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Take Your Handprints

Taking handprints
After experimenting with various methods of taking handprints at home, I came to the conclusion that the inexpensive "Ink pad/Roller" combination gave the best results.

In an art or office supply store--or on Amazon--, an ink pad costs between $3 and $10 USD, and a roller between $5 and 12 USD. Keep reading to find out how to use this equipment to take your own handprints. If someone is helping you, it will be even easier.

Ink pad and roller
Ink Pad and Roller Combination
Keep this equipment in a safe place to take your own handprints on a regular basis, i.e. every year or so. You will be able to check if your hands have changed, and whether you need a new palmistry session. You may also want to take handprints for the whole family!

The Print-Taking Process

Hand on Paper
You will need:

  • An ink pad
  • A roller
  • Newspapers to protect the table on which you will take your prints
  • At least four sheets of standard format white paper
  • Running water nearby, with paper towels and liquid dish detergent

1. Remove any jewellery from your hands and wrists and roll up your sleeves. I suggest you start taking prints of your non-dominant hand (the left hand for 90% of the population.)

Roller on own hands
2. Roll the roller on the ink pad, to cover it with a thin layer of ink. Then apply the inked roller everywhere on your palm.

3. To take the actual print, place your inked, left hand down in the middle of one of the white sheets of paper, in a natural position. Use your right hand to press firmly down on the back of your left palm (press only once to avoid smudges).

Roll the thumb
4. For the fingers, begin by pressing down the thumb. It needs to be rolled slightly so the shape of its tip can appear on the print. Then press each phalange of each finger firmly, starting with the phalange closer to the palm and going up. Do the index finger first, then the middle finger, ring finger, and baby finger.

5. Before removing your hand, hold the paper down on the table with heavy objects at the top of the sheet, and two fingers of your right hand at the bottom of the sheet. This will keep your left hand from sticking to the paper. Lift up your left hand in a quick, vertical motion.

Hand in glove
6. Take more than one print of each hand, repeating the inking step before each print.

7. Don’t wash your left hand yet. Wear a disposable glove on this hand or, if you don’t have any, put your hand in a plastic bag, and tie it with an elastic band around your wrist.

8. Repeat the entire process (2 to 7), taking prints of your right hand.

Hand Cleaning

When you have taken clear prints of both hands, clean your hands using the following 3-part process:

Dishwashing Liquid
1) Pour some liquid dish detergent on your hands and rub the inked parts of your hands together without using any water. When the ink is starting to dissolve, wipe off your hands with a paper towel.
2) Repeat the first step – again without water – and dissolve most of the ink before wiping off your hands a second time.
3) Wash your hands normally with soap and water. Your hands should now be clean!

You can use the same process to clean the roller for next use.

Don’t forget to write your full name and the current date on each print. If you are getting your prints analyzed, specify whether you are right-handed or left-handed (i.e., the hand you sign with).

If you want to scan your prints to send them by email, choose a resolution of at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch) and make sure the ink is dry before you start the scan.

If you don’t have a scanner, take photos of the prints with an app like Office Lens.

Problems and Solutions

Taking good handprints requires a bit of practice. You may run into a few problems that can be easily fixed. Please download the 4-page PDF document that provides solutions for the following problems:

  • A hole in the middle of the palm
  • Double lines or smudges
  • Parts that shouldn’t appear on the print
  • Pressing too hard
  • Rolled fingertips
  • Printing of the thumb
  • Indented edges of the hand
  • Rolled fingertips
  • Outline of Luna and Mars Negative
  • Ambivalent prints
  • Hand opening
  • Distorted photos

Possible Problems and Solutions
Click on picture to access PDF document

Don’t hesitate to take many prints. As Immanuel Kant said, “The hand is the visible part of the brain.” You probably know that our hands change all the time, reflecting what is happening in our brain and our life. Consequently, handprints are actually a snapshot of what is happening within you at a specific time of your life. Isn’t it worth spending a little time and effort on taking the best snapshot possible?

Happy Hand Printing!