Making a stamp from a potato is a fun activity for adults to do with children and a great way to create your own unique shapes. The finished stamp is ideal for decorating book covers, greeting cards, gift wrap, and in many other ways. Simple shapes are the easiest, however with a little creative thought even the most basic shape can be turned into something special.
Equipment / Tools
- Kitchen knife
- Pencil or marker pen
- Saucer or paper plate for paint
- Water-based paint
- Waste paper for practicing
Younger children will require supervision when using the knife.
Cut the potato in half with a kitchen knife. Don't let the potato dry out as this will distort the design.
Use a pencil or marker pen to draw the desired shape onto the surface of the potato.
Cut around this shape with a kitchen knife, leaving the design so it is raised on the surface of the potato.
Using a serrated knife will give a textured surface. Use a fork or skewer to make tiny holes in the potato for added design interest.
Pour some paint into a saucer and dab the potato in the paint, ensuring that the surface is evenly coated.
If there is too much paint on the potato stamp it will slip when stamped onto paper. Stamp the potato onto waste or scratch paper a couple of times to remove any excess paint.
Press the potato stamp onto the paper, card, or project. You should be able to use the stamp several times before needing to dip it in paint again. The potato can be washed after use and used again with another color.
Let the paint dry completely before decorating or finishing the design.
- Simple shapes can be decorated with marker pens or paints. A simple square, for instance, can easily be turned into an image of a wrapped gift box by drawing on a ribbon. A circle can become a smiley face by the addition of a couple of dots for eyes and a semi-circle for a mouth.
- Apply glitter to give an added sparkle to the finished project.
Use a small cutter to make a shape in the potato. Cookie cutters, apple corers, cutters used to cut shapes from polymer clay and other utensils can be used to make a shape in the potato. Simply press the cutter into the potato and then cut around this with a kitchen knife. This is an ideal way to create more complicated shapes.
Don't limit yourself to potatoes. Carrots, oranges, and apples make great starting-off points for stamps. The orange segments provide great texture for a stamped design.
If you feel like experimenting some more, how about stamping with other found objects to make patterns on paper. Paper tubes, bubblewrap, and even your own fingers make great non-stamp stamps. You'll be surprised at what great patterns and designs you can create from the most humble of materials.
Foam stamps are the ideal next step for beginners who are interested in learning more about stamping. Foam stamps are lightweight and easy to hold. They also often feature bold shapes that work well with paints.