1 Off Jewellery

How to take an impression


  • Do not open your wipe until you are ready to use it. It can be used a few times but will dry out quickly once open.
  • It is easiest if your baby is sleepy/ sleeping or distracted when taking prints to avoid wriggling.
  • Ensure that the foot or hand is free from fluff so wipe with a baby wipe and allow to dry.
  • Place the sensitised paper on a flat, hard surface (like a book). NB: Smooth side up.
  • Open the inkless sachet. It will feel quite dry – this is normal.
  • Gently wipe the whole surface area of the baby’s foot or hand. Be careful not to touch the sensitive paper if you have any residue from the wipe on your hands. You can use 1 hand to wipe and 1 hand to move the paper.
  • For footprints – hold the baby’s ankle and press gently, but firmly, onto the sensitive paper rolling it from heel to toe. Note: Excessive pressure will cause an unstable print. Hold for 10 – 15 seconds. 
  • For Handprints –      This is best carried out when the baby is fully asleep. Fingers are hard to uncurl when the baby is awake. Roll the hand from heel to fingertips onto the sensitive paper whilst holding the fingers uncurled, this may need more than 1 person. Hold for 10 – 15 seconds.
  • The image will take a few minutes to appear and darken.
  • Wash hands and/or feet with soap and water.
  • If taking impressions from more than one child, please write the child’s name next to their print.


  • For a small baby we suggest you use the thumb.
  • For a large adult we suggest you take a print of the little finger.
  • For anyone else you will get a usable print from any finger.

You will need:
  • A small bowl half filled with boiling hot water
  • Another small bowl with cold (tap) water
  • A metal spoon to remove the compound from the water. Do not use a plastic spoon as it may bind to the plastic and become unusable.
The process is quick and very simple. Please bear in mind that you are dealing with boiling hot water and take every precaution not to burn either yourself or the child. 

The compound is softened in the hot water and then hardened in the cold. It begins to harden as soon as you take it out of the hot water but it can be re-softened as often as you need so that you can try again and again until you get a really good impression. NB: Re-boil the water every time as the water needs to be boiling hot.

  • Do one fingerprint impression at a time and always use freshly boiled water
  • Drop the compound into the cup of boiling hot water
  • Wait for 1 minute for it to soften
  • Remove with the teaspoon
  • Quickly roll into a small ball
  • Place this in the palm of your hand (this is a nice softish surface to get a good impression and also it allows you to check the temperature of the compound before pressing the child’s finger into it)
  • Press the finger into the ball. Press firmly but don’t press right to the bottom, leave a millimetre or two at the base.
  • Hold the finger in place for 5 to 10 seconds
  • Place the finger with the compound into the bowl of tap water for a few seconds until the compound hardens.
  • When hardened remove the mould and check that the shape looks like a fingertip and that there is a discernible fingerprint in the mould

Problem Solving
  • If the moulding compound sticks to the finger dampen the finger before trying again.
  • If the mould is distorted then try again making sure that it has fully hardened before removing from the finger.
  • Always use freshly boiled water to soften the compound.
  • If the child is less than 8 months old and you are struggling to get a good impression, wait a few months and try again.
  • If you are not happy with the result, repeat the entire process. use different fingers every time you take an impression as skin softens in the water and the print becomes faint
  • You can repeat the process as many times as is necessary to get a really good print
  • If all else fails give me, Carol, a call on 01327 844562.

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