12 ways to clean your silver keepsake jewellery

12 ways to clean your silver keepsake jewellery

12 ways to clean your silver keepsake jewellery

When you first buy silver keepsake jewellery it will be super shiny and beautifully perfect.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if it stayed that way forever?

Trouble is…you also want to wear and enjoy your jewellery – and that means it’s gonna get grubby!

Here are 3 ways I recommend (and 9 that I don’t!!) to look after your keepsake jewellery – to keep it as clean and as shiny as the day you bought it.

#1 Silver Polishing Cloth

The quickest and easiest way to keep things shiny is using a silver cleaning cloth. A silver cleaning cloth is impregnated with an anti-tarnish product. This will remove surface dirt, makeup and grime. Just rub your jewellery and watch it come back to life.

You can do this every day if you like…I do!! A cleaning cloth only costs a few pounds and lasts for years. I would recommend ‘Town Talk’. You can buy it online or from Argos.

#2 Liquid Dip Cleaner

This little pot of liquid is good at cleaning charms but it is even better for intricate jewellery – like chains and necklace links. The liquid can access all the places that get grubby. Be prepared for a nasty smell of sulphur and rotten eggs…this will stink if your jewellery is tarnished…but it works well. 

Don’t leave jewellery in the solution or it will damage it. Just dip it in, then rinse it in clean water. Also, need to be careful not to dip certain metals and stones – read the instructions carefully!

If you have mini print jewellery (jewellery with miniature prints of your child’s hands and feet) where the prints have been made black, this is done by oxidising the silver. If you dip it in this solution it can lift off the black oxidised patina. Don’t panic! It can be redone.

#3 Ultrasonic Cleaner

  1. Ultrasonic Cleaner £30 – £300

With an ultrasonic cleaner, you submerge your jewellery in a tank with liquid, which is then hit with high-frequency sound waves. The sound waves create bubbles and a gentle but powerful cleaning action in the fluid that cleans all surfaces of the jewellery.

Ultrasonic cleaners are great but you need to be careful if you clean jewellery with stones as it can dislodge them! This is the machine I use and it costs about £30, a bottle of the cleaning solution is about £10. (Some ultrasonic cleaners can cost hundreds of pounds).

**WARNING** TRY THESE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

The following 9 methods involve weird household things that MIGHT work  –  I have no idea and I don’t plan to stick my precious jewellery in any of these!! What do you think?

#4 Tin Foil

Bring one litre of water, one tablespoon of baking soda, and one piece of tin foil to the boil. Drop silverware in the pot for 10 seconds (longer if it’s very tarnished), then remove…

#5 Laundry Powder

Line a medium-sized bowl with tin foil and fill it with hot water. Mix in one tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent, then soak your silver for one minute. Rinse with clean water, and air-dry.

#6 Ketchup

Squirt a small amount on a paper towel, and rub gently over the tarnished areas. If your silver isn’t getting shinier, let it sit in the ketchup for 15 minutes, then rub with a soft cloth and rinse clean.

#7 Cornstarch

Make a paste of cornstarch & water and apply with a damp cloth, let dry, then rub off with something very mildly abrasive, like cheesecloth or a rough towel.

#8 Hand Sanitizer

Squirt a few drops on a damp cloth and watch the shine appear…and the germs disappear!

#9 Fizzy water with lemon and lime

Leave your jewellery in a glass of fizzy water and lemon and lime for about an hour…(best not to drink it afterwards!)

#10 Toothpaste

Rub a small amount on a cloth and watch the shine return.

#11 Window Cleaner

For the thrill seekers…personally it seems a bit extreme to hang out of windows just to clean your jewellery…but each to their own.

Alternatively, you could give your jewellery a skoosh of good ol’ Mr Muscle and that should clean up your silver too…and needs less danger money.

#11 Vinegar

Is there anything vinegar CAN’T do???

Soak it in 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons of baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse under cold water, and dry thoroughly.

So there you go! No excuses for mucky jewellery…I’d definitely stick to option 1, 2 or 3 – but the choice is yours.
Let me know how you keep your keepsake jewellery in tip-top condition. Comment below…

If you don’t comment I’ll suspect you’re one of the grubby ones…

Baby & Children Hand & Foot Casts: Reframing

Baby & Children Hand & Foot Casts: Reframing

Can I have my baby lifecasts reframed?

When you have casts taken and you choose a frame, it doesn’t have to stay like that forever.

  • Maybe you’ve moved house

  • Your decor has changed

  • You just fancy a change

  • Have you had a new baby and would like to update your original casts to match your new addition? No problem at all.

Another reason for reframing might be because your original frame has been damaged, or the glass may have got broken – accidents happen. (If your casts also get damaged I can help repair these too…scroll down for more information)

fletcher

Fletcher had his casts taken four years ago. His frame no longer matched the decor and his little sister had now arrived so it made sense to give Fletcher an upgrade too.

This little brother (bottom right) came to have casts created just as his big brother (top right) had. Now the brothers have new matching, luxury white frames.

triple luxury white

When this little brother arrived he too wanted his casts taken, but mum didn’t want too many frames on the wall. So we reframed both into one triple aperture frame.

Standard Reframing

Offering an affordable frame that complements your casts.

Standard Single Aperture Reframing £28

Choose to reframe your casts in a standard single aperture black frame with an engraved name plaque.  £28

Can my casts be repainted?

