How to use No Mess Ink Pads in 4 Easy Steps (With Pictures & 8 Bonus Tips)

Leeanne Vinecombe

The thing we love about these No Mess or Clean Touch Ink Pads as some people call them is that they are super versatile. They can be used on almost any type of paper, card etc so are excellent for just about any craft and keepsake ideas.

They are also completely non-toxic and MESS FREE as the baby / pet never actually touches the ink - if used correctly!


Although the No Mess Ink Pads are really simple to use, I have put together a step by step guide and a few little tips, that should make collecting your loved one’s paw prints, hand prints or foot prints even easier!


Step 1:

Prepare the paper, card or artwork that you intend to use the ink pad on prior to opening the package. It is always best to have a hard surface like a table beneath whatever paper you are planning to print onto.

TIP #1 - I personally also like to blu tack the paper (etc) onto the hard surface. I do this to keep the paper still and avoid any print smudging. As I regularly use them for newborns, toddlers, dogs, cats and other small animals (who will of course wiggle right at the moment you don’t want them to - it's Murphy's Law!) I find it necessary.


TIP #2 - The Ink Pads give quite a dark black print. If you prefer a lighter and sometimes more detailed print we recommend first placing your ink pad (ink side down) onto a scrap piece of paper and with a tissue gently rubbing over the entire non ink side of the pad; to transfer a portion of the ink off before using it. DO NOT press too hard and rub it all off! (See example picture below)

Cat Paw Prints. How to get the Best Prints with a No Mess Ink Pad

TIP #3 - If you have small prints to capture and you are wanting to get more than one print from your ink pad, it is a good idea to mark a grid onto the cardboard frame with a pen prior to beginning. This will help you stick to the section you are supposed to be using each time and assist you in getting the most out of your ink pad.

NOTE - You can use these ink pads for more than one larger print (2-3 prints), however the prints will get lighter each time and you may see marks from prior prints in your later ones. (see picture below)

Paw Prints with the No Mess Ink Pad

Step 2:

Open your Ink Pad and work out which side the ink is on. There will be a sticker letting you know which side this is. Be careful to only touch the cardboard frame when removing it. The ink side should be face down in the packet to avoid getting any ink on your fingers and removing some of the ink from the pad. The pad itself is made up of a fine balloon like material that is used to take the print, there is ink on one side only.

Pick the location on the paper you would like to put prints onto and pop your ink pad INK SIDE DOWN in this spot.

TIP #4 - I also blu tack the ink pad to the selected spot on the paper - again to avoid movement and smudging of any prints.

Step 3:

Pick up and get into a comfortable position with your human baby or fur baby and gently hold their hand, foot or paw in a position that is easy for you to press the body part onto the ink pad.

Cat Paw Print Keepsakes



TIP #5 It is a good idea to practice pressing your loved ones selected body part onto any surface prior to attempting the actual print to be sure that it is an easy and comfortable position for you both. If it's not - try something different, sometimes it can be best to have a second person helping, especially if your little one is a wriggle bum!

TIP #6 - If you are printing a medium-large dog paw print - I've found it easiest and best to do this while the pet is sitting beside me, while I'm kneeling on the floor (facing in the same direction) and bringing the paper & ink pad toward their paw, instead of trying to move them (awkwardly) towards it.

If you are using a small piece of card, blu tacking this to a hard cover book is great. For larger paper the backboard of a frame (If you are using the HeavenLee Memories Keepsake Prints - the box they are posted to you in is prefect!). With the paw in one hand and the paper/ink pad in the other, move the latter into a position where you can easily press the paw onto the ink pad without causing any imbalance to your dog. Again, it is a great idea to practice this prior to involving the ink pad.

Dog Paw Printing - Keepsakes & Tips

TIP #7 - If you have a fur baby that has quite a lot of fur in between their paw pads and you want to avoid this in the print, you can either clip the fur away or use a wet cloth and wet the paw and try to move as much of the fur out of the way prior to printing as possible.

Of course, not everyone wants a clean print, some people prefer the fur in the print - because this is one of the special things about the beloved fur baby. It is personal preference and the choice is yours.

NOTE - If you are collecting fur baby prints for tattooing purposes, don't worry about the fur in the picture. If you don't want fur in your tattoo, let your tattoo artist know not to add it in.

Step 4:

Press your babies / pet’s foot, hand or paw firmly onto the ink pad. Roll the body part around very slightly to be sure all the bits you want in the print have made good contact. If you have a helper you can get them to press gently onto all the toes, fingers or paw pads to be sure they have made proper contact.

Pet Paw Printing Tips with No Mess Ink Pads

TIP #8 - For newborn hands that are generally in a tight fist, it is best to hold the fingers open and start by pressing the ball of the palm down first and then rolling the rest of the hand from there to the fingertips. I fully recommend a helper for this, newborn handprints are by far the trickiest prints to collect.

And that's it you are done! Move your loved one away and you can now detach the ink pad from the paper you are printing on and you should have a nice, clean, beautiful print.

Looking to purchase a No Mess Ink Pad - CLICK HERE

I hope this guide was helpful. May your memories last forever xo

Below are some finished pictures to show how they turn out :)

Some dog paws prints ...

Dog Paw Print Keepsake


Some cat paw prints ...

Cat paw print keepsake


And some tiny baby feet ... 

Baby footprint keepsake


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