If you are afraid of your dog dying anytime soon, you might want to know how to preserve clay paw print to perpetuate the memory of your pet. Sometimes it might be possible to cast the print of your dog before it dies, and often you might need the assistance of your vet to obtain the print of your dog after its death.
How to Make & Preserve Clay Paw Print
If you have ever seen the imprint of a dog’s paw on mud after a rainy day, you will be amazed at the natural indentation and the details it offers. You can preserve your dog’s paw in clay or plaster of Paris and other moulds, but it is best to use a material that will be durable and copyable as keepsakes.
So here are proven methods for preserving clay paw prints.
Cast your dog’s paw in POP
Plaster of Paris (POP) is a good idea for preserving the paw of your dog or even cat for a memento. Make a ring around the print paw in the mud with cardboard, then pour the POP on it and allow it to dry. It should be fully dry within 24 hours and you should obtain a fairly accurate preserved print this way. Many other artists get creative with the POP but the ultimate result should be acceptable and presentable to people who appreciate paw print.
Oven bake polymer for paw preservation
You can preserve the clay paw print of your pet using oven bake polymer. You will have to knead the material for up to 15 minutes until it becomes pliant and supple to be molded into any shape. The polymer should then be put into a tin baking tray lined with foil; place the foot of your dog into the material and press it in to make an indentation that portrays its paws. Your pet can do this in a standing position so that the paw comes out deep and firmly impressed into the polymer.
Once you have your print, put the baking tray into the oven to bake it for a few minutes to have your well-preserved clay paw print. If you don’t want to oven-bake, you can air-dry the material for 24-48 hours in direct sunlight to have a clay print that can last for many months. One advantage of this preservation process is that oven bake polymer does not leave your table or work area messy like POP does. But be careful that your dog does not eat the clay by putting it out of reach.
Sculp from craft stores
You can preserve your dog’s paw print in sculp purchased from craft stores. Most stores sell craft kits that enable you to take the print of your dog and then preserve it in the sculp obtained with ease. The use of sculpy is cheaper and easier to use since the model clay can be air-dried using a machine, or placed out in an open space for several hours.
One advantage of sculp from craft stores is that it can be modeled to make different craft, depending on your level of artistic creativity. You only need to whittle it away to shape an object of your fancy, and the resultant object lasts for years if well-kept.
Preserve your dog’s paw in clay patty
A paw print kit contains a clay patty and other necessary materials that can be used to make an accurate and durable paw print. A kit should contain a clay patty, a tip sheet, as well as a protective bag for moving or storing the preserved print. After obtaining your clay patty from the local store, you must knead it thoroughly until it is soft and rollable into a ball. If you like, you may add colors to the ball to highlight the final result.
Once your patty ball is centered on a flat surface, life the foot of your dog and press firmly into the ball – be sure to have the pad of the paw and the nails impress deep into the patty – before removing the foot. Remove the foot gently in one fluid motion so as not to disturb the integrity of the impression. You can then place the print to bake in the oven or toaster at about 275 degrees Fahrenheit or 135 degrees Celsius.
After about 20 minutes of baking, remove the print and allow to cool at normal room temperature for up to 24 hours. You can then color or spray your print if you want, but be sure you really know how to do this before proceeding. If you are using polymer clay, you must only use a coating that is suitable for this material since spray paints or nail polish might not be the best for it.
Decorate your clay paw print
You can decorate your clay paw print using materials you got from your local store. But it is best to recruit an experienced crafter if you do not know how to make decorations on your print or you might damage what you have achieved so far. After you are fully done with your decorations, allow the print to dry for as long as possible before putting up the print as a keepsake. So there you have your clay paw print preserved for sales or for souvenirs.
How to preserve clay paw print depends on your preferences and the preservation materials available, as well as the exact print you are trying to create. But this detailed guide is sufficient to enable you to preserve your first paw print perfectly. Try it today and share your experience with us in the comments section. You can also try various methods several times before you master the entire crafting procedure.