making a hand print
Collecting Hand or Foot Prints

If you would like an elephant critter, try to spread fingers out as much as possible.  This tends to make the elephant look happier.  This is less important for fish.

Little Critters fish
painting your child's hand
giant paint pad

Hand print collection forms are available
here or you can simply use white copy paper.  If choosing the latter option, please ensure you clearly print your child's name and the date on the sheet.  Please use a seperate sheet for each child.

You can use any colour paint, however I find red is very easy to convert to any colour. 
*Important:  Use only non-toxic, water based paints or inks.  Please do not use glitter paint or fluorescent paints.

Apply the paint using a soft brush or your finger tip.  Ensure the paint is not too dry or too thick.  Press the hand or foot firmly on the paper and apply pressure.  Try to remove the hand swiftly to avoid smudging.
If you use the correct consistency of paint, you should still notice little lines representing  the texture of the hand.  I often find that the first print does not always work well as the skin soaks up much of the moisture.  If this is the case, simply 'take two'...or three...or four!  :)
Alternatively, you may use large paint pads, similiar to the one illustrated here.
I am often asked if I can create a Little Critters artwork from hand or foot prints made in the hospital using black ink.  Sometimes, these are the only prints available.  The answer is yes.  Below are examples of Little Critters artworks made using the hand and foot prints of 'angel babies'.  What a lovely keepsake.
foot prints
foot print butterfly
hand prints
hand print fairy elephants
It can be rather tricky making hand prints with young babies as they tend to clench their tiny fists.  It helps to have a second person to help hold bub while you concentrate on getting their hand flat.  There is no 'secret' method here: it simply requires patience.  You may find foot prints easier for small babies.  Keep plenty of wet wipes or a warm face washer and old towel on hand to clean up mess.

There is no need to worry if you do not get a perfect hand or foot print (however I do love these.  It makes my job much easier!).  I do tidy up smudges and can paint in gaps if required.  I can also make a composite image from two or three different prints if necessary so send in all of your attempts if you like.  This may mean taking the thumb from one print, fingers from another and the palm from yet another print.  This does of course require extra work and may, in some cases incur an extra art fee.
hand print elephant
hand print fish
Now that you have collected your hand prints, you can either post them to Little Critters or scan them and email them.  If scanning, it is important to scan them in colour at 300dpi (100%) to ensure a life-size reproduction.