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Custom engraving a fingerprint


Engraving a fingerprint onto a photo engraved keepsake is a personal way to have a reminder of a child, spouse or loved one. Following these steps can ensure that you’ll get the best possible results for your engraving.

1. Choose your fingerprint background. This can be white card stock or a white piece of paper. The lighter in color the paper the better so that the fingerprint stands out.

2. Choose your medium. There are a couple of mediums you can use to get your fingerprint. You can use an ink pad or take a graphite pencil and a piece of paper and run the pencil back and forth until the surface is very black with graphite.

3. Wash your hands thoroughly, removing any dirt and oils from the skin. Dry your hands with a lint free towel.

4. Choose the finger for the fingerprint. Your best bet is to use your thumb as this will produce the biggest print.

5. This step is best performed with assistance. Have another person grab the thumb at the base where it joins the hand. You want to ink the thumb from the top of the thumb to the joint. Turn the thumb slightly sideways so that the outside of the thumb pad is placed on the ink first. Roll the thumb completely to the other side of the thumb pad and then remove.

6. You are going to repeat the same step as number five but on your selected background and again, it is best performed with assistance. Using light pressure, roll the thumb from the outside of the thumb pad to the inside of the thumb pad. The thumb should only be rolled once as additional back and forth can cause smudging.

7. You can repeat steps 3-6 as many times necessary to get the result that you are looking for. The fingerprint should have no smudges and clear edges.

8. Take a digital image of your fingerprint. It’s okay to zoom in as long as you retain focus on the fingerprint and the image isn’t blurry.

9. When ordering your keepsake, upload your image. Fingerprint engravings are best suited for round or rectangular pendants.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • If you are having trouble getting a good fingerprint below are some tips that will help get the best fingerprint impression.
  • Use rubbing alcohol to clean your fingerprint. This helps dry the hand and remove any moisture from the finger.
  • Use less/more ink. Blurry or blackened fingerprints can be caused by using too much ink. White areas indicate you need to use more. Change the amount of ink you are using or try a Porelon ink pad.
  • If you have small hands and are having difficulty getting a print, hold ice against the thumb pad and then dry. Ink and print immediately for best results.
  • If your fingertips are worn down you can use hand lotion to ‘plump’ up your finger print or by pressing down and rubbing the thumb from fingertip to palm before applying the ink and taking the print.