If they are damaged I can repair the damage and repaint so it is virtually invisible. I cannot change the finish without losing the original detail.

Do I have to have the same size as original frame?

Nope.  You can change the size, style, layout…you choose x

I'd like to chat to you first, can I do that?

Of course.  Get in touch HERE or text or call 07837800353 Happy to have a chat and explain all the options available.

“Nothing’s ever quite as sweet as little tiny baby feet”

If you originally chose a single aperture frame, maybe now you’d like to upgrade to a triple aperture.

Luxury Reframing

Do you prefer a touch of luxury in life?

These frames are handmade to order by a local framer, they are of a superior quality material, and the finish sets off your very impressive casts perfectly.

The glass is stronger and more durable than the standard option – built to last.

You can choose from – Oak effect, Silver, Black, Flat White, Bevelled White and Distressed Gold. Each option can come in a Single, Double or Triple Aperture.

Luxury Single Aperture Reframing £35-£39

Luxury Oak Effect

luxury oak baby casts

Luxury Black Finish

luxury black baby casts

Luxury Silver Finish

Luxury Silver single

Luxury Flat White Finish

flat white casts framed

Upgrading or reframing to a luxury single aperture frame?

Choose from:

  • Single Silver £39
  • Single Oak Effect £35
  • Single Washed or Flat White £35
  • Single Distressed Gold £35
  • Single Black £35

Can I supply my own frame?

No sorry.  Not all frames and glass are suitable for life casts.  If you don’t see a style you like, please ask, I may be able to source what you are looking for.

Why is Silver dearer than the rest?

It costs more to make.

I'd like a style that I don't see here - can you help?

Probably yes.  Always welcome to get in touch and I’m happy to help create a bespoke frame for you.

Luxury Double Aperture Reframing £40-£45

Upgrading or reframing to a luxury double aperture frame?

Choose from:

  • Double Silver £45
  • Double Oak Effect £40
  • Double Flat or Bevelled White £40
  • Double Distressed Gold £40
  • Double Black £40

Distressed Gold

luxury double baby casts

Oak Effect

Bevelled White

AEABBA59-7123-4C33-AC67-99E7E8A1F43E

Luxury Triple Aperture Reframing £49-£55

Upgrading or reframing to a luxury triple aperture frame?

Choose from:

  • Triple Silver £55
  • Triple Oak Effect £49
  • Triple White £49
  • Triple Distressed Gold £49

HELP!! MY CASTS ARE DAMAGED...

Oh Dear!! Accidents can happen…

If your casts become damaged I can usually fix it. PLEASE DON’T PANIC…

If any part is broken or chipped off, keep it safe.  Make a booking with me and return your casts to me and I will do what I can to repair them.  Depending on the amount of work & time involved will determine what charge there is.  Please do not attempt to fix them yourself as this can often result in making it more difficult for me to then properly fix.  Ask first…send me photos…I’m happy to advise and help.

If broken glass is involved please remove the casts from any broken glass before bringing them to me.  Talk to me before you attempt to do this.

Hope that Helps

There are loads of options for you to choose from when it comes to reframing your casts, whether through choice or necessity…I’m happy to create any of the options you see here or equally happy to discuss something unique just for you.

Use the buttons below to contact me directly, find more answers or head back to my home page.

Look forward to speaking to you again soon, have an impressive day!

Jen x

Recent Posts

Baby Handprint & Footprint Imprint Kits: Are they a good idea?

Baby Handprint & Footprint Imprint Kits: Are they a good idea?

Are DIY baby impression kits a good idea or a waste of money?

Becoming a New Parent

When you have a new baby, every day is an adventure. Of course, you want to capture every moment and treasure it, and so you should.  They don’t stay little for long and every day they are growing…what keepsakes should you be capturing?

Creating Baby Keepsakes & Mementos

As well as taking eleventy billion photos (a day) you might also try your hand at some arty crafty stuff! Who wouldn’t want an adorable card made with a little painted hand or footprint? This can get a little bit messy, but it’s good fun and the results don’t need to be perfect. Homemade means it was made for you, at home. Low budget – High sentimental value.

And then you see a kit in B&M Stores…it looks quite cool…you can make an imprint of those tiny hands and feet (that are growing up way too quickly) and you have a beautiful keepsake to treasure forever!
Or do you?
BM STORES KIT

“I just created an entire human being…how hard can it be to make an imprint of their hands n feet? And it’s only £4.99…Bargain!”

Introducing Isaac…

Impressive son of Genna & Derry…

baby hand and foot imprint kit

Impressive Isaac

They wanted to capture little Isaac’s hands and feet and they bought two of these kits – but things didn’t quite go to plan! Here’s what they told me…

  • What were you hoping for?

A framed imprint of Isaac’s hands and feet.

  • How much did it cost?

Each kit was £4.99 – we bought two.

  • Were the instructions clear?

They were VERY brief, just bullet points and really simple.

  • Was it easy to use?

We followed the instructions. We measured the cold water and mixed up a really runny and watery mixture and poured it into the container provided. Then we had to try and get Isaac in it!

  • Did it work?

NO!!! It was a disaster.

  • What went wrong?

The mixture was really cold and runny…trying to put a young baby into it was impossible! The dish was useless too. It just made a sticky mess!

  • What did baby Isaac make of it all?

He hated the cold and seemed a bit confused! Probably wondered why his parents found it all so funny!

