Before there were Cricuts or even simple plastic stencils there was printing with potatoes. You can’t get more basic than using a potato to make a print but the good news is that the more basic something is, the easier it is. Potato prints are an easy and quick craft that is wonderful for all ages.
I have cut potatoes and given them to kids to use as a stamp. Want a really easy Easter craft for kids? Cut a potato in half, let them make egg shapes using it as a stamp and then dot colorful paint on top with q-tips. It makes simple and cute painted Easter eggs. You can also make potato prints into a shamrock shape for St. Patty’s day.
But what if you’re past preschool and don’t know how you could use potato prints?
this post contains affiliate links
Potato prints are a great way to make simple patterns. Place them on a tea towel like I did, print designs on a tote bag, use it to make a pretty border on a skirt or fabric napkins, use it on the background of a sign. Anywhere you need a simple pattern, you can use a potato to make patterns.
Before we get started making these fun and flirty heart potato prints on fabric, here’s a few things to consider:
- If you’re using a potato as a stamp, the shape or pattern you’re trying to make needs to be basic. You will have to cut out the design by hand with a knife and the simpler, the easier.
- You can use a linoleum cutter for intricate designs if you have the patience (and aren’t clumsy).
- Use a big knife to cut through the middle of the potato. This will give you the flattest edge possible.
- Do a test print before you put the paint on your final surface. Sometimes the potatoes might have a depression in the middle or an area that’s not even. Do a test print first!
Let’s get started making potato prints:
First things first.
Cut your potato in half. Which way doesn’t matter as long as it’s big enough for your design and easy to hold.
Draw the shape you want on your potato using a marker. What kind of marker does not matter as long as you can see it.
The next step is one of the most important.
Using a sharp knife, cut around the shape vertically that you drew with the marker. Concentrate on the top of the potato first.
Cutting the Potato Stamp
Once you have your design cut with the marker, the potato half should still be totally intact, cut about half an inch down horizontally.
First cut the top, straight up and down, going into the white part of the potato.
Then cut the sides, the brown part.
Don’t cut too far.
On the top you only need to go about half an inch down.
On the sides you need the tip of your knife to reach the design that you just cut out but you don’t want to go all the way through and cut your design totally off the potato.
Does that make sense?
Once you have both of those cuts made, all the way around the potato, gently remove the outside edge of the potato and then go back and remove any potato away from your design.
When you’re done, your potato should look like this:
Your design should stick up about 1/2 inch above the rest of the potato.
I made two heart stamps. One had a little bit of a depression in the middle which looks like a broken heart. This is why it’s important to test before you print! If yours does this, you can try to carefully even it out with a knife.
Printing with Potatoes: The Paint
Now you’re ready to paint. Because potatoes hold so much moisture, it’s a good idea to really rub the paint into the potato and stamp it on an extra piece of material or paper a few times.
I’ve found that any water based craft paint will work well. For painting on fabric I use Fabric Creations by Plaid.
The paint does not need to be too thick on the potato, rub it into the potato and let the moisture do it’s magic.
I used fabric paint to print hearts on a tea towel.
Yes! You can use potato to print on fabric!
I made a relaxed pattern of hearts all over the tea towel and I love how it turned out.
I’m thinking about adding some black script on to the bottom of it using a freezer paper stencil.
Wouldn’t they make amazing gifts? To yourself or to someone you cherish?
Share this on Pinterest with a friend that you know would love this idea: