Baby Feet Imprint DIY
Hello dear friends! I've been missing from my blog, I know, but man when you have a baby you just want to cuddle him 24/7! Nothing else seems to exist and time stops. We also had guests from London for four days which was wonderful and definitely kept us very active with the little one. It was such a great visit and made us both so happy that our friends traveled all the way to Hannover just to meet little Aidan and spend time with us (thank you Sania, Mark, Luke and Leila!). Baby Aidan had his first zoo visit (6 hours too!), first subway ride, first bus ride, first museum visit (art at the Sprengel where we caught the Michael Raedecker exhibition), first dinner out in a proper restaurant (the same one Thorsten's family has been dining at since he was little to celebrate special occasions), and he met young children for the first time, a 7-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy (Leila and Luke) whom he just loved so much.
Little Leila played with him so nicely and helped me each time I changed his nappy and she even bottle fed him (with supervision of course) and was the perfect little nanny. I loved how she would hold his tiny hand to console him when he cried on the changing table or in his stroller and how she was by his side most of the time over the course of four days. It was lovely to see how children take so nicely to babies. On Friday night, I also had a little first for myself - my first dinner party since having Aidan! I've hosted cake and coffee many times since his birth but a dinner party was a big jump but I wanted to do it since it felt like the right time to start living life in a more normal way again as we did pre-baby. So myself, together with 6 adults, 2 children and little Aidan enjoyed a very nice evening in our dining room by candlelight. I can't take all of the credit for this special time since everyone had a role which made it easier for a new mom and nicer overall for my guests because it felt like a genuine family affair. My friend Tinna cooked the shrimp and asparagus that I picked up from the farmers' market and mixed it together with saffron risotto (she used this as the base), cream and parmesan cheese, I made a large salad, Christine brought some extra plates and cutlery since I didn't have enough, Mark brought beer and prosecco, Sania and I set the table and Morten put together a board of his favorite cheeses and fresh baguette paired with coconut and passionfruit jam from Nicholas Vahe for dessert. We listened to French music and spent a beautiful evening together while my baby slept zzZZZzzz and he slept sooo well too.
So that's what I've been up to for the past week or so, how about you? Are you doing well? Today I want to share a mini project that I started with Sania, Leila and Aidan on Monday and continued and finished today - it's a little baby feet (or in this case, foot!) DIY project that you may want to try with your sweet little bundle of cuteness.
I remember before Aidan's birth, I asked my husband if German hospitals do finger and foot prints when a child is born because I had mine done at birth, in black, but he said he didn't think so. When Aidan came, they definitely didn't do it (I am still so disappointed!) so I have been wanting to do hand and foot prints ever since. It's been 9 weeks and I finally decided that I would do it before he hit the double digits. The perfect time seemed to be when Sania and her sweet daughter Leila were with me and we were looking for some crafty projects to do together for our girl's day yesterday. I figured it would also make for a nice memory - I'd always remember that we made this little footprint together. We waited until little Aidan was semi-relaxed and not crying and removed his pants leaving on only his onesie and nappy. I made sure the kitchen was warm and that we did this little project near the sink so we could quickly wash his feet clean. We used black acrylic paint, which we first tested on Leila (Sania's idea, a very good one!) to make sure it easily came off, and with a paint brush, I held Aidan in a comfortable position and Sania painted the bottom of his right foot. We were laughing the entire time as he squirmed, it was seriously the cutest thing. I pressed his right foot onto the right side of a 18 x 25 cm sheet of Canson acid-free, archival quality watercolor paper (300 gram) and the first footprint was perfect. We were lucky! We then quickly rinsed his foot under warm water with a little soap and he loved it - so there was zero crying - which was a big relief! My son loves water (he never cries during bath time) but I wasn't so sure he'd love being part of our craft project -- but he actually did just fine. We were really proud of him.
We then tried his left foot but weren't as successful. It seemed he caught on to what we were doing so he tried to resist with each little imprint we tried to make. About 12 rounds later (yes really!), we still couldn't get a good impression because he kept curling his toes the minute foot met paper, so we decided to just be happy with the one footprint and give him a break. We could tell her was getting a bit cranky after 5 minutes of crafting, so we left the good print out to air dry and this morning, I decided to finish the project since Sania and her family flew back to London last night. I took the little print, tore the paper very roughly on all four sides reducing the size significantly, and started to think of how to display this in his nursery in the best way. I thought that on a canvas would be nice, versus framed, and that I could add linen to the frame to somehow make it look more handmade and add that tactile quality and a little warmth that I love so much.
I had this linen pocket I'd been saving and it happened to be the perfect size, so I glued it to the canvas. Easy. You could do the same but simply cutting a piece of nubby linen to size. Then I busted out my rubber stamps and a black ink pad, other crafty bits, and here is what I came up with below. I really like it because I was able to hide the left footprint that was a bit smeared, but still nice, inside of the pocket -- it wasn't nice enough to display but still gives us a record of the special day and his left foot! I also stamped his first name (Sania gave me the idea to incorporate my rubber stamps), added a little star, and how many weeks old he was when this was made... I was going to date it but I preferred just stamping "9 weeks". I glued everything to the canvas, added a little ribbon and a button, tucked it inside of the gray Ferm Living shadow box above his changing table, and here is the result...
I really hope you like this little DIY. The only word of caution I would like to add is PLEASE make sure you use either kid's halloween face paint or normal acrylic paint that you've tested first (apply, rinse off, see how well it rinses off) before applying it to your infant and MAKE SURE you do not do this alone - have your friends help you so that your baby feels comfortable, safe and his body is supported when you are doing it. I recommend making the prints in the kitchen on the counter, next to the sink, and to wash the feet (or hands) as soon as you get a good print. Use a very soft paint brush on the feet and mix the paint with a little water so it's not too thick. If you do handprints (which we didn't, his are still too clenched into little fists given his age), do not allow the hands near the face or mouth. Really. It's not worth hurting your little baby for the sake of an art project!
Sania and Leila thank you for helping me stamp his little feet and Thorsten, thank you for holding him today while I took the photos above for this post! xo
So now I have a question... Have you ever made HAND prints for your baby? I want to do them for his little keepsake book. At what age do they stop making fists and have hands that are open and relaxed enough to try this???
(images: holly becker for decor8)