DIY Clay Handprint or Footprint Keepsake Box
I’ve seen the most beautiful clay impression shadow boxes all over the Internet the past year. Initially, I wanted to purchase one with Millie’s handprint and footprint. Yet, when I saw that they often cost almost $300 I had to pause and reconsider. Don’t get me wrong, I think these are absolutely beautiful and they are precious keepsakes of your children, which make them worth the investment. But, before spending that much money, I wanted to attempt making one on my own.
Now, I am not a crafty person. Not at all. But, my mom is and my friend Vicki is, so with their guidance I was able to create a handprint shadow box that I really love! The fact that I did all of the work on my own (other than our local pottery studio helping with the clay impressions) makes me confident that you could do this craft as well! I was able to create the entire children’s keepsake box for $70. Here’s how I did it:
- Go to your local pottery studio and create your child’s clay impressions. We did a hand and a foot, but you could do just one of these, a handprint of each of your children, etc. It cost me $40 total for the clay handprint and footprint.
- Purchase and gather materials. You will need a shadow box or frame, fabric to use as the background, adhesive spray, super glue, and scissors.
- Cut the fabric so that it wraps around the back board of the shadow box. Use adhesive spray to attach it to the backside of the board. Be very cautious to not let this spray drip onto the front of the board/fabric or you will see wet spots. After it is securely attached, add super glue in locations on the back to add extra hold to the fabric.
- Measure where you want the clay impressions to go. I didn’t want to do any markings on the fabric, so I measured how far from the top/bottom and left/right I wanted each impression to be placed and wrote these measurements on paper.
- Apply super glue to the back of the clay impressions. Be very careful not to apply the glue too close to the edge of the clay because you don’t want it to seep out the side when pressing down (which would leave a wet mark on the fabric.) While holding the clay impression, quickly measure the top/bottom and left/right to find the location you want to place the clay and then carefully press it onto the fabric. Repeat with any other impressions you have.
- Allow everything to dry and set overnight. The next day, place everything inside the shadow box and enjoy!
How to Create a Handprint Shadow Box
To see these steps in action, be sure to check out my Instagram reel video where I show the process from beginning to end. I’m really happy with how this project turned out and I think these clay impression shadow boxes make the perfect gift, whether it’s for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, or a grandparent’s birthday! If you make one, feel free to send me a picture on Instagram messenger, I would love to see how it turned out!