  • Was there enough mixture to have another go?

No! Only enough for one go – that was it. We didn’t want to attempt it again anyway!

  • What did you do next?

We started to look on Google. We knew someone in Edinburgh who did baby casts but they weren’t doing them now so we searched online to see if there was anywhere locally that did this professionally. That’s when we found Impressive Memories.

What is the difference between an imprint and a lifecast?

I think it’s important to understand the difference.

What is an Imprint?

This is a 2D, a fairly flat impression of the baby had or foot pressed into something. The definition varies as does the finish. You should end up with a sort of ’tile’ with the detail of the baby either pressed into a clay, or you can then make a secondary version of this where the detailed part is raised and above the tile. Something like this…

Imprints and outprints can be made in stone plaster or ceramic. Again, this depends on whether you’re making them at home or having them done professionally. With good instructions and materials, these are achievable at home. I am going to produce a ‘How To’ guide soon to let you make these, successfully, at home.

What is a 3D Lifecast?

A 3D life cast is a high definition, exact replica of all of baby’s hands & feet. Fully three-dimensional. Much more difficult to create and in my opinion not something to be done at home. Expect to pay a higher price for this than a 2D imprint.

You've decided to find a professional...

Having attempted a 2D Imprint with no success, Genna and Derry visited my Impressive Memories website. They decided they wanted 3D lifecasts of their son Isaac. They looked online and chose from the luxury range of frames. They knew they wanted a luxury oak, single aperture frame with a cast of Isaac’s hand and foot finished in antique silver.  Instead of wasting £10, they invested £120. It may have been more expensive, but the end result proved to be an investment, not a disaster.

Here are their Impressive Memories of Isaac, at 7 months old…

Having Professional Baby Lifecasts Taken

Isaac was wide awake throughout his casts being taken but he was totally at ease and relaxed throughout, and so were mum and dad. In less than an hour the family had been and gone. No mess. No fuss. Not cold and no disasters.

Today, almost 5 weeks later, Genna and Derry came back to collect their completed order and were delighted with the results. The level of detail and the beautiful relaxed little fingers, not to mention Isaac’s characteristic little squished toes.

I asked Genna if she had any advice to give to a new mum thinking about buying the B&M kit – she said

“Don’t do it – don’t waste the money, invest in a professional”.

I completely agree!

Coming Soon!!

A really easy guide for you to make 2D impressions at home SUCCESSFULLY!

2D impressions are so easy to do and with my help, you can make beautiful memories at home. Disaster free! 

Download your Impressive FREE eBooks here...

Thinking about Baby Life Casting?

This handy little eBook is stuffed full of all the answers that new parents ask me about life casting their babies and children.

Is my baby suitable? How do I book? Is it safe? How does it work? How Much will it Cost?

Pop your email address in the box then head to your inbox…confirm that you got the email and before you know it – another email will zoom to you with your eBook!

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Buying the Best Fingerprint & Miniprint Jewellery: What Questions Should I ask?

Buying the Best Fingerprint & Miniprint Jewellery: What Questions Should I ask?

Buying the Best Fingerprint & Miniprint Jewellery:

What questions should I ask?

Not all fingerprint and miniprint jewellery is the same!

Are you thinking about investing in handmade fingerprint or mini print jewellery? Do you know what it is it that you are buying? Or do you feel a bit confused? You know you want to create a beautiful piece of unique jewellery and capture a memory, but you’re not sure of the right questions to ask?

Have you spent hours searching online? Searching websites, Etsy stores, Not On The Highstreet, Ebay sellers, Facebook pages…Why do they all look virtually the same…but they all have different prices?. How do you know what you are buying and which one is right for you?

Thinking about buying Keepsake Jewellery?

I’d like to share 5 tips that I think make a big difference and influence what you are buying. At Impressive Memories, my aim is to create high-quality products and make it easy for you to understand exactly what you are buying.

Price is usually an important factor – but why does it vary so much? Why are some charms £25 on Ebay and others are hundreds of pounds from a small business, but they look the same? Are you saving money or being ripped off? Have you ever wondered if it’s genuinely made with YOUR fingerprint and how can I tell? Can I order online or do I need to visit in person? Can it be engraved? Is it ‘real’ silver or silver plated? How long will it take to make?

Here are the 5 factors that I think are very important, and you should know about, before ordering keepsake jewellery.
  1. What will my keepsake jewellery be made from?
  2. The Firing Process – how important is this?
  3. Processes followed and why this matters
  4. How much should I pay?
  5. Longevity and Problems that can arise

#1. What is keepsake jewellery made from?

Fingerprint, Mini print & keepsake jewellery was predominantly made from pure silver, and more recently it became available in sterling silver. (Pure silver  (.999) is a relatively soft metal, bumps or scratches can happen. Sterling silver (.925) has copper added to strengthen it. Did you know – People who think they are allergic to silver – it is usually the copper that causes the allergy).

It starts in the form of a clay known as metal clay (sometimes precious clay or silver clay).  It is tiny particles of metal mixed with an organic binder and water that feel a little bit like clay. When dried and fired correctly the binder burns off and the metal particles form the solid metal.  

All Fingerprint & Miniprint jewellery at Impressive Memories is now made from Sterling Silver.

Decision 1 – What do you want your jewellery made from? Is the seller clearly telling you what you are buying?

#2. The Firing Process – and why this is SO important.

Once you make an item in silver clay, it has to be fired to become metal.  

