Couch Potato: a DIY

printmaking 101

Oh heck, I am so funny with these titles, har har……….. Let’s get going! I mentioned a week ago that I wanted to make more, create more – be more creative, etc. So here it is, my first attempt at potato stamps – and a first DIY on the blog! I got the idea from this great book (Print Workshop, by Christine Schmidt) I bought a couple of years back and have been going through time and time again – without ever stepping up my game to actually try it. So here it is, bear with me.

As I was working on the progress, I kept a good friend of my updated on the progress via Line, as this was happening early saturday morning she later that weekend asked me how on earth I did this. Yeah, I don’t really blame her. I didn’t know I was becoming a morning person myself either. So here it is, I made it into a little DIY.

potatoo print

You will need…
First get yourself a cloth you want to stamp on (anything you want really, cushion covers, tea towels… as long as it’s cotton because that is the most easy – or I am told). You also need textile paint and potatoes. Lastly, a lino cutter set is kind of vital here, as you will be able to make smaller lines into your stamps. (If you’re from Holland, Hema has some for sale for only 5 bucks). Also, a roller – or a bit of foam will come in handy too. As does a chopping board and a knife for cutting the potatoes in half. ;)

It is advised you first wash and dry your fabric first so that the paint will stick better.

potatoo - mess

Don’t be afraid to make a mess. As this was my first time I just used whatever I still had. The book told me to use a roller to even out the paint, but I just used a bit of foam to spread the paint out kind of evenly. I put the paint on old cardboard so that I could throw it out after I’d be done. I think that covers it all.

potatoo book

So, first off… decide what kind of print you want. In the book Christine Schmidt used sweet potato – they have a longer shape than normal ones. So it’s all about what you like – or what’s on sale at the grocery store. I used normal potatoes as they were cheapest, and this was my first time so it could all go horribly wrong. Then get yourself the right paint and in the right colour. I got small packaged paint in blue and black, as again (I can’t stress this enough) this was my first time and I didn’t know how the paint would work out. You wouldn’t really want to splurge on these things.

potatoo close up

And then it’s show time! Lay your cloth on a flat surface. I didn’t trust the paint – or my own skills – so I used a clean floor. Decide on the size of your potatoes and cut them in half (you can decide how many different patterns you would like, but you always have two halves to work with). You might want some inspiration or just let your imagination run loose. Make sure to make the cuts deep enough so that the paint will not so much go where you don’t want it to be and make your stamp all kooky. – I used a leaf pattern because … autumn. But my first try did look somewhat like a coffee bean, while I never used the second try actually on the cloth (just look at it, it’s right above in this picture… it looks like shite.)

potatoo potatoos

You might want to try your potato stamp on a piece of paper first, before making it to your fabric. Make sure to always distribute the paint evenly so that the stamped image will be clear and neat. Make however many stamps you want, and you can keep using the same ones again and again. Just make sure to put on enough paint.

After you’re done, make sure to let your fabric and paint dry for as long as the packaging of your paint says. Clean after yourselves and enjoy your creation. If you don’t really like the result, I reckon you at least enjoyed the hour of behaving like a little kid again and just create stuff.

Have a good week! x

potatoo oops