Best Baby Handprint Kits

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

25 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
331 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best baby handprint kits

Last Updated September 2020

There’s a reason admirers ooh and aah over baby hands. It’s hard to imagine those perfect newborn fingers grasping a spoon or coloring with crayons. But that day will come sooner than you expect, and there’s no turning back the clock.

A baby handprint kit helps you look back on the earliest days of your child’s life. These kits preserve your baby’s handprint in clay, plaster, or ink. Many come with options for display on a wall, shelf, or holiday ornament. Handprint kits make meaningful baby shower presents or “welcome home” gifts, too.

But life with a newborn can be exhausting. Kits that are messy or come with confusing instructions are frustrating, especially after a night of interrupted sleep. Which kits make the best, easiest keepsakes? Keep reading to learn more and be sure to check our recommendations for the top handprint kits on the market.

Babies grow more in their first year of life than any other time, so get those handprints done as soon as possible!

Key considerations

Handprint media

Clay

Clay handprint kits are the easiest to use. They arrive with a small amount of clay in a sealed package. You simply roll out the clay to the shape and thickness you desire and press your baby’s hand into it to create the impression. The clay must be kneaded and pressed to eliminate air bubbles, and some individuals find the clay challenging to roll to their desired texture.

Unlike other media, clay handprint kits aren’t messy. Clay leaves behind little residue on your baby’s hand. And if your baby moves at just the wrong time, you can mash up the clay, roll it out, and try again. Clay discs don’t create quite as sharp an impression as plaster, but they won’t break if dropped.

Some clay handprint kits can be dried in the oven, but most must be air dried, which requires a little babysitting. Air-dry clay must sit undisturbed for 24 to 48 hours to set. Some kits require you to turn the disc at intervals to keep the edges flat.

Plaster

Handprint kits that use plaster deliver the sharpest, most crisp impressions of your baby’s hand. They give you a substantial, impressive keepsake. They do, however, have some downsides.

Plaster handprint kits can be messy. If your baby moves when you press her hand down, it can mar the impression. You can smooth it over and try again, at least until the plaster hardens. And if she jerks her hand before you clean it, you risk getting plaster everywhere.

Handprints made from plaster harden much quicker than impressions made in clay, so there’s less risk of ruining the kit. They are, however, more likely to break if dropped.

Ink

Ink handprint kits are usually the least-expensive options. They are easy to store and can be mounted in a frame or with a photo. They don’t break when dropped. However, they also have disadvantages.

With an ink kit, you only have so many opportunities to get it right. Many kits include more than one piece of paper, but your chances are still limited by your paper and ink. And your baby may get ink on anything he touches until you can wash it off. So, if baby’s hand goes on your shirt, or in his mouth, so does the ink.

Newer ink kits are designed with a plastic sheet on top of the ink pad, so you don’t have to get ink on your child’s fingers. This style is cleaner, but many still offer a limited number of chances for success.

A baby handprint kit makes a great baby shower gift.

Features

Display options

Your baby’s handprint is a treasure, and you’ll want to keep it on display. But how?

Frame

Many kits come with a display frame for you to use. These are a good choice for walls, shelves, and mantels. Some frames focus only on the handprint; others have space for a photo or additional keepsakes. Decide which would fit best in your space, and make sure you have the tools to safely mount the frame on the wall if that’s your choice. Frames with glass windows may be easier to see through than those featuring plastic.

Easel

Instead of framing, some kits include a miniature easel to display your baby’s handprint on a mantel or shelf. If you choose this option with a clay kit, make sure you roll out your clay to a height and thickness that will fit comfortably on the easel.

Ornament

Many three-dimensional handprint kits can be turned into Christmas ornaments. These kits should include a stick for poking a hole through the disc, as well as sturdy ribbon for hanging. If you go this route, look for materials that won’t break if a pet or child knocks it on the floor.

Extras

Accent colors: Some plaster and clay handprint kits come with accent paint to decorate the print. Many come with classic pink and blue hues as well as yellow, green, or other pastel shades.

Letter stamps: Some handprint kits include letter stamps for you to record your baby’s name right on the disc. This allows you to personalize the handprint without the stress of writing it yourself.

Footprint: Larger kits may include material and space for baby’s footprint, too. Some kits are designed to hold both prints on the same piece of material; others have a dedicated piece for each part. Consider the likelihood of getting two good impressions on the same piece when deciding which to buy.

Multiples: Some baby handprint kits include materials and spaces for you to create handprint impressions annually. This is a sweet idea, but make sure the forms increase in size. A kindergartener’s palm may barely fit in a space intended for a newborn, so make sure the kit will grow with your child.

EXPERT TIP

Be sure to write your baby’s name and date on the back of the handprint impression or look for a kit that includes letter stamps for that purpose.


Staff  | BestReviews

Baby handprint kit prices

Inexpensive: Even if you’re on a budget, there are quality baby handprint kits your family can afford. The least-expensive kits cost under $10 and usually offer simple ink pads and thick, long-lasting paper. Many include a frame for display.

Mid-range: The next tier of baby handprint kits usually cost $12 to $16. Most kits in this price range let you make up to two clay or plaster discs for hand or footprints. They usually come with a display easel as well as a hole puncher and ribbon for turning the handprint into an ornament.

Expensive: The most expensive handprint kits cost $20 or more. Kits that cost this much are usually framed and include materials for at least one handprint. If you’re paying this much, your frame should have space for one or more of your favorite baby pictures. 

DID YOU KNOW?

A newborn baby’s hand is so small that the whole thing will easily fit into the palm of yours.

Tips

  • Users occasionally have problems with prints retaining mold. If you live in a humid environment, look for kits advertised to be mold-free.
  • Make sure you roll out air-dry clay on a clean surface. Otherwise, dirt may get stuck in your imprint.
  • Keep baby wipes nearby to clean off little hands as soon as the imprint is done.
  • If you select an ornament kit, consider getting one for the grandparents, too. They’ll treasure this memento, and there’s no going back in time to make more.
Between two and three months of age, babies start gripping objects. By four months old, most will grab toys and other items that are nearby.

FAQ

Q. What’s the best way to get a quality handprint?
A.
It’s definitely a two-person job — two people besides the baby, that is. One adult should hold the baby securely and comfortably. The second person must firmly press the handprint into the printing medium. Press the hand in all at once rather than gradually so there’s less chance of sliding or smearing.

If you prefer, you can try to make a print while baby is sleeping. This method may be easier to execute (as long as the child doesn’t wake up) but will require awkward angles that might not create the clearest impression.
 

Q. How old should my baby be when I use the handprint kit?
A.
As young as possible, for a couple of reasons. Babies grow quickly, and your little one will never be this small again. What’s more, newborns are usually very sleepy and docile for the first few weeks, making it easier to get a good print. If you wait much past three months, your baby is more likely to protest, pull back his hand, or try to grab and explore the medium. Still, if reflexes make it impossible to get a good impression, his hand won’t grow THAT much if you wait a few more weeks.
 

Q. My baby is clenching her fist. Should I try to open it to get a handprint?
A.
It might not do any good. Babies are born with this palmar grasp reflex, which means their fingers will quickly snap back into place. This reflex is often present for the first month or two and is stronger and lasts longer in some babies than in others. Try your baby’s hand to check how strong the reflex is before exposing ink or clay to air or mixing plaster. If getting a good impression seems unlikely, wait another week and check again.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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