Kids Crafts: Potato Printing Projects

Use potatoes and paint to print your own note cards and wrapping paper.

Teach your children the basics of printing techniques while having a great time designing your own note cards and wrapping paper with these fun potato printing crafts.

POTATO PRINTING BASICS

What you need:

- Potatoes

- Thick paint such as tempera

- Large knife

- Small craft knife (exacto knife)

- Paper, card stock

To make a potato print stamper:

Make sure an adult helps with the cutting!

1. Decide what shape you would like to print with your potato. Simple shapes work best and are easiest to create. Try hearts, crosses, circles, squares, and flowers to start. Once you've had some practice, try slightly more elaborate shapes like cars, boats, faces, block letters and numbers, animal outlines and seasonal icons.

2. Cut a potato in half with the large knife

3. On one cut end of the potato, use the tip of the craft knife to create an outline of the shape you want to create.

4. Cut away potato, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, around the design you have outlined. Remove potato until a stamp of the shape remains.

5. Blot the cut end of the potato with a paper towel to absorb additional moisture

6. Place thick paint on a flat plate or tray; dip the potato stamp into the paint. (When doing this project with small children, washable paint is highly recommended.)



7. Press the potato stamp onto any paper surface to create your print. Dip the potato back into the paint before each print to keep the color crisp and bright.

WRAPPING PAPER

To use potato prints to make your own printed wrapping paper, you will need all of the basic potato printing supplies plus a long roll of paper such as butcher paper or craft paper. Unroll a long section of the paper on a large, flat surface.

Create two or three stamp designs to print on the paper, since only one design may be too repetitive and monotonous. Using more than three designs may create too busy and cluttered a look. Stamp the designs at intervals across the surface of the paper. The prints can be carefully aligned or randomly placed. Allow the paint to dry completely before using the paper or rolling it for storage.

Try the following themed holiday wrapping paper ideas:

Christmas 1: Alternate Christmas trees in green paint and candy canes in red paint (the white parts are cut away to leave them blank) for a festive and playful Christmas paper.

Christmas 2: Create a holly leaf stamp and a wreath stamp to scatter across the paper in green paint. Create a third stamp with a red grouping of holly berries to place adjacent to each holly leaf print. You may also create a bow stamp to print over the wreath once the green paint is dry. A metallic gold paint is a great accent for this paper.

Birthday: Nothing says birthday like gifts and balloons. Create two balloon stamps for brightly colored fun and scatter them around gift boxes with festive bows.

Kid birthday: Create a simple animal outline such as a dinosaur or butterfly. Stamp it in multiple colors (you can rinse the potato once you are done with one color) across pastel or white paper.

Hearts and flowers: Make a simple heart stamp and alternate it with a bright flower for a fun all-occasion paper.

Stars and moon paper: Stamp yellow or white stars and moons on dark paper for this multi-purpose paper. Consider using glow-in-the-dark paint for a fun nighttime gift wrap.

NOTE CARDS

Use potato prints to create your own custom note cards and stationery. Purchase plain note cards and decorate the front of each with the design of your choice. Some popular designs are: monogrammed letters, flowers, simple words such as "thank you" or "I miss you" and cameo style faces. For stationery, use plain writing paper and create a border around the page or simply center a design on top of the paper. Use these techniques to create Christmas or other holiday cards with a truly personal flair.

© High Speed Ventures 2011