There are three methods to do this –

1. Kiln fired

This is the professional method. A kiln is not just a hot oven it is a carefully controlled environment that guarantees your piece correctly sinters (becomes metal). Different silver clays need different and specific temperatures to fire correctly. Only a kiln can do this properly. I fire most of mine for approx 2 hours at around 800 degrees celsius. Kilns are an investment (approx £600-£800 for a small jewellery kiln) – has your seller invested in one?  I have two Paragon kilns – one is specifically for my jewellery, the other is much larger for ceramics and clay.

2. Torch fired

Some silver clays can be torch fired (Sterling silver cannot). Using a blow torch will burn off the organic matter and will turn the clay into metal (hopefully) BUT you have no control over the temperature, no idea whether the sintering has taken place correctly and it may ‘look’ like it has worked, but beneath the surface it might still be clay and binder with an outer coating of silver – this will not have the strength or longevity of kiln fired silver.

3. On the Gas Hob in the kitchen!

Yes, you can use your gas cooker!! The temperature reached on your gas hob is anybody’s guess and it certainly can’t create a controlled environment of 800 degrees for 2 hours…If keepsake jewellery is being offered cheaper, this may be why. It will be hard to tell by just looking. A reputable maker should be able to answer this question if you ask.

All Fingerprint & Miniprint jewellery at Impressive Memories are kiln fired.

Decision 2 – How do you want your jewellery to be fired?

#3. Processes – Do they matter?

Ok, so you know which silver metal you want your jewellery made from (softer pure silver or stronger sterling silver), and you’ve decided how you’d like it to be fired (kiln, torch or hob fired). This will have dictated part of your costs. The two processes that follow will determine the security and longevity of your investment.

1.Polishing

When your jewellery is fired it doesn’t instantly turn shiny and ready to wear – it needs polished. This can be done by hand with lots of very fine sandpapers until it has a mirror finish. This method takes time and effort and will achieve a good finish, but it won’t be adding strength to your jewellery. To do this your maker might have invested in a polishing tumbler. This machine will not only polish your piece but also surface harden it too. That means making it a little bit stronger and less likely to be scratched or damaged. This process again needs investment in the machinery and also adds to the completion time…BUT makes your piece last longer. I also invested in another polishing machine to finish my pieces to be highly polished.

2. Soldering

Your charm will need a little jump ring added to it. This ‘ring’ is how you would attach your charm to a necklace or bracelet. If the jump ring is an open link it is weak. Your precious charm could catch or fall off quite easily. Soldering the link makes it much stronger and safer.

Learning to solder is a skill in itself. More investment and again adds to the time needed to create your piece. The process requires various stages not to mention hot acids and flames – I LOVE soldering! I solder all my work. (A soldered link also assures you that it is a genuine precious metal, not a cost cutting base metal).

All Fingerprint & Miniprint jewellery at Impressive Memories is fully soldered and tumble polished.

Decision number 3 – Do you want your precious charm to be as soldered and polished?

#4. How much should it cost?

Hopefully, points #1,#2 & #3 have shown that the price you pay depends on the process and time your jewellery has gone through to be made. As well as this the weight of silver used can vary greatly. Do you want a lightweight piece or a chunkier charm? (Jewellery under 7.78g doesn’t legally require hallmarking).

Another cost factor is how your imprints are being taken. Did you receive a kit? Are the prints reusable in the future? Who is storing the original prints? Does your finished piece need posted to you and is this included? Will it arrive beautifully gift wrapped?

When you buy a handmade piece of jewellery from a small business you are not just buying the item. You are supporting a business – costs, marketing, advertising, insurance, industry standards, skill, experience, future investment…not to mention profit!

Fingerprint & Miniprint jewellery at Impressive Memories starts at £44.50.  You can buy online or visit me in person, I store your prints for 12 months (usually longer) and you can keep the original prints if you wish. I offer an all inclusive postage service and an express delivery too, also if you need a kit in a hurry – this is not a problem. All jewellery is gift wrapped.

Decision 4 – What level of service are you willing to pay for?

 

#5. Longevity and Problems that can arise

1. Longevity

Keepsake jewellery is usually made to mark an important event or memory. It isn’t a piece of costume jewellery to wear and discard. A piece made on a gas hob is less likely to last long term than a tumble polished, kiln-fired piece. That unsoldered bargain might fall off and never be seen again – still think it was worth saving a few pounds?

2. Problems that can arise

  • If your piece hasn’t sintered properly it might break or snap.
  • If your jewellery is made from pure silver, it might be more prone to scratches
  • Bracelets get a lot of wear and tear, necklaces not so much. Sterling silver might be better in the long run.
  • All silver tarnishes – don’t be alarmed if you open a charm that’s been stored for a while and it has gone black! A silver cleaning cloth will remove the oxidation and it won’t damage or harm your jewellery.
  • Take care with chemicals – if you get bleach on your charm it won’t like it!!
  • Other than that, you should be able to wear your jewellery all day, every day. Keep your jewellery shiny by polishing it regularly with a silver polishing cloth, or dipping it in a cleaner made specifically for silver.

If you bought your jewellery from me I’m more than happy to give it a new lease of life and polish it up for you – just ask! If you’ve scratched or damaged your piece don’t suffer in silence! Give me a shout and if I can help, I will!

Decision 5 – Now you’re an expert! The best decision – What do you fancy having made???

