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23 June 2011

Have you seen my baby's feet? | DIY Baby Footprint Project

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So I've had a couple people on facebook tell me that they have been seeing my little project all over pinterest.  I knew it had kind of taken off on tumbler, but was excited that it spread so much on pinterest.   The only problem was...they saw it there first instead of seeing it here first - bummer.

Ah well, exposure is still exposure, right?  Kind of??   If you are wondering, the footprints are simply made by using an oil based paint that I brush onto the bottom of baby's feet, a regular interior paint for the board, a piece of scrap plywood, tacks and a whole lot of contortion and patience with the bebe.

Basically, I painted out the scrap piece of plywood with leftover interior latex paint and let it dry.  The entire piece is fairly lightweight and is attached to the wall with six little upholstery tacks.  I take the board down every time I update the footprints and the tacks just stay in the board.  To make the footprints, I use a thick, oil based paint that is intended for artists creating oil paintings on canvas.  It works well because it is super thick and "cakes" the bottom of the foot so the footprint is clear and full in one press.  If you use regular paint, the feet will slide around more and make more of a "smear". 

This paint can take days to dry, so plan on leaving the board down (outdoors) several days after each footprint set has been stamped.  Placing a wet art piece next to baby's crib is a decidedly BAD idea.  If you look close at the photos, you will see a few little fingerprint arks where kiddos have made their unintentional mark on the board...even outdoors they still manage to find it... :)

Check out more alternative artwork ideas below!
The following is excepts from the original article on alternative artwork published September 30, 2010.

This is an example of a non-stretched canvas.  They are about 1/2 price of the stretched canvases and I like the casual look of it.  I simply folded and nailed this one to the wall, but you can certainly buy a cheap frame or find a cheap painting at a thrift store and nail the canvas to it yourself to save $30-40.

We recently moved and I had a bunch of leftover photos, frames, etc that no longer "fit" in the groupings I had in previous homes.  Some of them went into storage until I can use them properly again, but this grouping went together in a hallway based on the color scheme.  All of the photos and frames have a large amount of brown in them.  Many of the photos have a sepia overlay, and all of the frames are either a light blond wood or a beech colored wood.  The small canvas in the middle is color, but  the skin tone reflects the blond wood and the darker browns in the photo reflect the beech woods.  This canvas is placed near center because it is unique and pulls all of the colors in the grouping together.  The entire grouping makes a large rectangle, so it has form and it also serves to camouflage the ugly plastic light switch a bit.

This is a super easy and cheap way of framing kid's art.  My kids don't always have a long attention span to makes big pieces of art, but they are able to make many small pieces.  I cut card stock into pieces and had my son draw all of the various things we have done at Hershey Park.  I limited the cardstock colors to 3 and the crayons to 3 colors as well.  The look is slightly random, but cohesive and we've got a great framed memory of our child's artwork as well as a great reminder of trips to the park.

I have kept footprints of my older boys in books, but with the youngest, I decided to make a little bit of cheap art with them.  I took a free piece of plywood and painted it with leftover neutral paint.  I painted my kiddo's feet with white paint and *very carefully* placed the footprints on the board.  Every few months I make another set and watch his feet "grow".  It is attached to the wall with 6 simple decorative nailheads (maybe a penny apiece?)  So basically a free project...and yes, that is a baby sleeping there :)

Another option when  you are looking at wall after wall of blank space, but have little money for artwork, is shelving.   I actually picked up a bunch of these white shelves when they were on closeout clearance at Home Depot for a penny each.  (These deals are amazing by the way...when they are clearing out stock, you can sometimes by tons of stuff for next to nothing!)  To make the shelf display cohesive, I used kraft paper fro the dollar store to wrap books, sprayed a basket white (where I store baby meds), a free giveaway photo album and a 30 cent car from TJMaxx.  It was 30 cents because it was missing a wheel, so you can't play with it, but it works perfectly to sit on top of a book and look cute! :)

...the other option is to pull paint off the wall to make modern art...at least that's what my 2 year old thinks :)

Last, but not least...conventional art...see that huge canvas?

 I didn't really like the 80's pastel paint artwork, so I painted it myself...hello birdie!
There were already art lights on the ceiling to display it - yay!

To the right is another little project I am working on.  The little brown squares are various sized canvases that I painted a basic khaki brown.  They will turn into something interesting before long...I am thinking of spray painting around the edges of various leaves for imprints...but we'll see...stay tuned!  I've also got a great project in store for a wall and a screen and another wall...oh and these great panels from IKEA that will go above our bed...more more more to come! 

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Becky Jane Thursday, June 23, 2011  

Amy, your creativity takes my breath away! I guess I'm just too impatient, if I can't figure out how to use something now, then I usually throw it away and regret it later. I must stop doing that and stash things away until I figure out what to do with them!

Visiting from Twisted Scavenger…a new TWIST on blog hopping!
Thanks, Becky Jane

SocialStudiesSoubrette Thursday, June 23, 2011  

Gorgeous! What a creative mind you have. I LOVE the footprints above the crib. Wish I had come across this around 17 months ago, bleck.

Grace Thursday, June 23, 2011  

I love your ideas. So creative.

Orangies Attic Thursday, June 23, 2011  

What a great idea... but I have to say, the baby is CUTER!

Delaney Friday, June 24, 2011  

The feet canvas is so adorable!

Wakela Runen Friday, June 24, 2011  

That feet canvas is such a cute idea.

rccalyn Friday, July 01, 2011  

I totally love this idea, and HAD to post it to Pinterest! You are so creative, and I wish I had time to do even half of your projects!

Miss Kitty Friday, July 15, 2011  

I love, love, love that baby footprint idea! I work in a hospital nursery so we make footprints with a disposable ink blotter to put footprints on birth certificates...it's not hard. Word to the wise: Don't try to do baby handprints unless the baby is SOUND ASLEEP and stays that way.

thommi fairchild Wednesday, October 10, 2012  

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the footprint art you made! I have to admit, I first found it on pinterest, but will be frequenting your blog as of now! :)

I was wondering how often you took your little ones footprints?


Amy Renea Friday, October 12, 2012  

Thanks Tommi - glad you found me! I took the footprints every 2 months or so at first and then slowed down to every few months, then every year.

Julie Friday, August 23, 2013  

All linked up! Loved this project, your images if it are beautiful! Thanks for letting me know the correct source.

Amy Renea Saturday, August 24, 2013  

Thanks so much Julie!! I really appreciate it! :)

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