How to Take Fingerprints for Keepsake Artwork
You’ve found your way to Flutterbye Prints and you are interested in a fingerprint art keepsake.  Well, this product is a little different than most other purchases you will make online so you probably have a few questions. 

Today I’m going to explain how you’ll take your fingerprints for your fingerprint guest book alternative, couple’s fingerprint art, family fingerprint artwork or single fingerprint keepsake.  Luckily, taking your fingerprints doesn’t have to be messy and the whole process is very easy and you're sure to have fun doing it.
family fingerprint art parent and children thumbprints in heart shapes with names and dates

Select fingerprints for your artwork

Maybe you’ve had your prints taken before, and you had to do every finger.  Luckily, for this project you only need to select one or two fingers to take your fingerprint.  But, I do have some tips for which one to choose that will really help your fingerprint art turn out amazing. 

First, it’s a good idea if you are doing a fingerprint heart keepsake that you both choose a finger that is pretty similar in size.  The heart shape looks pretty lopsided when you have a large thumbprint with a much smaller pinky fingerprint.  

Also, may people don’t realize that their fingerprints have vertical or horizontal lines that cut through the typical loops and whorls that you normally think of when you picture a fingerprint.  Some couples don’t mind, and other couples do not like the marks.  So take a moment and have a look to see which print on your fingers you prefer. 
example of clear defined fingerprint versus a blurry fingerprint that doesn't show detail of fingerprint lines

Capturing all the fingerprint lines

Did you know that various things affect how clearly your fingerprint will appear?  In viewing many fingerprints over the years, I’ve come to realize that in general, men have more defined fingerprint lines.  While I don’t have any scientific data for this, I think it is due to the average finger size between men and women. 

This size factor also seems to come in to play between different fingers.  A thumb will be easier to get all the details than a smaller pinky print.  The smaller the finger size, the closer the fingerprint lines are which can make them blur together on the paper.
dad helping child take thumbprint

Children’s Fingerprints are finer

Size is one factor that affects children’s fingerprints.  But, children’s fingerprint lines are also just finer in general so they can be a little more tricky to pick up. 

With children, I definitely recommend that you use the thumbprint to maximize and definition of the prints.  And don’t worry too much if there is some blurring of the lines that occurs - that doesn’t mean it won’t make a cute family fingerprint keepsake.  Just do as many tries as you can, depending on your child's patience level.

The inkless Print Kit

With all fingerprint art keepsakes an inkless Print Kit is included with your order.  The kit has everything you will need to take and return your fingerprints to complete your artwork.  The kit is very easy to use and completely mess-free!  You can view a short video about how to use the kit here.

The kit has a special wipe that contains a non-toxic substance that reacts to the specially coated paper included.  With just a light press of your finger, a black print will appear and develop to a slightly darker black over a the following minute. 

The kit can capture very clear fingerprint lines, but some tips - such as not pressing too hard and not rolling your finger as you take your print - will help you take the very best prints.
inkless fingerprint kit sold by Flutterbye Prints
Flutterbye Prints' inkless Print Kit

Take lots of prints; and take them separately

You will want to take your fingerprints separately, not in a heart shape (for the fingerprint guest books).   You will have enough cards for each person taking prints, and the wipe can be used many times for many people.  It feels dry when you open it, and it won’t dry out and will still work even after it has been open for a while.

In order to get the best fingerprint art you should fill the whole card with your fingerprints.  I sometimes get the print cards returned with only one print, and many times that person has pressed too hard and a lot of the details are lost.  (See photo above)

If you fill up the whole card, you’ll get the hang of the right amount of pressure and have a lots of attempts produce clear fingerprints. Plus, if there is a part of print that didn’t turn out well on one attempt, but is very clear in another, I can combine the two prints to get a more complete and perfect fingerprint.

Using regular ink and paper

Perhaps you don’t have time to wait for the inkless Print Kit to arrive or you are just super anxious to get going. Do you have to use the Print Kit?  Nope!  You can use a regular ink pad and paper if you wish.  Some quick tips about using ink and paper:

- do not use really light or metallic inks
- use a piece of paper that is blank on both sides (no lined paper!)
- clearly label who the fingerprints belong to

You can find more information about taking prints with ink and paper and also about how to submit them for your artwork here.
woman signing fingerprint guest book alternative love design

Have fun and don’t stress when capturing your fingerprints!

These fingerprint keepsakes are unique and also made to last, so I know you really want to get a great fingerprint.  Whether you are creating family thumbprint art, couple fingerprint art, or a special single fingerprint keepsake you don’t need to spend too much time stressing about getting a good print. 

Try taking a few prints and if the lines aren’t clear, don’t press down as hard.  If you want a good match up, choose the same finger to use for your prints.  And feel free to reach out if you are having any trouble getting a clear fingerprint.

And after you take your prints, before you send them off, take moment to see the one-of-a-kind fingerprints you leave wherever you go.  Another day I will write about all the different fingerprint patterns - such as Arches and Peacock’s Eyes!

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