 

Summary

Phew! Well done if you got this far! You are now an expert in fingerprint and miniprint jewellery production!  I hope this article will help you make the right choices to make an impressive memory worth holding onto. Top Tips to get Impressive results?

Remember these simple questions –

  • What will my charm be made from?
  • How was it fired?
  • How was it polished?
  • Is it soldered?

More FAQ's

Thinking about ordering Jewellery from Impressive Memories?

Now you’ve learned all that interesting background stuff – it’s time for the fun! What jewellery will YOU choose to have made? Lots more answers here to help you decide which design is best for you.

Can my baby make fingerprint jewellery? How long will it take? Will it fit my Pandora bracelet? Can it be Gold?

Pop your email address in the box then head to your inbox…confirm that you got the email and before you know it – another email will zoom to you with your eBook!

Grab Your FREE eBook!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Interested in Impressive Memories Jewellery?

Would you like to know more about having jewellery made by me at Impressive Memories? You can order NOW by heading to my ONLINE SHOP or you can MAKE A BOOKING and pop along for a visit and we can design your jewellery – you can have a coffee while you’re here too if you like. You’re welcome to get in touch, have a chat, message me here.

If this article helped you – it might help a friend too!  – please share! 

Leave a Comment

Did you learn anything new reading this? Have you any other questions? Let me know below.

Hope you have an Impressive Day!

Jen x

Fingerprint & Miniprint Jewellery FAQs

Fingerprint & Miniprint Jewellery FAQs

Fingerprint & Miniprint Jewellery FAQ's

Would you love to create handmade jewellery with fingerprints, handprints or footprints? Maybe even paw prints! 

Become an expert and learn everything you need to know, to make the best decisions FOR YOU!

So you're thinking about ordering handmade jewellery?

Having handmade jewellery designed and made for you is very exciting. Making the right decisions before we start, means you will be even happier with the results.

Grab a coffee, sit down…relax…and browse this handy little eBook.  

Oh if only it was that easy…wishful thinking I know!

Grab the old cold mug of coffee you made three hours ago, hide from the children and frantically try and fill out the form before one of them finds you.  Then 6 hours later when you still haven’t sat down…check your emails…there’s gonna be a little ebook of ideas waiting for you. Answering all the questions you’ve been wondering.

Look forward to hearing from you soon – hang in there – you’re doing an Impressive job.

Jen x

Memorial Fingerprint Jewellery

Memorial Fingerprint Jewellery

Memories are never more precious than when we lose someone we love

I have had the honour of helping many families capture these final memorial memories. Creating a tangible memory they can treasure and hold onto forever.

Capturing a Fingerprint to Create Jewellery

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What Options Do I Have to Make Jewellery?

1. Ask your funeral director or celebrant if they already work with Impressive Memories.

I work with several Funeral Directors and may already have a system in place for you. If not, no problem…read on.

2. Arrange for me to capture prints for you.

Contact me HERE or call 07837800353 and we can see if it is possible for me to capture the prints for you.  I have a standard call out charge, plus additional mileage (for 15 miles and over).

3. Buy a fingerprint kit and capture the prints yourself.

Not sure if you want to order jewellery yet, but worried you may regret not taking prints while you still can?

Buy a kit HERE. Once you have the prints they are viable for years and years to come – no obligation to buy jewellery, just peace of mind that you have given yourself the option to do so if you wish.

4. Already know which memorial jewellery you'd like made?

When you order a fingerprint charm from Impressive Memories you can take advantage of a FREE fingerprint kit. Postage offers are available on my website, or you can arrange collection – whichever you prefer.

See some designs HERE.

Taking a Fingerprint Impression

It is very easy, quick and gentle to take a fingerprint impression.  It is not complicated and I will give you all the information you need for it to be successful.

Taking only minutes to do, it gives you the opportunity to hold onto a memory for a lifetime.

What Next?

Once the prints are taken you can keep them for as long as you wish, or you can go ahead and order a piece of jewellery.

If you have jewellery made, the prints can still be reused in the future if you’d like more pieces made.

Most orders will be made within 10-14 days of me having the prints. All my work is handmade by me, kiln fired for strength and I solder all my work.

After losing my husband very suddenly I found sleeping impossible.  The first time I wore my necklace, I found it such a comfort, I fell asleep holding it.

Why Make Fingerprint Jewellery?

Every fingerprint is as unique as we are. Capturing your loved one’s prints and wearing them in pure silver. Why just wear jewellery, when you can wear personally designed and handmade jewellery, capturing those we love the most?

When we lose a loved one, we long to keep a hold of them forever.  By creating a fingerprint charm you can keep a cherished imprint from them and wear them with you forever.

Capturing a fingerprint takes only minutes, is simple and gentle. One print can be used to make as many charms as you wish, and will be reusable for many years to come.
If you are unsure whether you would like to have jewellery made, by having the prints, you are giving yourself the option and possibility to create memorial jewellery for a lifetime.  Capture the opportunity.

I haven’t had my bracelet off since I got the charms – they are so very special and mean so much and I feel like I have a little bit of Jak with me if that makes sense”

Please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you would prefer to have your funeral director, a family member or a friend contact me on your behalf, that’s no problem.  Time becomes precious and the sooner you can contact me the more options we will have.  I appreciate it is a very difficult time, but I need only very basic details and then will be able to provide you with all the information you will need.

