This concept may seem disturbing or squeamish for some, for others they see the beauty and honor in creating such a Print. There are many ways to handle your Placenta, many simply discard it, others consume or encapsulate it for nutrients and other benefits, some like myself honor it by creating a print and/or burying it in the Earth. There are many reasons culturally and personally as to why each of these are done. For me, it just did not sit right with me to discard my Sun's guardian as 'waste' to merely be thrown away, so I decided to bring it home and freeze it to eventually bury it under a tree - another blog coming soon for that! First however, I wanted to capture and remember its beauty by imprinting onto canvas.
There are professionals that can do this for you if you are not comfortable handling your placenta. Many Placenta Encapsulators also offer this as a service as well so be sure to check that avenue out if you prefer. However, here is my simple guide to do Natural Placenta Print and Painted Placenta Print yourself:
What you need : gloves, small canvas/s (or art paper), paint & brush, glitter/other decorations you wish to add, paper towel, towels.
1. Do it like the universe and Plan-et out!
Search some ideas of how you wish to cord to be displayed, whether you want both sides imprinted, whether you would like certain colours or simply the natural effect of blood to make the print. The sky is the limit here! You could try portraying the popular 'Tree of Life' aspect by using Brown paint on the cord as the ‘trunk’ and veiny areas for ‘branches’, while using Green on the Placenta as the ‘leaves’. Perhaps simply choose a colour you feel represents your experience or baby. You can swirl the end of the cord, make into a word if long enough, create infinity symbol like I have or whatever you like. Just follow your intuition on what feels right for you and don't be afraid to get creative!
2. Prep your Placenta & Space
Firstly, if your Placenta is frozen ensure your have thawed out (leave in fridge until thawed out completely, don't leave out on bench to thaw).
Remove any blood clots, lightly rinse, then dab access water off with paper towel.
(Note: if wanting natural blood to print don't rinse too much as may not be a lot of blood to start with).
Ensure you have a clear working place such as table or bench near the sink would be best. Place a towel down to protect surface from any leaks or paint. Place a clear thin plastic cutting board or tea towel to place Placenta on. Have your paints ready and a space cleared to lay canvas down to dry afterward.
3. Position Placenta & Press (Natural Blood Print)
Position the Placenta on your plastic cutting board or tea towel. I wanted the natural blood to do my first print, so used plastic board as didn't want it drying out on a tea towel. Once positioned, grab your blank canvas or paper and press firmly down onto Placenta, slowly and gently use your fingers to press onto the Placenta so even print soaks onto canvas/paper. Very slowly and evenly lift off, it may stick a little so just be patient and allow gravity to release it if not coming away. Sprinkle glitter onto canvas if you wish. Put in your drying area to set.
If it did not come through how you wish or you want to try a different position, massage the Placenta a little to spread blood around to try again.
4. Re-prep, Paint & Press (Painted Print)
Using paint brush dab onto the area you wish to paint. I chose to paint the cord and veiny areas Blue, then pressed canvas as per instructions on previous step. Some leftover blood filled the top of the tree, and I dabbed the blue around the branches to create a 'leafy' look. I sprinkled gold and blue glitter onto the paint. However most of the glitter later came away from exposure to rain through a window, so I eventually went and bought Clear Coat to spray over the canvas to seal it.
5. You can do other colours!
Simply rinse the Placenta off to remove paint and dab with paper towel to remove access water.
Repeat the same as Step 4.
6. Clean up!
I did I final thorough rinse to remove paint and placed my Placenta into a container and put back into freezer to be buried when I was ready. Ensure to clean and sanitize your working space thoroughly.
Here are some question I thought might pop up:
CAN I CONSUME OR ENCAPSULATE AFTER PAINTING MY PLACENTA?
If you plan to consume your Placenta, I would NOT after using paint on it. I would only do the natural print, NOT paint it, if I had the intention to consume it. Alternatively seek out a professional to check if they have non-toxic paint or offer alternative option if you have your heart set on Painted Print & consuming.
DOES THE NATURAL BLOOD PRINT SMELL?
No, surprisingly, it doesn't. Phew!
DO YOU HAVE TO USE A SPECIAL PAINT?
I used $1 Paint tubes from Aldi, there were Acrylic which is what was suggested on some sites I reviewed before attempting these Prints. Acrylic paint is suggested for canvas or paper and worked fabulous for my pieces.
DO YOU HAVE TO USE A SPECIAL KIND OF CANVAS OR PAPER?
Again, I found a cheap set of 3 small canvas from Aldi for $8. They worked awesome and great quality. I have not tried paper however any art paper should do the trick, I would buy more than one and more than one kind just to see what comes out the best. I originally only wanted 1 canvas but thought having the extra 2 was great in case I messed up the first! In the end, I was left we 3 amazing pieces.