Easy DIY Baby Footprints and Handprints Woodworking Project!


Hey friends!  If you’re anything like me, time just seems to zip and whir by these days!  My little baby?  Well, she’s not so little anymore.  It occurred to me that I’d better capture these tiny little baby footprints and handprints before she gets any bigger!

I’m super excited to share with you this fun and easy DIY woodworking project.  If you want to craft a memento of your baby footprints and handprints, well, keep on reading!

Baby Footprints and handprints DIY project

Easy DIY Baby Footprints and Handprints Woodworking Project

This blog post was sponsored by 3-lN-ONE® 100% Dry to Touch Dry Lube and Lava® Soap.  All opinions are my own (of course!).  You’ll hear in a moment why these products are *AHHH-MAZING* for quick DIY projects like these!  Onto the tutorial!

I honestly cannot believe that my little girl is about to crawl.  How did that happen?  And when?  She apparently just went through a growth spurt because one day I woke up and she seemed about forty pounds bigger.  (No lie, she gets heavy when I carry her now!)

I’ve had this super easy DIY woodworking project on my mind for some time now, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you.  You ready to grab those baby footprints and handprints?  Let’s do it!

Materials Needed for Your Baby Footprints and Handprints Project

In order to whip up this sweet little memento, you’re going to need a few things.  I’ve tagged some of these with affiliate links. Round up your supplies so that we can get crackin:

Step 1: Hold Up!  Make Sure Your Tools are Ready

Okay, okay, before we get into cutting and staining and all, lemme take a quick pause to share something important.

You guys, before I did this project?  My saw was f-u-n-k-y.  Seriously funky, no kidding.  It was covered in sawdust and sap and who-knows-what.

I hadn’t actually used my miter saw in over a year, what with the move across the country and being pregnant for the past million months.  So it sat and sat, gathering dust and grime.

But can I admit something?  While I’m a rockstar with using tools, cleaning and maintaining them kinda intimidated me.  Like, how was I supposed to know what to do to keep my tools in tip-top shape?

So if you’ve ever felt that way, let’s take a quick pause together because, yes, keeping your tools nice is important.  And, hey, I’ve pretty much done all the research for you.

How to Keep Your Miter Saw Fancy

(aka How to Clean and Maintain a Miter Saw)

If you’re like me, your miter saw is probably one of your most used tools in the garage.  So keeping that baby running for the long term is super important.

There are about four easy things you should do to take care of your miter saw: clean off the sawdust, care for your blade, keep it sleek with the right lubricant, and check your blade for square.  Let’s dive in, and I’ll explain.

Baby Footprints and Handprints 1

Clean Off Sawdust

You guys, this is probably the easiest and most important step.  Sure, I love me some sawdust.  Anyone else love the smell of fresh sawdust?

But here’s the thing: sawdust comes from wood, which comes from trees, which have sap.  And that sap?  So not good for your tools.

After each session in the garage, wipe down your tools with a rag.

If you can see in the picture above, my miter saw needed some major love.  Do you see the pivot in the center back?  It’s, like, crusty with old sawdust.  Yeeeeuck.

Now if you’ve got some serious build up like I did, you’ll need to bring in the big guns: a can of air compressor, a compressor with a nozzle attached, or, hey, even a leaf blower.  Blow off as much sawdust as you can, getting into the joints of your tool when you do.

Also, take the time to clean out your dust bag.  In the future, I’ll be setting up a dust collection system since my workshop is in the garage.  But for now, I use the dustbag that came with my miter saw.  That bag was FULL!  Take the time to empty it.

Baby Footprints and Handprints 1

Care for Your Blade

Yep, you need to care for your miter saw blade since it’s doing most of the heavy work for you.  Remember that sawdust and sap?  It can stick to the teeth of your blade, which is no good.  Wipe the teeth with a rag or toothbrush to really get the blade clean.  Concentrate on the back of the blade teeth since that’s where the blade digs into the wood.

When taking care of my blade, I also use dry lubricant, like 3-lN-ONE 100% Dry to Touch Dry Lube

Okay so remember when I mentioned I was always kind of intimidated about maintaining tools?  Part of the reason was that I was never sure what to use!  So, lemme break it down:

There are a few different kinds of lubricant.  For maintaining tools, “dry touch” lubricant is awesome.  Why?  Well, it doesn’t leave a sticky or wet feel once it’s applied.  The dry touch lube won’t attract dust to your blade.  Not only that, but it reduces friction, resists grit, and protects it for the long run.  Win!

I used the dry touch lubricant all over the blade, using it to reduce future gunk, grime, and buildup.

Baby Footprints and Handprints 1

Lubricate Moving Parts

Using a lubricant on your tools will definitely help them last.  Why?  Well, inside of your tools, there are lots of little (and not-so-little) metal parts moving together.

Making sure the parts of well lubricated will reduce friction.  For me?  I also lubricate all the joints and any part that I want to move smoothly.  I applied the 3-lN-ONE 100% Dry to Touch Dry Lube to the parts directly and used a clean rag to wipe it down.  The applicator was small enough to get into tight crooks and nooks, too, which made the application super easy.

Do you see the shine on my baby in the photo below?  She’s SO SPARKLY.