I can liaise with funeral directors, and make all relevant arrangements, keeping you fully informed throughout, or work directly with yourself. Whichever you prefer.

What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

So you’ve decided that you’d like baby casts taken. What should you expect before, during and after you capture an Impressive Memory?

 

BEFORE

Maybe I was recommended to you by a friend. Or maybe you saw a post on social media, or searched online. Did you attempt your own casts with a kit, or read my blogs? Now the decision is made – you’re ready to create YOUR Impressive Memories – so what happens next?

 

MAKE A BOOKING

booking shotMy online booking system lets you choose a date and time that suits you best. Whether you would like to cast on the same date as your first child was cast, or to mark a milestone event, or maybe just because it fits into your busy routine – you get to choose. You will be asked for a £15 deposit. Do you have an Impressive Memories gift voucher? There’s a unique code on the reverse, which you are welcome to use when you make your booking – just pop the code into the booking form. If you need to reschedule, it’s no problem – your confirmation email has a link for you to do this, up to 48 hours before your appointment. Your email will also give you travel directions and how to find me on Google Maps. You can also select an option to receive a text message confirmation and reminder too!

 

 

DURING

What should baby wear?

outside studioDress your little one in comfortable clothes that are loose fitting and easily removed. Preferably choose something old so it won’t matter if the casting gloop gets on it – I know it’s tricky to wear old clothes when you are only a few days old, but you know what I mean! It’s probably best that you don’t wear your favourite designer gear either…just in case!

What if they are sleeping?

Casting can be done when baby is awake or asleep. You are very welcome to feed your baby while I do the casts, as it helps to distract, relax and settle them. It’s not necessary and is purely optional – you know your baby best, and I’m happy to let you decide what’s best for them. Some babies cry, but most don’t notice anything is happening! There is never any rush – we will let them settle while we discuss what you’d like created, and throughout the process your little one’s comfort is our top priority. You’re also welcome to enjoy a lovely Tassimo coffee or a cup of tea as we create your memories.

casting baby foot appointmentHow are baby lifecasts made?

Taking the cast involves dipping your baby’s hand or foot into pink gloop. I’ll help you and baby get into a comfy position, and once their hand or foot is submerged it only takes a couple of minutes to set. Don’t worry – wriggling is not a problem! Once the mould turns to a soft, rubbery consistency it will come away from baby leaving them virtually clean and me with an impressive impression of their hands and feet. I will be 99% sure whether your mould has been successful, or if I want to take extra casts (so long as baby is happy). Occasionally I have an issue after you’ve left, and I might need to call you back another day, but this is extremely rare.

For every cast you would like made I need to take an impression. The mould cannot be reused and although I can create duplicates of your casts, I prefer to take a separate cast for each mould you’d like created – each cast is then as unique as your baby. For hands I often need extra moulds to ensure you get the best results.

Most casting appointments last about 45 minutes for a set of three or four casts.

PAYING FOR YOUR ORDER

You are very welcome to split the cost of your order. Your booking deposit will be deducted from your order total and you can pay half your balance at your appointment and the remaining balance on collection, in approximately five weeks’ time. I accept cash, PayPal, bank transfer and most major credit cards.

AFTER

Casting

unmould cast appointmentAfter you leave, I will begin to cast your moulds. This stage involves filling your impressions with a high quality, high density stone. Once this is done, your casts will be left to cure and set for several hours. When they are ready to unmould I remove the casting material to reveal the cast of your baby. The raw cast at this stage might have lumps and bumps, air bubbles or inclusions. At this stage your casts each get an initial ‘clean up’, which can take anywhere from ten minutes per cast to a couple of hours! (I am a perfectionist and a night owl!) They now begin to dry.

Drying

The drying stage is so important. Remember how long nine months felt waiting for your baby to arrive? But it was worth the wait, wasn’t it? Life casting is the same! Giving your casts the time to dry naturally and correctly gives them the strength, density and longevity that you want from them. Depending on the size of your casts, I advise a minimum completion time of four to five weeks. During this time, they will undergo more cleaning and perfecting, and I also cut and sand them to the appropriate shapes and angles for the frame and finish you have chosen.

Cleaning

cleaning a cast appointmentThe final cleaning stage for a raw cast is my favourite part! This is when your casts are as impressively perfect as I want them to be. They are then ready to be finished.

 Painting

I use several layers and techniques to bring out all the detail in your casts, with whatever finish you have chosen.

Framing

Your frame choice, photographs and name plaques are now all ready and waiting, and it’s time to assemble your finished piece. A final 24-hour wait until everything sets and cures, then it’s time to collect.

Collection

Once your order is ready I will let you know. We will arrange a suitable collection time and you can come and take your Impressive Memories order home with you.Luxury Silver single

Impressive Thank you to…

Impressive mummy Victoria Duff and her beautiful daughter Amber, who helped create all the images in this article.

Impressive photographer Lisa Christie, from Lisa Christie Photography who provided the excellent photography for this article.

I’m ready to book an appointment – take me there now!

Tell me more about lifecasting

How much will it cost?

Want to chat? – get in touch here

 

Read more

DIY Life Casting Kits -The problems with life casting kits & why they are a waste of money.

DIY Life Casting Kits -The problems with life casting kits & why they are a waste of money.

Should you use a DIY life casting kit?

