How to Make Fingerprints Without an Ink Pad

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Make fingerprints with kids and examine them for fun.
Make fingerprints with kids and examine them for fun. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Fingerprints are unique to every individual on the planet and serve as one of our most reliable identifiers. The process of fingerprinting can be instrumental in a variety of settings, from teaching the study of forensics to creating a personalized craft idea for kids. Typically, fingerprinting requires an ink pad, although alternative methods are available if you don’t have one on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Markers
  • Newspaper
  • Paper
  • Tempera paint
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Container

Magic Marker Fingerprints

Select markers in the color of your choice. You can use any markers that you want, but washable markers for kids are best if you want to prevent staining your fingers.

Color with the marker on a piece of absorbent paper, such as newspaper. Make a small patch of color slightly larger than your finger. Go over it until the small patch is beginning to saturate, but not enough to rip or go through the paper.

Press your finger onto the patch and immediately make your print where you want it. You can continue using the patch in place of an ink pad until the prints begin to get fainter. Color a new patch to start over.

Homemade Ink Pad

Mix equal portions of water and liquid tempera craft paint. Stir thoroughly to incorporate the two.

Place a dry sponge into the mixture to soak up the colored water, then squeeze it to drain excess. You want the sponge wet, but not dripping. Put the sponge in some kind of tray or container.

Press your finger onto the sponge to get the color on your finger, then press your finger onto a piece of paper to make a print.

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