Baby Footprints and Handprints 1

Check Your Blade for Square

Lastly, you gotta make sure your cuts are accurate.  (Or you’re going to end up with some wonky pieces!)

How do you check your blade for square?

Well, if you have a miter saw that cuts on a bevel, you should first set your bevel to 90 degrees.

Then, hold a carpenter square so that it’s flush against the fence of your saw, the back metal part that runs perpendicular to your blade.  With the blade flush against the carpenter square, adjust your blade stop so that the 90-degree mark sits soundly against the square.

Now every miter saw is different, so you may need to read the instruction manual to figure out which knob to turn.  For me, the stop knob is in the front of the blade.  I held the blade against the carpenter square and made veeeeery minor adjustments to the knob until the blade sat flush.

Once you’ve done these easy steps, you should have a shiny, well maintained, and accurate saw ready to go.  If you’re feeling fancy I did, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see your saw shine!

Baby Footprints and Handprints 1
Baby Footprints and Handprints 1

Step 2: Cut and Sand Your Board

Now that we’re ready to get going, you’ll want to cut and sand your boards.

Using my measuring tape, I marked 9 inches down a 1 by 6 by 8 board and cut a segment.  I actually cut a bunch and invited some girlfriends over for a crafternoon.

I found that a 9-inch board was a good size for putting two handprints on a board.  If you want baby footprints, I recommend you cut the board a little bigger so you have enough room.  When I made a baby footprints sign, I cut the board 12 inches.

Then using a random orbital sander, smooth down the board, starting with 120 grit sandpaper and finishing with 220 grit sandpaper.  I round off the edges of the boards, too, since I like my pieces to look worn.

Baby Footprints and Handprints 1

Step 3: Stain and Wax Your Board

Once you’ve sanded your board, apply whichever stain you prefer using a staining brush or rag.  I personally use and love Minwax Provincial or Americana.

I didn’t want the piece to be too shiny, so instead of polyurethane, I used a soft finishing wax, applying it in circular motions with this finishing wax brush I found online (and love!)  Finishing wax gives the work a smooth almost velvet feel to it.  While it has a slight sheen, the luster is far more matte than shiny.

Psssst:  also, pro-tip: if you haven’t used Lava Soap in your shop or craft area, I definitely recommend you check it out.

The soap uses pumice, which gives it this super boost for cleaning tough things.  I use Lava Soap to clean the stain off my hands and off my brushes.  Seriously works like a charm.  (Also, it smells nice.)  And these days, since I’m usually hustling to do DIY projects during naptime, being able to clean up quickly and easily is super key.

Baby Footprints and Handprints 9

Step 4: Make Your Salt Dough and Grab Your Baby Footprints or Handprints

Guys, I swear this will probably be the ONLY time (I repeat, only time!) you see cooking supplies on this blog.  Ha!

In order to make handprints, you need to whip up some salt dough.  It’s super easy and only uses three ingredients: water, flour, and salt.  I used this recipe I found online, which worked really well!

Mix your dough, then roll it with a rolling pin until it’s about half inch thick.  Don’t roll it too thin or it will curve when it bakes.

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Use a cup to cut out little circles in your dough that will be bigger than your baby’s hands or feet.

Truth?  The next step is hard.  Figure out how to take a handprint without your baby clenching her fist, eating the dough, or having a meltdown.  Good luck!  LOL!

For me, it was actually easier cutting out a circle, bringing the dough to my baby, sitting her up, and having her lean over so that one chunky hand smooshed into the dough.

If you’re feeling scared, just wait til your baby’s sleeping.

I had to bake my handprints at 200 degrees for almost four hours til they were dry.  The thicker your circles, the longer it will take.

Baby Footprints and Handprints 1
Baby Footprints and Handprints 1

Step 5: Mount, Hang, and Enjoy Your Baby Footprints and Handprints Sign!

Once your handprints are dry, you can secure them to your wooden board with E6000.  Be careful with the glue cause it’s very sticky!  If you get any E6000 on your hands, use some Lava Soap to get it off.

I affixed little sawtooth hangers to the back of the peice using a hammer so that I could hang it on the wall.  And I love it!  This handprint sign is oh-so-sweet and will look perfect in my baby’s nursery once it’s all finished.

And, of course, we did a little photoshoot.  Have you seen a more adorable DIY model?

Baby Footprints and Handprints 1
Baby Footprints and Handprints 1
Baby Footprints and Handprints 1

I hope you love making this project and have as much fun as we did!

And, honestly, if you’ve ever felt intimidated cleaning and maintaining your tools, I totally feel ya.  I hope this post was helpful for you with that, too.  Pop a comment below letting me know any tips and tricks you have for keeping your DIY tools in tip-top shape.

And thanks a million to 3-lN-ONE 100% Dry to Touch Dry Lube and Lava Soap for sponsoring this post!

For more handy tips, follow 3-IN-ONE on Facebook and Instagram. Click here to find what store near you carries 3-IN-ONE 100% Dry to Touch Dry Lube. To get a discount on a 3-IN-ONE product, print out this coupon.

To find Lava Soap at a store near you, click here – and to get a discount on that purchase, click here. Don’t forget to follow Lava Soap on Facebook.

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