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How to bronze your baby's footprint

Gina Roberts-Grey has contributed to more than 100 parenting, health and women's issue publications. She lived with her family in upstate New York, and can be reached be reached via her website: .ginaroberts-grey.com.

Bronze your baby's feet

Those ten tiny toes are fun to tickle. But you know they're bound to get bigger - and fast! Before your baby's feet hit the ground running, why not capture their precious little size forever. Bronzing his first pair of shoes was popular decades ago, but now, parents can take bronze, gold and silver one step further by creating a 3-D metallic cast of baby's whole foot or footprint.

Baby Feet
An array of companies offer prints made cast in bronze. But, those can take several weeks to complete and can cost up to $300 or more. A quicker and cheaper way to do-it-yourself is to cast your baby's foot in plaster and choose a bronze finish paint. It's hard to tell the difference between the print that's made of bronze, and the one that's painted. And, the unexpected bonus: the painted version won't tarnish.Here's all you need to know to make a beautiful bronze keepsake of your precious little one's fabulous baby footprint.

The supplies:

  • Newspaper or drop cloth to protect your work surface
  • Mold kit that includes bronze (or gold or silver if you desire) finish paint
  • A stained pine (other options are walnut, cherry, oak or mahogany) wood or marble base
  • Brass name plate (optional)

Preparation:

Clean and thoroughly dry your baby's foot (or feet if you're doing both.) Avoid applying after bath lotion or powder since that can interfere with the mold process. And, just to make sure nothing ruins your favorite outfit, dress him in a onesie that keeps clothes away from his foot, or something you don't mind getting dirty. Cover your work area with paper or a drop cloth and follow the instructions for creating the mold. And, don't worry if he wiggles his tootsies. The molds will capture his curled up toes. Because little one's feet and toes are usually ticklish, you might want to try creating the mold while he's asleep or when he's still groggy after just waking up from a nap.

Finishing up:

Depending on the type of mold, you can usually apply the finish paint within 24 to 72 hours. And, you can personalize the print by selecting either a matte, semi-gloss or glossy finish. Embellish the print by mounting it on a wooden base and when it's done, you can set the whole foot cast on a shelf or corner of your desk, or hang a baby footprint plaque on your wall.

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