March 29, 2012

A Potato Stamp Tutorial :: Easter Cards

Easter is almost here! Do you celebrate? Want an easy craft to make part of the fun? When you get tired of dying all those eggs (did you see this post last week? Amazing!) pull out your spuds & have some fun with potato stamping. This is so easy it's criminal.

Here's what you need:
Potatoes (you can get several stamps from one potato, but if you have lots of stampers, a few would be a good idea)
Cutting tools such as: a chef's knife, paring knife - I also found my x-acto to be helpful
A cutting board
Stamp pads in fun Easter colors (found at any craft store)
Also optional a glue pad & glitter (but I recommend them as they were my favorite decoration)
Optional markers or pens to decorate the eggs
Paper to practice on
Paper to stamp on (you could also do this on envelopes!)
Paper towels! (not pictured but essential!!)

Also optional is a bowl of lemon water to leave your stamps in while you aren't using them. It keeps them from turning that red/brown that potatoes turn when they've been left out. Like apples. This didn't take very long so I didn't run into that problem.

**Also a note about the cutting tools: obviously you don't want to give kids a knife, so adults should do the cutting here. I did see one guy who used a plastic knife on his potatoes. Use your judgement on whether that is ok for your small ones. 

Oh, I should mention that I actually washed my potatoes first. Just in case there was any dirt on them, I didn't want it to bleed onto my stamp pad or my project.

Step 1: cut your potato

Make sure that you slice straight down to get a flat surface for stamping or carving.

Depending on the size of your potato, you can make several stamps from one spud. I tried it. The variety was subtle but I liked it. Also, it gave me options for carving a few pieces & leaving other slices as whole "eggs". Multiple slices also give you multiple stamps for multiple hands. Great if you are stamping in company.

Step 2: practice

First, use a paper towel take off any excess water that comes out of your potato. To ink your spud, lightly dab it on the stamp pad just as you would a regular rubber stamp. These pick up plenty of ink.

I never go straight to my nice paper. Always practice your impression. I found it helpful to really push down on the center of the slice for a relatively solid print. After a few stamps, I broke out the markers & decorating accessories to figure out what appealed to me. This also gave me other ideas for shapes to carve in my potatoes.

For the "broken egg" on the right, I used a pen & then my x-acto knife to randomly draw the broken pieces on my stamp. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of the actual process, but this YouTube video shows a great example of how to get a stamp like this. You just carve away the parts of the potato that you don't want in your design.

Keep practicing until you are satisfied with a few ideas. It's easy to switch colors with potatoes. I just flipped my slice over or you can wipe off any extra ink. Keep those paper towels handy either way. It's easy to get the ink all over you & everything around you. Which is important to look out for in our next step...

Step 3: Move to your card

After a few practice designs, I figured out what I wanted to stamp. A combo of colors & shapes on most of the cards made for a good look. I used the edge of my green pad to make grass for my "eggs" to sit in. Then came the glitter!!! I loved that the most. I stamped the color, then inked the same potato with the glue pad & stamped right over the same place again. Pour the glitter on, excess goes back in the container. Pretty!!!

Step 4: dry & clean up

This might be the best part. Make sure there aren't any little potato pieces on your stamp pads. Close them up.  Pitch the stamps in the trash. DONE! Make sure all your stamps are dry before putting them away or sending them off. Where I overstamped (2 colors over each other) they took about 10 minutes to dry.

Thanks for joining me! I hope you enjoy doing this project. It's SOOO easy. YouTube has tons of great videos on potato stamps if you're interested in other ideas. With different types of inks or paint, you could make napkins, notebooks, tshirts...Let me know what you create with your potato stamps!



Simone said...

What a great idea. I love the broken egg print.

Kerry B. said...

thanks!! Me too :)

Mary Ann Farley said...

Love this! Will try it with my nieces!