Capture your pet's unique paw print to create a meaningful keepsake with one of these three super simple DIY projects.
Pet-Safe Ink Print
Create a work of art with your pet’s paw prints using a non-toxic dye. Mix one package of Kool-Aid with only just enough water to make a Kool-Aid paste. If it gets too watery, you won’t be able to adhere it evenly to your dog’s paw. Spread the paste across a solid surface, and dip your dog’s pad into the dye. Alternatively, if you have a patient dog, use a paint brush to coat his paw evenly with the dye mixture. Once his paw is coated, press it onto a canvas or sheet of paper—just be sure to avoid any glossy-textured papers or else the Kool-Aid paste will smear. Use this technique to create an abstract print with multiple overlapping paws, or do a single paw print and embellish with your pet’s picture or name. Allow it to dry completely before framing or hanging. Use a pet-safe grooming wipe to remove the Kool-Aid, though if your dog does lick a bit of it, it’s perfectly safe.
Trace and Color
For a fun, kid-friendly project, have your child trace her foot on a large sheet of paper. Then, lure your dog next to your kiddo’s footprint and help her trace your dog’s paw print on the same sheet. Let her decorate the side-by-side footprint and paw print with age-appropriate art supplies. Repeat this exercise annually to track your child’s growth alongside her furry best friend.
Dough Paw Print
In a large bowl, mix one cup of flour with one cup of salt. Add a half cup of water and knead until you have a large, smooth ball. On a piece of wax paper, press the dough into your desired shape—use cookie cutters to create a heart or a round circle, or use Christmas shapes if you’d like this to become an ornament. Set the shaped dough on the wax paper onto the floor, and gently but firmly press your dog’s paw into the dough. If you’d like to turn the print into an ornament or a wall hanging, use a straw to create a hole at the top of the dough. Then, bake the print at 200-degrees Fahrenheit for two to three hours. Overcooking can cause it to crack, so check regularly and remove from the oven as soon as it's dry. Optional variation: Add food coloring to the water prior to kneading to create a colorful ornament.
Maggie is a writer and author, whose first book, Clicker Dog Training: The Better Path to a Well-Behaved Pup was published by Open Air Publishing. When she's not writing (or reading books about grammar), she teaches writing courses to college students and professionals who want to nail down the basics of communication. Outside of work, she hikes, throws dinner parties, plays with her three dogs and cat, and travels as much as possible.