By Pamella Neely
A poem with your baby's footprint next to it is a great baby keepsake. Its worth making at least one for yourself and a few to give away to family members. Here's everything you'll need for a beautiful baby foot poem in four easy steps:
1) Find a poem and print it out.
Print out the poem with wide margins so there's plenty of room for your baby's footprint. There are hundreds of nice poems to use online, or go to your local bookstore and pick out a book of poems. Because the poem will be only for your personal use there's no need to worry about trademarks - just find a poem that captures how you feel about your baby right now.
When you print out the poem, be sure to use a dark color for the type, and keep the font as simple as possible - that way the poem will be easy to read, especially for grandparents with failing eyes. Printing the poem out on paper with a busy pattern or with the type in a bright color is not a good idea.
Print out at least six copies of the poem. This is because when your baby's foot is covered with ink, you'll want to work fast, and not have to stop to print out another copy of the poem. Having extras also takes a bit of the pressure off, and makes creating the baby footprint poem more fun for you and your baby - if you mess up a few copies of the poem, who cares - you'll have plenty of extras.
2) Craft supplies needed
- Water based paint (darker colors will show your baby's footprint details better) - a dish for the paint - a brush or sponge to apply the paint to your baby's feet - For an extra nice touch: a photograph of your baby to paste onto the sheet
3) How to make the baby footprint:
Get your baby comfortable in a highchair or bassinet near you and the work area where you'll be creating the baby footprint poem. Its a really good idea to pick a time of day when your baby is rested, fed, and relaxed.
The more comfortable you and your baby are with the movement of pressing a wet foot on to paper, the better your results will be. Some people like to have their baby in a highchair, then press the paper to the baby's foot (putting the paper over a hard surface, like a book, works well if you try this). Others hold the baby in their lap, then stand up with the baby in their arms and use a free hand to press the baby's foot on to the poem lying on the table.
Take a few minutes to practice pressing your baby's foot on to a blank piece of paper. Try it with and without ink on your baby's foot. As always - don't stress - the easier and more fun this is for the both of you, the better your poem will look. Once you've found the most comfortable way to make the footprint or both of you, then it's time for paint.
Gently paint your baby's foot with water based paint using either a brush or a sponge or even a paper towel. If it all possible, use warm water.
While the paint is still damp, get the printed poem (or a blank piece of practice paper), and either press it against your baby's foot, or put it on a flat surface and press your baby's foot against the paper. Press lightly - its nice to be able to see the wrinkles and details the foot impression leaves. You may have to try several times to get a good print, which means repainting your baby's foot a few times. And if the foot gets too wet, the paint will drip. If your baby has an overly wet foot, grab a blank piece of paper, do a quick imprint, then immediately to a second imprint on the printed out poem. Depending on the thickness of the paint, sometimes the second imprint looks best.
Stop after you've got a few good prints. Take a moment to clean you and your baby up, and take a break.
4) Finishing up.
If you don't want a lot of hassle, you can just pick your favorite baby footprint poem, pin it up on the wall, and be done. It might be nice to write the date and the baby's name on the bottom of the print or on the back of the poem. You could also paste a photograph of your baby on the baby footprint poem.
If you want to frame the footprint poem to give as a gift, most craft stores, gift and department stores have lots of affordable frames to choose from. Here's one extra tip for a framed baby footprint poem - try to keep a one or two inch border around the outside of the printed poem. This makes framing much easier and more attractive.