a Goodbye Lie favorite
Crafts: Potato Stamps
I love old fashioned crafts because they're easy and fun and because our ancestors created them. Potato stamping is a wonderful family activity. I chose to make a potato stamp necklace T-shirt using teddy bears and stars for my stamps. I made it easily in an evening.
Potato stamping is featured it in my historical romance novel, The Goodbye Lie. In the story, the Dunnigan children are stamping thank you cards using blackberry juice for their paint.
Caution: Since a knife is needed for cutting the potato, an adult must be present to supervise.
Paint. Read the label on the paint before applying it to make sure you're using the correct type for the object you will be stamping. If stamping on wood, acrylic (washable) paint will work. Poster or acrylic paint is good for paper. Use fabric paint for fabric. Be careful of water color paints because they may be too thin. The outline of your stamp might look blurred.
Always test the consistency of paint and the coverage of your stamp on a paper towel or rag or wood scrap, whatever is similar to your intended finished product.
Once your design is completely dry, heat set paint on fabric designs with an iron set on high. Stroke the iron over the picture while it is covered with a protective cloth (like an old pillow case) for three or four minutes. Do not scorch and DO NOT USE STEAM.
Wash the potato to remove any dirt and pat dry with paper towels. Do not peel.
Cut the potato evenly in half using a large knife to make a clean cut. It needs to be as flat a surface as possible without ridges - these will show when you stamp.
Decide on what image you want to stamp. A simple pattern will be easier to cut into the potato than an intricate one. If making initials, make them block style, bold and backwards! Save the complicated snowflake-type shapes for when you've mastered the easy stuff.
With the pencil, trace or draw your pattern free-hand on the cut side of the potato, or press a cookie cutter 1/4 inch into the flat white surface of the potato.
Cut away the area outside the stamp so that the stamp protrudes by at least ¼ inch. I found it was best to cut away small sections at time, being careful not to let the knife slip under the actual stamp part, or it will fall off.
Squirt a small puddle of paint on the foil. With a brush or cotton swab, paint the stamp portion of the potato, making sure the stamping surface only is evenly covered. Wife off any paint that slops over the edge. You want a crisp outline.
Stamp your design on your chosen surface. Get creative. Personalize items or decorate wrapping paper, book covers, picture frames, stationary, brown bags as gift bags and lunch bags. Stamp gift tags, envelopes, refrigerator pictures, T shirts, paper and cloth napkins, tablecloths, doll clothes, etc. If you can think of it, you can decorate it.
"Necklace" look - Repeatedly dip the flat new eraser of a pencil into paint and dab it onto a shirt in a draped pattern to resemble the beads of a necklace. Make it a choker or a long necklace, whatever appeals to you.
If you cover your potato stamps in cold water in the refrigerator, they will keep for a day or two.
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