Potato Stamp 101: How to Make Art with a Spud

Potato Stamp Greeting Card | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

I do not profess to be a potato stamp expert. However, it has been snowing like you wouldn’t believe since I woke up, and, well, confined minds come up with interesting projects. When I walked in the kitchen to make my customary morning cup of tea, I spotted our last little spud sitting on top of the fridge, growths abounding from its skin. I chose my victim right then and there.

Make a Potato Stamp | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee
{He’s seen better days.}

I think we made potato stamps when I was a little girl. This activity consisted of cutting a potato in half, dousing it in paint, and pressing down. Well, gone are those days. I wanted to make a sophisticated, useful potato stamp.

The first thing I did was put an old business card against my cut potato as a template. Then I cut around it using my Miracle Blade II Chop’N'Scoop. Yes, I’m a Miracle Blade owner. I do admit that despite their overly-enthusiastic infomercial, they are pretty miraculous.

Make a Potato Stamp | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

{I roasted all the potato bits that weren’t destined to be part of the potato stamp. I know it had growths … but waste not, right? The breakfast burrito I added the potato bits to was delicious, by the way.}

So once you have your business-card cut, you’ll want to dig in with a hobby knife. I’m sure my hobby knife will extract rusty revenge on me since I used it to cut a veggie, but oh well. You could probably use a small, sharp kitchen knife as well.

As you can see, before I started cutting, I inverted “THANKS” so I could visualize how exactly I needed to carve the potato. You could also lay a stencil directly over the potato and cut around that. I wouldn’t attempt tracing with a Sharpie or pen; the potato is too moist and will not absorb any ink.

Make a Potato Stamp | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

In the end, I decided to freehand it. After all, the sort of juvenile, non-exact style is a hallmark of the potato stamp.

Make a Potato Stamp | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

So, remember I told you the potato stamp won’t absorb any ink? This is firsthand knowledge because frankly I tried pressing the potato against an ink pad. The potato came off clean as ever. I’m afraid this is a job for some cheap acrylic paint. Either create your own “pad” by smearing paint on a flat surface then pressing the potato against it, or do what I did and haphazardly brush paint onto the convex part of your potato stamp.

Make a Potato Stamp | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

Once you’ve brushed the paint on, choose your surface! I stamped directly onto pages from an old Reader’s Digest compilation. I love the contrast of crisp Times New Roman font with the thick “THANKS” of the potato stamp.

Make a Potato Stamp | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

{Be sure and put even pressure on the potato to get the most out of your paint. But don’t over-do it.}

Make a Potato Stamp | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

The possibilities, of course, are limitless as far as what you can do with your potato stamp. Stamp a design directly onto DIY business cards, make some abstract (or quotation) art for your home, or do as I did and create a greeting card.

Make a Potato Stamp | The Postman's Knock by Lindsey Bugbee

{Made out of the hardy front cover page of a vintage book}

The potato stamp took me a total of ten minutes to throw together, and that’s including the time required to compose pictures. Granted, it’s not a long-lasting stamp (I’ll get back to you on precisely what its lifespan is), but it’s environmentally friendly and fun to make. I really like the look of it contrasted with vintage paper and elegant cursive.

I am pleased to announce that whether you plan on making a potato stamp or not, you may be able to get some potato stamp-age in your life. Until March 15, all new subscribers to my blog will be entered in a raffle to win a set of five “THANKS” potato stamp greeting cards like the one above and handmade envelopes (which of course feature lick-to-seal four-ingredient vanilla glue). Current subscribers may comment below that they would like to enter the drawing and I’ll put you in the running! Once a winner is randomly chosen using a “Matlab function” (I have no idea what this means, but it sounds legitimate) run by my overly mathematical other half, I’ll send you an email, get your address, and send you the cards and envelopes. If you would like more details, please see my blog post about this giveaway.

{To subscribe, scroll down a bit more and type your email address in the yellow box.}

What will your potato stamp say?

Comments

  1. Tara DK says

    I would have never thought about using a potato for more dynamic stamping! I usually carve mine from erasers, but I love the idea of using a potato and acrylic paint ;) Brilliant idea, and I will be doing this soon :D [now to scour my books to find something suitable as a background piece, I love how the old paper looks with the bold acrylic paint]

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