We were in need of a rainy day activity. I had just binned some sprouting potatoes. An idea was born: potato printing. I retrieved the discarded potatoes and we set to work on making our stamps.
Making the stamps
- Cut the potatoes in half
- Blot with kitchen towel or leave to dry out a bit (they hold the paint better that way)
- If you’ve got some, make the print by pushing cookie cutters into the flat side of the potato and cutting around. It’s much easier than drawing on a design and cutting around it
- Put the paint onto the print either by painting on using a paintbrush or just by sploding directly into the paint
- Remove excess paint and away you go
Tips for potato printing
- Use non-toxic, water soluble paints
- Paper plates make good palettes and you can also get the excess paint off the potato print onto the plate (makes for a crisper print)
- Use kitchen towel to wipe clean the prints so that you can change colours
- Experiment on different types of paper
What they did
With help, they cut the potatoes in half and I did the fiddlier cutting out. They loved the process of colour-mixing as much as the printing itself. They asked me how to make their favourite colours (pink and purple) from the colours we had, so they were learning something too. They got the technique right quickly, dipping the stamps into the paint and then removing the excess on the paper plates and pressing down firmly on the paper. They also actually cleaned the stamps when they wanted to swap colours.
After making pictures with the potato prints, the activity morphed into hand printing!
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