How would I tattoo my daughter's hand/footprint on myself?

Yeah; strange, I know. Deal.

I have an old tattoo with theatre masks (happy/sad) that is about 2in long by 1in wide with a rose wrapped around them (all black/grey). Well, that part of my life is long gone, and I’d like to cover the masks with a new tattoo (and try to keep the rose). I had an idea of putting my 5 month old’s handprint or footprint over them, maybe with her name underneath.

Any ideas on how I would accomplish this? What kind of ink would I use to stick her hand in, and then on me? Would that interfere with the tattoo artists work or ??? Would I have to take her into the shop, and they would have something, or can I do it at home and go? Could I transfer her print to paper, and then have them transfer that to my skin?


Actually, all you need to do is have her print on paper. The tattoo artist will be able to scan and transfer it. I don’t know exactly what its called (mimeograph, I think) but they can make a backwards copy on paper out of purple ink. They’ll roll some speed stick on the desired location, place the paper over it, and viola! Image is transferred. Check out How Stuff Works for more info:

Yeah, the tat artist will be able to take care of it pretty simply.

But how should I go about getting her print onto the paper? What kind of ink is safe to douse your kid’s foot in?

Hmmm…maybe I can xerox it…

Hmm…assuming you can keep her from eating her toes during the process, any kind of finger paint or acrylic should work. You could alternately attempt to trace the outline (assuming you could get her still long enough!)

How about fingerpaint?

If you want to get fine details like fingerprints, try to get a thick paint and experiment with different dilutions.

You may be able to put her hand on a flatbed scanner (if you have one, and if it has a cold cathode lamp) and scan it into your PC.

Putting some cake frosting on her hand & transfer to a piece of paper should work.

A lot of the methods described would seem unlikly to produce an image with enough detail for the artist. Maybe you have a footprint from the hospital?

I think you need a finer ink such as used for fingerprints. That cleans off with hand cleaner, then a quick wash with soap and water and you’re good to go.

Maybe I can get her booked on such charge, and ask the police to make a second printing for me, and since she’ll be in jail, I won’t have to worry about a babysitter! Hey, I like this idea!

I’ll try the xerox/scanner approach first, then see what my options are after that.

Thanks a lot!


What type of print are you looking for? I would assume the standard cop fingerprint, but of the whole hand or foot? If thats the case Garym has the right idea.

How about food color?

How about picking up one of those kits they use to fingerprint little kids in case the get lost or kidnapped?

If you want the tattooist to copy all the little whorls, take the whole day off and expect to drop some huge coin. An outline is what you’re looking for, right?

Do hospitals still make footprints of all newborns? They used to.

visit a copy store that has digital copiers & ask them to copy her hand, it should show more detail than you need :slight_smile:

In my post, I made the assumption that the whorls and all were what was desired. I now realize that was probably a false assumption. That would be quite a task wouldn’t it?

Not only a huge task, but unless is was enlarged quite a bit, I’d imagine all the whorls and other detail would be lost in a matter of years, due to fading from the sun, the skin strecthing/wrinkling. I’m not saying that YOUR skin is stretching or wrinking anytime soon, but with all that detail, I’d think even something minor would be noticible.

Photocopy babyhand. Be careful of her eyes while the light is shining upwards. It shouldn’t be too warm, I have photocopied my face before without discomfort…

Then make some photocopys of the photocopy, experimenting with the contrast, the right balance should give you life-lines and finger lines etc, but not the actual “fingerprint whorls”. Bear in mind tho, that all that “white space” will not be tattooed, and the tattoo you are trying to cover will show through.

You might prefer to go with an outline filled with a pattern or other design, perhaps an outline of her whole hand filled with multicoloured “mini-versions” of her hand or somthing similar? You could build on the filling over a period of months, perhaps her first three words, or the date she walked or stuff like that.

Keep in mind, also, that any tattooist worth his/her salt are usually trained artists as well, and can help you with placement, arrangement, design, etc. You could always just take the photocopy in and let them play around with it and come up with something unique