How to Make a Stamp From a Potato

Holiday Potato Stamps with Gifts
Make cute potato stamps to make wrapping paper. Jon Wightman/E+/Getty Images

Making a stamp from a potato is a fun activity for adults as well as children and a great way to create your own unique shapes. The finished stamp is ideal for decorating book covers, greeting cards, gift wrap and in many other ways. Simple shapes are the easiest, however with a little creative thought even the most basic shape can be turned into something special.

This is a great project for kids, however, longer children will require help and supervision when cutting around the potato.

What You Need

  • Potatoes
  • Kitchen knife
  • Water based paint
  • Pencil or marker pen
  • Paper
  • Waste paper for practicing

Here's How

  1. Cut the potato in half. Draw the desired shape onto the surface of the potato using a pencil or marker pen. Cut around this shape with a kitchen knife, leaving the design so it is raised on the surface of the potato.
  2. Pour some paint into a saucer and dab the potato in the paint, ensuring that the surface is evenly coated.
  3. If there is too much pain on the potato stamp it will slip when stamped onto paper. Therefore to remove any excess paint, stamp the potato onto waste or scratch paper a couple of times. Start stamping the potato stamp as required. This can be stamped several times before the potato needs dipping in the paint again. The potato can be washed after use and used again with another color.
  4. Leave the paper to one side for the paint to dry. Add decoration to the stamped images as required.
  1. Variation: Use a small cutter to make a shape in the potato. Cookie cutters, apple corers, cutters used to cut shapes from polymer clay and other utensils can be used to make a shape in the potato. Simply press the cutter into the potato and then cut around this with a kitchen knife. This is an ideal way to create more complicated or fiddly shapes.
  1. Foam stamps are the ideal next step for beginners who are interested in learning more about stamping. Foam stamps are lightweight and easy to hold. They also often feature bold shapes that work well with paints.

Tips

  1. Cutting the potato with a serrated knife will give a textured surface. Use a fork or skewer to make tiny holes in the potato for added design interest.
  2. Don't let the potato dry out as this will distort the design.
  3. Simple shapes can be decorated with marker pens or paints. A simple square, for instance, can easily be turned into an image of a wrapped gift box by drawing on a ribbon (see photo). A circle can become a smiley face by the addition of a couple of dots for eyes and a semi-circle for a mouth.
  4. Apply glitter to give an added sparkle to the finished project.

As well as using potatoes to make stamps, you could also try other vegetables and fruit such as carrots and oranges.

More Ways to Stamp Without Stamps

If you feel like experimenting some more, how about stamping with other found objects to make patterns on paper. You'll be surprised at what great patterns and designs you can create from the most humble of materials!