Recently, I decided to get a print of Rooster’s paw. As he gets older, I know we have less time with him and I just wanted an extra something to remember him by (in addition to all the photos I’ve taken!). So with some research and a trip to a nearby crafts store, I managed to make a couple of prints from Rooster’s paw! I used a nontoxic, washable ink pad for this first time around, which made a great, clear print but it was also easy to wash. But there are many ways you can include your pet in different art projects!

General Tips

Nontoxic paints are the way to go if you’re involving pets, in the off chance they lick their feet and you didn’t wash all of it off. My general rule is that if it’s good for a toddler/child, it’s usually okay for your pets as well. The goal would be to make sure your pet doesn’t ingest any of the paint/ink/etc but making sure everything is nontoxic can make sure they don’t get sick!

Have warm water and washcloths ready beforehand can make cleaning up that much better! I had all of that ready to go, with a towel underneath Rooster’s paws and it made cleanup so much easier. Plus, the ink I got was washable so what was transferred from his paw to the towels was easy to clean up.

If you’re looking for some ideas for art projects involving your pets, here are some ideas:

Framed Paw Prints

This was my goal for Rooster! It’s a rather simple project and involves painting your pet’s paw, pressing that onto paper, and framing the result. Some companies will actually help with this process! But if you want to do it yourself, the process is rather easy. Using washable and nontoxic paint or ink, cover your pet’s paw and then stamp it onto the paper. Frame the result!

Craft stores will often have nontoxic ink pads but you can make your own paint for this process. These will all have different results depending on the ingredients so it’s important to realize that colors might differ each time you make these paints and their coloring will probably differ from store bought paint. Here are some easy recipes and other things to keep in mind for using paint with your pets:

Incorporate Pawprints Into A Piece of Art!

Using any method mentioned above, you can also memorialize your pet by adding their pawprints to a painting! Some people have used their pets’ paws as flowers and painted around that.

Similarly, if you have a pet that would be okay with this, you can make a painting of just their paw prints! This can be accomplished by painting their paws different colors and letting them run around a canvas or large paper! The result could be a painting of different colored paws all over.

As you can imagine, this will be messy so it’ll be good to have water and towels on hand. And it might be good to do it somewhere that’s easy to clean!

Salt Dough Paw Print Ornament

If you want a more tangible, 3D paw print, you can make a salt dough ornament! I haven’t made these but I have a feeling that Rooster’s big paws might make these a bit difficult. But these ornaments only have a couple ingredients that are safe for pets and they’re easy to make!

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Cup (or other items to cut the dough into size)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • Straw/pen for punching a hole

Mix the salt, flour, and water together until it’s firm. Roll the dough so it’s about 1/4-1/2 inch and cut out circles. Press your pet’s paw into the dough and punch a hole in the top using the straw/pen. Bake at 200F for 2-3 hours (or until they’re completely dry). Once they’re dry and cool, you can also paint them if you want!

Paw Print Stepping Stones

This project is a bit more intense than the others but at the end, you’ll have a stepping stone with your dog’s paw print for your garden! To make this one, you’ll need:

  • Concrete mix
  • An aluminum pie tin
  • Petroleum jelly
  • A towel, water, and dog shampoo
  • Chopsticks (or other thin sticks!)
  • Decorations like glass pebbles, painted tile, decorative small rocks (optional)

Start by covering the inside of the aluminum pie tin in petroleum jelly. Mix the concrete in a different bucket according to directions on the packaging. Once mixed, pour some concrete into the tin but leave about 1/4 of an inch at the top. Leave the tin and concrete to dry for about 25 minutes.

Once that time is up, coat your dog’s paw with petroleum jelly and press it into the cement! Immediately (and thoroughly) wash your dog’s paw with water, dog shampoo, and a towel/washcloth so the cement doesn’t stick to any part of your dog’s paw. Once you finish cleaning off the paw, you can decorate the stepping stone some more! You can add all sorts of decorations and you can use chopsticks (or something similar) to write the dog’s name and the date on the stone too.

These projects can be a great way to spend an afternoon, especially if you also have children, but many of these projects can be given as gifts to all the animal lovers in your life! All of these projects involve your pet but there are many other crafting projects you can do for your pet! There are countless toys, beds, costumes, and more you can make yourself just for your own furry friend.

Have you done any crafts with your pets before? Let me know in the comments! Rooster and I would love to hear about all your crafting adventures.

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