Empty Arms Bereavement

Hand and Foot Casting


Our volunteers work with local medical facilities to offer hand and foot casts at the time of birth for bereaved families. This offers families a irreplaceable memento of their child.

Many professionals who work with us are interested in a step-by-step guide to hand and foot casting using dental alginate. Here is our tutorial on how to cast little hands and feet.

In most states, you will need to order materials through a dentist, as a dental license is required to place an order for alginate and dental stone. We have found that each 1 lb canister can cast 2-3 babies. We recommend using color change alginate, and make sure you order REGULAR SET and not the fast set. As for the stone, it should be ordered in BUFF color to reduce dirt/fingerprints on the finished product, and a 25 lb box will last for 50 sets of casts.

Casting can be nerve-wracking, but it is usually very successful. Alginate is an extremely forgiving medium. Some of our babies are in very delicate shape and are very tiny, which causes us to wonder if this memory-making method is suitable. We've had really good success casting babies as tiny as 17 weeks, and those of older gestations who have skin that is in a delicate condition. If you have questions about a particular situation and would like our guidance, please feel free to contact us by calling 413-570-0811 or contact us here.