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Your Life Story - Captured in a Fingerprint

Your Life Story Captured in a Fingerprint  Find more genealogy blogs at FamilyTree.comYour fingerprints are unique to you. That’s why fingerprints are used to identify people. Another unique thing about you is your life story. No one else, not even your siblings, will have the same experience that you did. Those who are creative can make art by combining their life story with their fingerprint.

Fingerprints are unique patterns that are made by friction ridges and furrows. The friction ridges are the raised parts of a fingerprint, and the furrows are the recessed parts. When a person’s fingerprints are inked, it is the friction ridges that get printed onto paper. Together, the friction ridges and furrows can form whorls, loops, and arches.

The first step in this family history related art project is to capture your fingerprint. One way to do it is buy some washable ink pads from your favorite art supply store. Darker colors will work best for this project.

Put the finger you want to make a print of into the ink. Next, press that inked finger onto white computer paper. For best results, move slowly. Make a bunch of prints and select the one you think will scan the best. Choose the print that has the least amount of smudges or that is the clearest.

When the ink dries, scan the paper it is on into your computer. Some printers will have a scan function. Or, you could use a wand scanner that genealogists use to make copies of vital records. Put that scan onto your computer. Pick the best fingerprint and increase its size so that it takes up a whole page all by itself.

The lines, whorls, loops, and arches of your fingerprint are going to be used as if they were lines on a paper. Place a blank sheet of paper on top of your fingerprint. Very gently, use a pencil to lightly trace those lines. (You will want to be able to erase the pencil marks later).

Sit down and write your life story. It needs to be succinct or it will not fit onto your fingerprint. Choose some of the most significant moments of your life. Use a pen to write that story on the lines of your fingerprint. When it dries, go back in and erase the pencil lines. Just like that, you will have your unique life story captured in a fingerprint. If you found this project to be fun, you could teach your relatives how to make one of their own.

Image by Jose Luis Agapito on Flickr

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* Writing an Interesting Family History

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