Craft for Kids: Print with Potatoes

Published by in Humor
5th Mar 2017

A child can experiment with printing using a lowly potato.

You can create printed artwork with potatoes. Think about cutting a potato in half and cutting away part of the exposed surface to create a raised image. Get a stamp pad and use the potato like a rubber stamp.
Note: this will require using knives and sharp tools so you’ll have to decide how much help or supervision your child will require.

Most of the tools are readily available including knives, food coloring, cookie cutters, plates, and paper towels. You will also need paints or ink, paint brushes, and paper on which to print.

The kitchen is a good spot to work. Cover the work area with newspaper. Finished potato-stamps will keep for about a week or two in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Start with a plan about what you want to create and how to get there.

On a cutting board, slice your potato in half. If necessary, blot the exposed surface of the potato dry with a paper towel.

No Cutting Needed

For the simplest design that requires no further cutting beyond the initially halving, use small potatoes of varying sizes. Paint the cut surface of each spud with a paintbrush or dip it into a paper plate which has paint in it. Let the excess drip off.

You can also create your own stamp pad made from a sheet of damp (not wet) paper towel folded in quarters and laid into a cookie sheet or on a plate. Just pour a little ink or thin paint on it or use a bit of food coloring. If you apply two colors separately on one towel, they should create an interesting blend when they run together in the middle. Food coloring and drawing ink are good stamp pad inks.

Press the flat, painted surface with even pressure on your paper then pick it straight up from the paper.
Using different size potato halves, you can create a painting with different size blots of different color paint.
To create a lighter print, you can thin your ink with water. On a stamp pad, that means just dripping a few more drops of water on the pad.

For darker prints, use more paint on the potato or ink in the pad.
You can also continue using the potato without reinking.

Make a Monoprint

A monoprint is a one-time only design you first paint onto the flat of your cut potato. When done, gently press the surface onto the paper without wiggling it. Pull it straight away from the paper. A second type involves painting the entire cut half of the potato in one color, then use your fingertip, the end of a paint brush, or the eraser end of a pencil to erase ink from the painted surface to create your design. Then print.