One potato, two potato, three potato, four…make your own potato stamp to use on your decor! Okay, I’m such a dork, but at least I’m a dork that knows how to rhyme, hmmm?
So I saw this idea for a diy potato paint stamp in a craft book years ago. The project involved cutting a shape into one half of a sliced potato and using it as a paint stamp. The design they used was a random squiggle shape of some kind and then it was stamped onto burlap curtains. The paint stamp was done in a light color, and It was just the right touch to add some texture to the curtains.
Shamrock DIY paint stamp from a potato
As I said, the potato stamp from the book wasn’t a shamrock stamp, but seeing as how St. Patty’s Day is right around the corner, I thought a shamrock stamp was ideal to demonstrate this fun, little craft project that can be done by adults and kids alike.
Note: Some kids may need a the help of an adult to cut out the design.
I also decided to go with shamrock tea towels for my first attempt.
These didn’t turn out perfect, by any means. I really just wanted to give it a try. But I really think it’s a fun idea that could be tweaked with a different shape, a different paint color, and a different canvas, like curtains, table cloths, wrapping paper, T-shirts, hand made cards and more.
DIY Shamrock Potato paint stamp supplies:
One or more potatoes
Flour sack towels – or the canvas of your choice
Green craft paint (I mixed two colors, any Irish-ish greens will do)
Fabric paint medium
Exacto knife – You can also use a cookie cutter
Ball point pen
Paper (towels, newspaper, or craft paper) for blotting
Scrap fabric or scrap paper – Optional, but highly recommended: for practicing the stamp technique before applying to a project
NOTE: The key with a potato stamp is that the stamp design should be simple and as one dimensional as possible. It helps if it’s a design that you can hand draw, as well.
This is my shamrock potato stamp, as you can see, not too fancy.
Potato stamp steps:
I cut a potato in half and set the cut side face down on paper towel to absorb some of the moisture.
To make my shamrocks, I used an old St Patrick’s Day ornament to copy the shamrock design with a Sharpie onto the potato. I hand drew the design not being too particular.
Go over the design with a ball point pen, making an indentation.
Next using the Exacto knife, I cut the design out. making small slices around the shape and then shaving them off, if you will. The design should have a lip of about 1/8″ (3.175 mm) or more. A little more is probably better. This well help keep the paint from over spilling outside the design area. Alternatively, you can use a cookie cutter to slice into the potato, and then use your knife to cute around the outside of the shape.
Green craft paint was poured onto a plastic lid, and then I added the fabric medium in a 5:2 ratio, (5 part paint to 2 part fabric medium). Too much fabric medium will make the paint too runny. I found that less medium than what the bottle called for worked better.
Let the paint dry for 24 hours if you use fabric medium. If you don’t the drying time will be less.
I opened up one of the tea towels completely and laid it onto paper. Once again, this project could be done on table cloths, drapery, a scarf, a wood sign, card stock, scrapbook paper and probably many other items, as long as you aren’t looking for perfection.
Practice, practice, practice potato stamping
I dabbed the stamp into the paint, dabbed it onto the craft paper to get most of the paint off, and then started stamping…. I had to practice a quite a few times, in order to get the feel of the stamp. Finding out, how much paint worked best, how much pressure to use, etc…but after getting the hang of it, the stamped worked quite nicely.
Not to mention, practice cutting your potato stamps, as well. Be warned, you may not get the ideal shape you want on the first one you try. You may have to do a few to get the hang of it.
Ironing the fabric can be done after the paint is dry.
Did I mention that potato stamping is not for the perfectionist… yes, I did, a few times already, didn’t I?
This was my husband (the perfectionist’s) potato stamp.
It looks like it has been die cut, doesn’t it? And he didn’t use a cookie cutter.
More than likely, if you don’t use a cookie cutter, your potato stamp will look a little more like mine, (shown further up in this post.) If you use a cookie cutter, your will get a better looking shape, there is no arguing that. But they don’t make cookie cutters in every shape, so it’s good to have an alternative.
DIY potato stamp tips and recap:
- Potato stamping can be done with plenty of other simple shapes, but make sure to keep them simple, ie: hearts, moons, or stars, clovers, shamrocks… rather than an intricate Celtic knot.
- Practice on scrap fabric or paper to get the feel of your very own unique potato stamp 😉
- It seems to work well on natural fabrics like muslin, burplap and cotton.
- Using lighter colors of paint, especially for curtains works nice with this method, because the imperfections will not show as much as with darker colors of paint.
- Keep stamp as dry as possible, clean off the edges with paper towel whenever needed.
- Fabrics can be ironed or pressed after the paint has dried 24 hours.
- Some of the stamps will darker, some lighter, some might be missing a little section of the shape. But when you looked at the whole of all the stamps combined, your eye sees the stamped shape, rather than a few imperfections. And if you are doing this project with kids, all the better to be messy, right?
Consider doing this as a kid’s or teen craft to make or tee shirts or something fun like that.
The kids might even get a kick out of getting down to earth with a craft that uses something that grows in the ground as a paint stamp?
So then they can go and Instagram it to their friends…?!
Other diy paint and potato stamping projects:
Making these shamrock towels was perfect for a bit of Irish this time of year, and of course what better way to make Irish decor than with a potato??
More St Patricks’s Day ideas
Happy St Patty’s Day ~ Amy
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