Have Fun with Potato Stamp Art

Posted on: September 8th, 2011 by Annette Welsford No Comments
Potatoes are not just a versatile and nutritious food, they can also be used to print fabric and other materials. While most children have a lot of fun making and then using potato stamps, creative adults can achieve lovely patterned effects easily, quickly and very cheaply.

Fabric Painting and Stamp Art

Fabric painting has been practiced since antiquity, specifically in Egypt, China and India. In those early days people used blocks of wood into which they carved designs. These were then inked before being pressed onto various types of material.
This very same concept is used for potato stamp art which can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. For instance numerous objects may be carved into many potatoes to create pictures, or one simple pattern may be repeated to achieve a systematic design.
Potato stamp art provides a simple method of printing fabric, but may also be used to create stencil-like patterns on walls, along a dado or below the cornice of a ceiling for instance. It may also be used to create unique cards, for any occasion: birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries or to congratulate someone or send your condolences. Since the stamp itself can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, it is an art that appeals to people across the board – from immensely artistic to not artistic at all.  
Of course there is one thing that is vitally important, and that is to match the paint or ink you use for printing to the material you are printing on. Be sure to use fabric paint if you are printing on fabric, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Some fabric paints need to be ironed to make the paint stick. Ordinary poster paint can be used for paper and for walls, depending though what the wall has been painted with. You can also use ordinary household paint for walls, or even acrylic paint used by artists. The only type of paints that are not suitable are those that are oil-based.

How to Make a Potato Stamp

All you do to make a potato stamp is to slice a large potato in half and carve a relief design into the raw "face". Alternatively you could use a cookie cutter. These come in a multitude of shapes. Ideally though use those that has been made from metal; plastic cookie cutters don't work as well when working with potatoes.
One you have cut your potato stamp, you can keep it for several days in the refrigerator. However it won't last longer than that and will gradually start to soften. So preferably use it the same day as you have cut the stamp.  
If you are keen on crafts, this one is a lot of fun. Just imagine the satisfaction of growing your own potatoes and then using some of them to print fabric to make you kitchen curtains!
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