So many parents have told me they attempted to cast their baby using a casting kit, not one of them continues to tell me it was a success, or that they were happy with the results.  The promise is to create a beautiful 3D cast of their precious child’s hand and feet, creating a keepsake to treasure, making a memory.  New parents think it is their fault that the results are not what they hoped for. They are left disappointed and often with a large dent in their wallet and nothing to show for it.  I believe that casting kits are selling a box of expectation, but deliver an expensive disappointment.

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CREATE SUCCESFULL BABY CASTS?

  • Practice
  • Skill
  • Knowledge
  • Materials & tools
  • (A baby)

 

WHAT DO YOU GET IN A KIT?

  • A bag of casting material (This will run out long before you have had any chance to learn enough)
  • A bag of plaster (Most probably be of a very low quality and totally unfit for purpose)
  • A frame (This is just a cruel way of raising your expectations…)

 

The kit will often have attractive packaging with pretty pictures, but sadly not much else.  The box won’t tell parents what is involved (because then they’d never buy it) so that information is kept for inside the shiny box of hopes and dreams.

 

The reality is this. Expecting a person with no skill or experience, to work with low-quality materials, no tools, no machinery and very limited instructions, with unrealistic images and expectations – leaves parents feeling like they have failed. They’re out of pocket and with either no end result, or at least a disappointing one (they still have that pretty frame – just to remind them of what they’d hoped would display a cast).

 

The instructions provided will likely be very brief also.  Each situation is different, as is each baby you cast.  There are so many variables that it is just impossible to write a brief set of instructions. Life casting can become fairly scientific. Asking a sleep deprived new parent to read a manual is not a good idea!

MY STORY

My passion, nae obsession, for life casting started after I bought a kit!  I saw an advert in a magazine that showed a beautiful, high definition cast of a baby’s hands and feet.  I have always been artistic and loved being creative and crafty, I reckoned I could do this.  The kit was expensive, but it promised great results. So I bought it.  I ended up with a screaming child, half a foot cast, a hand with no fingers and a LOT of mess!  But I was determined not to give in…I kept buying more and more products, I borrowed other peoples babies (when mine had learned to high pitch scream as soon as she saw mummy and the pink goo approaching!) I experimented, I read, I learned, I practised. Over and over and over again…I did manage to make a set of my daughter’s feet as a gift for my mum & dad, but I never made anything worthy of a frame for a long time, and regret to this day that I don’t have my own child’s casts proudly on my wall.

CASTING KITS “YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR” Or do you?

Several companies offer casting kits. I have chosen to look at Mothercare as an example. They are a highly successful company, they are a name that parents trust and their kit is easily accessible to purchase.

 

Mothercare 3D Casting Kit – Review

All images relating to this review are taken from the Mothercare website & links to the original provided.

“Create a lasting memento of your little one’s first few months with this lovely impression moulding kit.”

mothercare DIY life casting kit

Kit contains – moulding material, plaster and a frame (no mention of whether paint is included or framing adhesives, so assume it isn’t)

The box measures only 26cm so the frame can’t be any bigger.

Price is £45.

Problem 1

Expectation – You would expect to create something similar to the images shown.

Reality – You are paying predominantly for marketing and producing a kit – ah and a frame.  The materials provided could be minimal in quantity, with no guarantee of quality. That makes it an expensive frame in a pretty box!

DIY life casting kit 2Problem 2

Expectation – “I will have a framed cast of my baby’s hand”

Reality – Firstly, casting a baby hand is not an easy task. Many experienced life casters struggle to do this, so to expect a new parent to manage this is unfair. PLUS – Babies do not hold their hands as shown in this image…that hand cast is taken from a much older child. This in itself is not an issue, the kit doesn’t claim to be only for babies, but if this frame is less than 26cm in size, and you look at the dimensions of the frame, the mount and the hand, the dimensions appear impossible…Could that hand cast and that frame have never met?  Could this be a combination of two separate images, merged using technology?

 

 

Problem 3DIY life casting kit 1

This picture is better.  If you zoom in on this image on the website, you do get a truer indication of the end result you’d hope to create.  This cast has virtually no definition, the big toe is damaged and there are several very noticeable lumps and bumps, also flattening to the sole of the foot.

At least this image is a more accurate representation of what you MIGHT achieve.  But £45 for a single foot cast is not much cheaper than many life casters charge – is doing it yourself worth the extra time, effort, stress & mess?

 

 

 

 

Is £45 a fair price to spend to end up with a low quality, low definition foot cast of your baby?  If you think so, then go ahead and buy the kit…but perhaps read some reviews first –

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.45.03

Good to see that Mothercare responded…but still choose to keep selling a product that is failing more customers, than it is serving…

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.44.42

Not everyone is unsuccessful – but be realistic. If only one customer in ten has managed, will you? Do you mind if it doesn’t work out? Is losing £45 an issue or not?

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.45.21

Unfortunately, the reality is that kits can be a false economy.  Yes, they are cheaper than paying a professional life caster, but the chances of ending up with a final product worthy of hanging on the wall is far less likely. So you could be paying a lot of money to end up with the possibility of having nothing to show for it.

life casting feet

Life casters have experience, they have the skills, the correct materials, and the knowledge to keep your precious baby safe, content, relaxed and at ease – giving you the very best result.  Of course, differences between life casters also varies hugely too…so again…research is important.  I wrote a blog about this too…it’s HERE. Also check out my Q&A web page full of hints and tips on how to get the best life casting results for you.

 

Still fancy getting creative? by all means, have a bash! Try making some foot impressions in salt dough. Paint those little fingers & toes and make some gift cards. Sprinkle your child in glitter and have some fun. But when it comes to life casting – use a pro.

 

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When is the best age to take casts?

When is the best age to take casts?

WHEN IS THE BEST AGE TO CAST?

The quick answer to that is – RIGHT NOW – make a booking at impressive Memories today – click here! Quickest blog I’ve ever written. The End.

Oh, if only it was that simple, but the thing is…It’s too late to capture today, if it’s already tomorrow.


“I wish I’d done this when they were smaller”  

“I’d give anything to hold those new born feet again”

“You forget how small they were, so quickly, don’t you?”.

But when is the best age? – well it depends – I’m not being noncommittal. It depends on what you are casting, and WHY.

 

  • Why do you want life casts?
  • Why now?
  • Why might waiting be better?
  • Why should you NOT wait?

 

 

There are no age limitations on my life castings. 

What I can’t do is pause time, or go back in time…that would be pretty clever…

Being prepared and being organised is the key to successfully holding onto YOUR Impressive Memories. 

I noticed on a website that the caster wouldn’t cast babies older than 6 months, “due to them being unsuitable” – Who is not suitable? The child or the caster? 

Another company claim that babies who “don’t cooperate” will have to pay extra if more casting material is needed, AND return another day!  – I would never expect my customer to pay extra because thier baby had wriggled! On occassion I have asked customers to return if I feel their casts are not impressive enough. Usually I know before you leave if the cast will be succesful, but not always. If I wouldn’t be happy to hand over the cast to someone, or to receive it myself, then it gets redone. 

If Grandparents are also keen to have casts and keepsakes, it’s a good idea to do them at different ages to yours.  If you have newborn casts taken, they could wait until baby is 6 months old…then you can compare and see how they’ve grown.

Will this be a one off experience? Or are you planning to return for more casts at a later date?

Where will you display your casts? Are they just for you to see or do you want the world to know how impressive your memories are?

When you look at them, how will they make you feel? Are you sad to see those tiny hands and feet grow or are you desperate to reach the next stage?


Life casting is as much about the story and the people, as it is about the finished article.

Meeting new people, and welcoming families back – one of the best parts of my business.

In the last few weeks I have cast new born babies who arrived in the world weighing less than 3lbs. I’ve travelled to home visits to cast a dad and doting daughter, because time is precious. Met a solicitor, working on horrific child cruelty court case.  She brought me her nephew to cast. She hugged him just a little bit tighter, trying to understand the reality that not all babies are cherished.

Yesterday I was creating the most stunning piece of jewellery for a friend that is a story of her fostering memories within a bracelet – more about that soon!! And I’ve helped a daughter wear a fingerprint in silver – a memory of her mum who passed suddenly just days before. Families have come back with the latest addition on the exact same day they cast their first child. I’ve had messages at 3am from mums who just gave birth – still not announced to their family – but making a booking to have their casts taken!

I also cast my first international wedding couple who were preparing for their Scottish wedding celebration before returning back to Serbia. (If anyone is planning a trip to Serbia, let me know…we still need a method to safely transport it back to them!)

My work is an emotional rollercoaster!! No wonder I feel so exhausted!! (But I love it)

BOOK NOW

YES, BUT WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CAST?

I don’t think there is such a thing!  Whatever you cast, and whenever I cast it, we are taking a tangible snapshot of that moment.  Here are some of the benefits and possible disadvantages of casting different ages.


best age to cast babies4

 

 

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If you’d like more information, get in touch HERE.

Would you like to make a booking? CLICK HERE.

Hope this has helps you to decide when to capture YOUR Impressive Memories.  Have you had a look through my Q&A page? It’s full of information that will hopefully interest you.
Have an Impressive Day,
Jen x

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

“I wondered if you could tell me how much this costs?”

Price & Value 2

This has to be my most asked question…

I wrote a blog last week on VALUE Vs PRICE…did you read it?  (it’s HERE if you’d like to read it) Now I have put together a PRICE LIST for you too – all the info is on my website, but this handy download lets you see prices at a glance.

  1. Click the button, pop your details down.
  2. Check your email and confirm your email address.
  3. Check your email again and your download will be there!

I’d LOVE to have life casts created – HOW CAN I AFFORD THIS?

All casting orders can split the payments – yay!!  You pay £15 to make your booking, then half your balance on the day of casting and the rest on collection.  An average casting order will take a minimum of 4 weeks to complete, so you will have at least a full month before the final balance is due.

If you ordered a framed cast costing £100

  • You pay £15 to book (you can book up to 8 weeks in advance too)

  • At your casting appointment pay just £45

  • On collection in 4 weeks time your balance is £40

WHAT PAYMENTS DO YOU ACCEPT?

I accept Cash, BACS, PayPal and most major Credit Cards too.

DO YOU SELL GIFT VOUCHER?

Yup…why not hint to family and friends that you’d be very impressed to be given a gift voucher??? Send them this link https://www.impressivememories.co.uk/gift-vouchers/ and smile sweetly.  

I HAD MY FIRST CHILD CAST, BUT NOW YOUR STYLES HAVE CHANGED.

Don’t panic! I offer reframing.  You can’t go back in time and recapture the moment, but you can reframe the casts you already have to match the new addition…or maybe you just fancy a change. Find out about REFRAMING HERE.