Introduction: Potato Stamped Postcards

Potato stamping is such a fun, low-cost craft. I've previously stamped fabric for pillows, paper for gift wrapping, and paper bags. I thought it'd be fun to send out some handmade postcards to my friends and family, just to let them know I'm thinking about them. These particular postcards are of dozens of books on bookshelves, but the possibilities are endless.

Step 1: Supplies

To make a set of four postcards, you'll need:

  • Watercolor paper (9" x 12")
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Potatoes
  • X-acto knife
  • Ruler
  • Kitchen knife
  • Mod Podge
  • Pens
  • Optional: watercolor paper

Step 2: Optional: Paint a Background

I used some black and brown watercolors to make a simple background before doing any potato stamping. This was not necessary, but I like to think it added a little something.

After that was completely dry, I painted four black lines (my bookshelves) onto the page, using a ruler to keep the lines straight.

Step 3: Cut Your Potatoes

First, cut your potatoes in half. Then make your stamp shape with the X-acto knife. To make book shapes, all you'll need to cut is different sized rectangles -- some fat, some skinny, some tall, some short. If your potatoes are a bit damp when you cut them, just sop up any moisture with a paper towel.

Step 4: Stamp It Out

Using a paintbrush, transfer some paint onto your stamp. Then press it onto the page, making sure the bottom of the "book" is even with the "bookshelf." Repeat this step with different colors and different stamps.

Step 5: Stamp Some More

Fill up your bookshelves with more and more stamped books. Some of the books can even be lopsided or stacked sideways on top of other books. There can be spaces in between. A cluttered bookshelf keeps things interesting. Just try not to put too many of the same colors next to each other -- unless you want it to resemble a set of encyclopedias.

Step 6: Add Some Details

When the paint has dried, go on top with a pen and mark some details on the spines of the books. Hatching, lines, circles, stripes, boxes, etc. Go nuts. When you're done with that, go over the whole thing with a coat of Mod Podge. This will add to the durability of your postcards.

Step 7: Make Them Mailable

Fold your watercolor page in half and cut. Then cut those two in half again. Then you should have four equally-sized rectangles.

Using a ruler, draw a line straight down the middle of the postcard, and four lines about three to four inches long on the right side. Write your message to your loved one on the left side, and their address on the right. The small box in the top right-hand corner is where your stamp will go.

Step 8: Finished!

I sent one of the postcards to my mom in New Mexico and asked her to take a picture of it when she got it -- just to prove that they are definitely mailable. :)

Instead of books, you could make circle stamps and make planets, you could carve larger rectangles and make a city skyline, or you could carve your potatoes into more detailed stamps and make music notes, cats, flowers, etc. The design possibilities really are endless when it comes to potato stamping.

Potato Speed Challenge

Runner Up in the
Potato Speed Challenge