Best Materials for Baby Handprints & Footprint Keepsakes

Best Materials for Baby Handprints & Footprint Keepsakes

Crafts featuring your newborn’s handprints or footprints make wonderful keepsakes, decorations, and gifts.

As your baby continues to grow, it is nice to have a special way to remember how small your baby once was and how much he or she has developed.

Hand prints or foot prints are also an easy DIY project. Here are some suggestions for the best materials to use when preserving your own baby’s prints.

Acrylic Paint

As a starting point, it is helpful to know that fabric paint and acrylic paint are the same! The “craft” paint sold in small bottles at your local craft store is almost always acrylic as well. Fabric paint is the only type of paint you should consider using to display handprints or footprints over fabric.

Fabric paint has textile medium mixed in to make it less stiff when dry and it is also permanent once it dries! Once the paint is applied to the fabric and allowed to set for one week, you can even run the fabric through the washer or dryer as needed!

You can also add water to acrylic paint either to make fun watercolor effects or to simply thin down the paint.


Applying your baby’s handprints to a dish towel or bath towel can make a great gift or decorative display! Make sure you wash and dry the towel first before outlining your baby’s handprints with acrylic paint.

If you trace the outline with permanent markers, make sure you go over it again with paint, as permanent marker will wash out from towels over time.

Another fun idea is to add your baby’s name with the date of the print!

Ink Pads

Like fabric paint, ink pads are great tool to use when capturing baby handprints or footprints. Make sure the ink pad you purchase is non-toxic and washable, as you will want to be able to remove it from the baby’s hands and feet without a lot of scrubbing - like our Bubzi Co ink pads.

Ink works best when applied to paper or canvas. It may not transfer well to most fabrics and could easily wash out from towels, t-shirts, or other practical items you may choose to decorate with your baby’s prints.

Cotton T-Shirts

A t-shirt donning your baby’s handprints or footprints makes a great present for proud grandparents! Old t-shirts are also a cost-effective fabric to use when creating prints to cut out and frame.

Since most old t-shirts will have already withstood several wash cycles, the fabric paint should stay on with ease.

While most fabric blends should work, cotton is recommended due to its softness and breathability. You should wash and dry any fabric before applying acrylic paint.


Canvas is usually made of cotton or linen and is a simple, easily-accessible fabric to use when capturing your baby’s handprint.

Canvas is easy to frame and is available in a wide variety of shapes and styles. Canvas will work well with a variety of materials, including ink pads, paint, markers, crayons, or pens.

Handmade Textiles

If you or grandma have already handcrafted a quilt or baby blanket, or are in the process of doing so, save some of the left over fabric!

Applying your baby’s handprints or footprints to the same fabric will serve as a nice keepsake once your baby has outgrown his or her baby blanket.

Many parents save their children’s baby blankets for decades and some are even shared across generations! A framed piece of your baby’s special blanket with their tiny handprints or footprints is a unique way to remember your baby’s precious days as a newborn.