It happens, right? Your sister decided it’d be cute to let your 2-year-old niece attempt to sign her own name on the fingerprint tree that will be hanging in your home forever. Or Uncle Frank didn’t quite get the whole fingerprint tree thing and decided to put a giant thumbprint off to the side somewhere. Or Sally smudged her fingerprint by accident. Or somebody spilled wine everywhere. If you have a sense of humor, it gets framed and hangs on the wall anyway.
Now, understand that it’s unreasonable to expect that your fingerprint guestbook will turn out absolutely perfect–that’s part of their charm! Having all the different size fingerprints, different hand writing, and a bit of imperfection is exactly what makes them so worthy of displaying and treasuring!
Still, it can be maddening if things go beyond imperfect and are just plain disastrous. But I have a solution! Not after all the messed up stuff happens to your poor fingerprint tree…sorry about that…BUT I have what you need to prepare for the next event you host with a fingerprint guestbook alternative!
Tips for a Great Fingerprint Guestbook
Help Guide Your Guests
Assign someone to help guests “sign-in” with the fingerprint guestbook. This is especially important for kids, or guests who are…let’s just say… “artistically challenged.”
Your helper can also sign names for kids or suggest a good spot for each guest to add their fingerprints.
Got empty spots? Add extra fingerprints afterwards!
Display and Set Up
At the event, display your fingerprint guestbook in a frame with the glass removed and lay it flat on a table. This will keep it sturdy and also ensure guests don’t fingerprint outside the frameable area. Ikea is my favorite place for frames, but lots of local craft and home stores usually have a good selection!
Have a simple instruction card, pens, and wet wipes handy for guests to use.
Test Sheets for Ink Pads
Provide guests with a test sheet so they can try out different colors before they commit. This will also allow them to experiment with how much ink they need for a good fingerprint.
Have a Completed Sample for Guests to Reference
Print up a quick sample of a completed fingerprint guestbook that is similar to the style or colors you’re using. Or (better yet!), send everyone a text with a picture of a completed fingerprint tree and threaten them with life and limb if they screw up your treasured keepsake.
Not to get all sentimental, but…
All of our kids have fingerprint guestbooks in their rooms from their last few birthdays. My youngest daughter is the only one who had one at her baby shower. It’s hanging in the nursery above her changing table. I don’t have a way to accurately describe the way it makes me feel every time I look at it — and I change A LOT of diapers, so I look at it A LOT. When I do, I think about how much fun the baby shower was. I remember how special it was to be pregnant with her while I drew that tree. I think about how lucky I am to have family and friends who loved her and celebrated her even before she was born. I remember when we decided on her name. I remember how excited her big brother and sister were to bring her into this family. It just makes me smile–and not because the koala bears are so cute–it encapsulates a momentous time in all of our lives. This all goes through my head while I try to pin down a squirmy baby and keep my fingers crossed that I don’t get baby poop on the wall.
But seriously–I hear similar things from customers all the time. Some people cry when they see their fingerprint tree the first time (ok, the pregnancy hormones may actually be to blame for that…). I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’m so glad I get to be a part of it.