Monday, November 30, 2009

Potato Stamps - tutorial

This could be a great gift tag making activity depending on how you cut your stamps...

Cut your potatoes in half, lengthwise or crosswise depending on the finished shape you want. If you cut the potato with a large knife in one chop it will keep the flat surface more flat. If the surface is uneven the print may have problems. I also thought it was helpful to cut a little handle into the rounded side of the potato to make it easier to control the stamping and pull it off the paper.
Cut an outline into your potato. I used a paring knife. This is not for young children and is slightly dangerous for adults as well, although somehow I managed not to draw blood this time. It doesn't have to be perfect, you can polish it up later. My kids helped by coming up with the shapes we wanted, they drew them on paper as I cut the potato.

Then using the knife parallel to the flat side of the potato, about an 1/8" below the flat surface, cut away the edge of the potato. Now you can even up any rough lines on your shape outline as well as carve out any details (leaf lines, a smiley face, a limits)
HINTS: Dry the potatoes well. Ready to paint and stamp. We found brushing/sponging the paint on thinly with a foam brush worked well (and you can apply several colours), rather than dipping into a huge glob of paint, but that was also an interesting effect so play around. Each potato may have different densities within it. We did an entire sheet of "practice" stamping. Potatoes are a little spongy so pressing down well helps print the entire shape, you can also rock it a little to achieve desired print. We had a little chant "press. press. rock, rock. lift!" when we first started to get the hang of it.

Rinse well after and send to the compost bin...
Posted by Picasa


Traci said...

Thanks for the info, I always wondered about that. I still just love that little acorn!

MaureenHume said...

When I was a kid money was very scarce, but we did have a load of apples, from the tree, and potatos, from the garden. Potato stamping was something we did a lot of and your post brought back a heap of warm fuzzy memories.
Traci's right that acorn too cute for words.

Monkey Business said...

Perfect! Thanks so much...we'll be trying this today!