once.
    I just did’nt finish it jet.

    Sorry it’s in Sloveninan language.

  • Reply Cintia Soto April 17, 2014 at 4:48 am

    I’m single and I don’t have babies, but your DIY is adorable, what a great photos your baby is growing and growing every day. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply JithinC April 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Congrats for the achievement in the Best Home Design & Inspiration Blog Contest …

  • Reply Katja April 17, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Hello Holly,

    sooo cute those little feet <3 My husband and I make silver jewelry with baby hand and footprints (but in 3D – like those prints in salt dough only smaller). We usually recommend taking hand prints when they are fast asleep. Do you have one of those carrying cloths (Tragetuch)? It works really well when baby is sleeping close to mommy's heartbeat. And, as you said, its always good of you have someone there to help you.


  • Reply Estela April 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Someone gave me a kit and I never got around to using it, but Martha Stewart had a project (did not find on her website) where you traced their hand every so many months with a different colored pencil, on same paper and write the month next to it. I did one of my son and I love it. I trimmed to about 5×7 and put a blue striped paper behind it. The kids did make a hand impressions in school, so i have those :)
    You may want to try while the baby is sleeping.

  • Reply Wrenaissance Art April 18, 2014 at 12:49 am

    So cute to see the baby footprints! Doing it now at home not only gives you a nice memento of when he was newborn, but sweet memories of how you worked on it with your friend and her daughter.
    It’s good to hear how you and your husband are re-entering your social life, little Aidan in tow. One of my good memories of living in Norway was seeing new parents with their babies in public, taking it all in stride.

  • Reply Mareike April 18, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I love the idea of displaying the foot print like you have in the shadow box! So sweet! I had both my kids in Hanover at the Henriettenstift and they had foot prints done straight after being born – so seems to depend on which clinic you go to. I took some more footprints when they were 9 months with a baby safe ink pad. I never managed hand prints – they wouldn’t open their little fists and got upset over me trying, so I decided it wasn’t worth it. They love doing handprints now though, at 2 and 4 years old!
    Good luck with it all, I love reading about your experience of having a baby in Hanover.

  • Reply carlotta April 21, 2014 at 10:11 am

    my sisters kids had them done in the clinic after birth (in schleswig holstein) and i made them at home, just like you did.

    i used none-poison “Plaka Farbe” by pelikan, which actually come from hannover :-)

  • Reply April San Pedro April 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    If I’ll have a baby in the future I’ll definitely try this one out… your ideas, photos and style holly is like a sunshine… it brightens my day…

  • Reply Andrea April 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    How you find the energy to do things like this is beyond me. I was still in shock the first months of my boys life and thoughts of being creative were far from my mind.

  • Reply kinga April 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Oooh Holly, such a fun little project. I love how it looks in that box shelf and also that you used black ink for the print…and how great it is when you can have your first dinner party? Some days it’s a big accomplishment just to get out of PJ’s so my first dinner party felt like a HUGE milestone. Hope you’re enjoying every moment with your sweet little man!

  • Reply Hildreths April 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Wow! This is such an adorable idea!

  • Reply Ana Borgas Leal April 28, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for this beautiful DIY. I just love baby feet. My children are grown, but when they were babies I spend hours looking and kissing their feet. I hope you do not mind that I have shared on my blog your DIY which inspire me to make a new pattern of knitted baby booties. Thank you.

  • Reply jja May 1, 2014 at 11:53 am

    “which we first tested on Leila (Sania’s idea, a very good one!) to make sure it easily came off, and with a paint brush”


    Great project to spend time with, beautiful idea!

  • Reply Angeli May 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Holly, what a precious project!

    I wasn’t able to do this when my little girl was a baby, as I was scared the paint or ink might hurt her skin.

    Now she is two. I wonder if we could still do this, even if her feet are now big toddler feet. Haha. Maybe I will!

  • Reply Little Silver Prints July 19, 2014 at 4:24 am

    This is a really lovely project to do. You could even make it a gift for a new mum. Thank you for sharing your day.

  • Reply Jazmin March 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Holly! Thanks for sharing, this is such a wonderful and creative idea!

  • Reply Effiong November 14, 2015 at 3:38 am

    All so beautiful and creitave, dear Jeanene. I love your description of your family evenings and your grandmother’s quilt is so special. Grandmothers are truly special just as you say. My grandmother was very creitave. She has now passed but every day I recall how she made jam, knitted, gardened, ran a smallholding, sewed, and very many other interests. She once made me a most beautiful embroidered magnolia flower cloth. She had the most incredible magnolia tree. To this day, magnolias are special to me and one day I hope to be a grandmother just as she was complete with smallholding under the African sun. Love to you. How I love visiting here!

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