There is something about potato stamps that makes me think of my childhood. I’m not even sure I ever did potato stamping, but it’s more the look that the stamping provokes: imperfect, smudgy, and just authentically kid-like.
I was hoping my art class students would be into it. And to my eternal relief…they were! How sweet are these pages that they created?
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~ Phone book pages (or newspaper cut down to 8″ x 10″)
~ Small jars or cups for the liquid watercolor (I watered mine down a bit, about 2 parts color to 1 part water)
~ Small potatoes and a paring knife
~ Small cups or palette for the tempera paints (I love and use these palettes when it’s just one or two kids)
~ Baker’s twine (or any yarn)
~ Washi tape (or any tape)
Step 1: Paint the pages with the liquid watercolor. My kids painted three pages each.
Step 2: Let them dry. This shouldn’t take more than an hour, but we used a blow dryer to speed things along!
Step 3: When the pages are dry, bring out the pre-cut potato stamps. I used a really cool technique that I found here to make a perfect heart!
Step 4: Teach the kids to use their paintbrush to paint on a thin layer of paint. (I find that dipping the potato into the dish makes for a very gloppy print.) I made 6 stamps for 4 kids. Two of them we used for black, the other two for the red and pink. They were really good about keeping the black paint on the black stamp and not mixing it with the lighter colors. Usually I’m not as careful but then again, I usually don’t put out a lot of black! It was a nice lesson on keeping colors clean.
Step 5: Let them explore the printing process and make their own patterns. Some kids were immediately linear, while others were random with their stamping.
Step 6: Once dry, we used a small piece of washi tape to tape the twine to the delicate pages.
Voila! Such a unique little Valentine’s garland.
I was so proud of the way they embraced the technique! And even prouder of the way they embraced the color black. These girls are the girliest ever. When I brought out the black they all said in unison, “what is that black?” I told them that I thought it would be cool to use black because it was like the color of the little words on the page. After I said that, they were all like, “I want black!” It was very funny.
There are so many ways to use potato stamps and so many variations on this theme. Let me know if you try this and how it turns out!