ClayPaws Pet Commemoration - The Trupanion Blog
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ClayPaws Pet Commemoration

You’ve probably seen paw prints of animals made in clay. Did you ever wonder how to make one for yourself? Well, that’s what ClayPaws® kits are for!

Each kit includes just enough specially formulated clay to make a print of almost any pet. Many times, people use these kits if their pet is very ill or dying, or if they have to euthanize an animal. A paw print in clay is a lasting memory of a beloved animal. ClayPaws® prints are also great to make a memory of a puppy or a kitten.

To make a print, all it takes is a little time, patience, and creativity.

Step 1: Prepare your print. Wash your hands and then remove the clay from the plastic outer-wrapper. Knead the clay. No, really! Kneading is an all-important part of making a ClayPaws® print. Kneading the clay actually distributes the oils in the clay, and it will make the clay easier to work with.

Roll the kneaded clay into a ball. Using a hard surface (such as a clipboard) press the clay into a nice, flat, round patty, about ¼” thick.

Step 2: Make your print. It is important to keep in mind that the animal might not be as excited as you are to help make the print. Recruit help! (It is also common to make a print after an animal has died. Either way, the process is the same.)

Use the actual center of the pet’s paw as a marker for centering the print on the clay. After placing the paw on the clay, push firmly, but gently in the center of your pet’s paw, directly above the pad. Without moving the paw, press each toe pad individually.

If you aren’t happy with the results from your first attempt, simply start over with step 1.

Step 3: Decorate your ClayPaws®  print. Choose to place the name of a pet in the clay using a stylus or stamp kit. Add any charms or beads (that will withstand oven temperatures during baking!) and place them into the clay.

Step 4: Bake your print. Baking your print is necessary because it will permanently harden the clay. They are baked in a regular oven or a toaster oven. (Do not use a microwave!) Heat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the print into a glass baking dish, or a ceramic tile. Place into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes per ¼” thickness. (Most require 15-20 minutes.) When it is fully baked, let the print cool in the dish or tile before removing it. You will likely need a spatula to remove the print. It may feel “stuck” and this is normal! Be gentle, and it will “pop” loose.

Step 5: Finish the print. You can glaze or paint your print. (Don’t use aerosol paint. It won’t dry.) Use high quality, water based acrylic paints. You can also glue on embellishments at this point.

Tammy Durham is the webmaster for World by the Tail, Inc. For further ideas, visit World by the Tail, Inc.’s website at There are also instructive videos (ClayPaws®  101) online at They include all of this basic information plus more ideas and tips. Join the conversation at the blog also –

Email Tammy at with any questions!

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