How to Make a Dog Paw Print in Clay

By Elizabeth Skoglund

A clay paw print is an impression of your dog's paw pads pressed into clay. Clay paw prints are a piece of you dog, as no two prints are exactly the same. They can mark milestones in your dog's life, honor the powerful bond you have with your dog and be a memorial to a beloved companion who has passed away. Oven-bake clay can be purchased at any arts and crafts store, and recruiting a helper to gently hold a wiggly or sensitive dog will ensure a memento you can cherish for years to come.

Wash and dry your hands and your dog's paws. Knead 5 ounces of oven-bake clay with your hands until the clay is soft enough to easily push your thumb into the clay. Roll the clay into a ball, smoothing out all of the cracks.

Place the clay in a zipper bag and set the zipper bag with the clay on top of the hard cover book. Cover the clay with the other hard cover book. A heavy book will help to squash the clay, but any hard, smooth, portable surface can be used. Press down to evenly flatten the clay until it is one-fourth to one-half inch thick.

Slip your hand inside the zipper bag, underneath the clay. Cautiously slide the clay out of the zipper bag and onto the top of the zipper bag. Place the clay and zipper bag on top of one of the hard cover books.

Grasping your dog's paw gently, press the paw into the clay. Be sure to individually push on all of the toes and the base of the paw, so that the pads are clearly imprinted into the clay. Decorate and carve your pet's name into the clay with a toothpick if desired. Make sure that the decorative items like beads and stones are able to withstand a temperature of 275 degrees.

Bake the clay paw print in the glass baking dish at 275 degress for 10 to 15 minutes per one-fourth inch thickness, or according to the instructions on the manufacturing label. Remove the baked clay paw print from the pan by sliding a spatula underneath the edge of the clay and pressing down on the spatula's handle. Allow the clay to cool to room temperature.

Turn the paw print over and press your fingernail into the clay. If your nail makes little or no impression, the clay is sufficiently baked. If the clay is not baked, return the clay to the oven for five minutes increments until the clay is sufficiently baked.