Potato Stamping: Homemade Gift Wrapping Paper

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Introduction: Potato Stamping: Homemade Gift Wrapping Paper

About: I'm a designer, maker, writer, and artist based in upstate NY.

My mom taught me how to make a stamp out of a potato when I was a kid. I've used the technique several times since -- like using fabric paint on fabric to make a printed pillow. But one of my favorite uses of potato stamps is to make homemade, patterned gift wrapping paper on the cheap.

Supplies:

You'll only need a few things to make your own gift wrapping paper:

  • Paper. You have lots of options here: large drawing pad paper (that's what I used here), wax paper (dull side), solid-colored gift bags, brown paper bags (since these are going to be popping up more and more anyway).
  • Potatoes. I used regular ol' potatoes for this i'ble, but I've also used small red potatoes for smaller stamps.
  • Acrylic paint.
  • Paintbrush.
  • Knife. Or knives. You'll need a kitchen knife sharp and large enough to make one slice through a potato, but you might also want to use a smaller, craft knife for the carving.

Step 1: Carving a Design

First thing's first: cut your potato in half. Make sure you do so in one fell swoop so you have a flat surface.

Once you've settled on a design, you can draw on the potato with a pencil or just start carving and see what you come up with.

The simpler the design, the easier your life will be. If you've never made a potato stamp before, I recommend you start with simple shapes just so you can get the hang of it. Then you can graduate to more complicated designs.

The potato might become a little wet while you're carving it, so just sop any dampness up with a paper towel.

Step 2: Stamp to Your Heart's Content

Using the paintbrush, brush some paint onto your stamp and then start stamping. You can get two or three stamps with each brushing of paint. You can also try stamping with different paint colors to mix up the pattern.

Then all you have to do is wait for the paint to dry. Since it's acrylic paint, it will dry pretty quickly.

Step 3: Try Something More Complicated

Once you feel comfortable enough with your simple design, try something more challenging. Try playing with negative space, like I did with the purple cats. Alternatively, you could use multiple stamps to make one picture, like I did with the pokeballs on the gift bag: I used one stamp for the red and white semi circles and one stamp for the white circle in the middle.

When everything is dry, you can wrap up your gifts. I like to dress up my gifts with yarn and homemade pom poms.

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    3 Discussions

    1
    marshawelcher
    marshawelcher

    Question 1 year ago on Step 3

    I love this idea! One question, how do you make the cut piece of potato (your stamp) stay attached to the cut half of the potato?

    0
    ellygibson
    ellygibson

    Answer 1 year ago

    It's all one piece. You carve the potato kind of as if you were whitteling.

    2
    AnandM54
    AnandM54

    1 year ago

    Cool idea !!