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DIYdiy projects

DIY Potato Prints + Gift Wrap

by Grace Bonney

DIY Potato Prints at Design*Sponge
Goodbye, sparkly holidays, hello, 2015! As each year winds down, I like to step away from the computer and spend a few hours in the studio crafting prints and gift wrap from scratch. There are no rules or rulers — sometimes just a bunch of imperfectly cut potatoes made into stamps, craft paint, all-purpose brushes and a few oversized sheets of paper. The result? A collection of perfectly imperfect packages wrapped with love.

The process is pocketbook friendly and easy for any age. I kept the color palette monochromatic to keep the look simple and chic. I even framed an outtake as a print to hang on our studio’s gallery wall, so if you don’t need any wrap for gifts this spring, you can just hang these as artwork in your home or office. Hope your holidays were just what you needed — wishing you a magical 2015! —Christine Wisnieski

Supplies:
– Potatoes (Trimmed to desired stamp shapes; square, rectangle, half circle, quarter circle, triangle)
– All-purpose paint (I used Martha Stewart craft paint)
– All-purpose brushes
– Paint palette or old plate
– Newsprint
– 19˝ x 25˝ sheet of all-purpose paper

Steps:
1. FIND YOUR TECHNIQUE
I found it easiest to test out a few patterns first. To begin, cover work area with newsprint and pour a few dollops of paint onto an old plate. Next, dip foam brush into paint, apply to desired potato shape and stamp. A few pattern play tips to keep in mind while you experiment:

+ Start simple. Begin by creating patterns using one shape, one size. As you get more comfortable, mix various shapes and sizes.
+ Experiment with applying various amounts of paint to achieve harmony.
+ Consider the shape of the potato and how you want it to repeat.
+ Decide whether you want to print shapes close together or far apart.
+ Combine different shapes for a more complex pattern.

Once you feel comfortable with the technique and have an idea of how to achieve your desired pattern, it’s time to paint your paper.

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2. PAINT YOUR PATTERN
Lay down your oversized sheet of paper on your work surface. Begin stamping shapes one at a time, working from left to right, top to bottom. Be careful to not smudge your paint as you work. Don’t worry about inconsistencies — they’re all part of the charm. Once all shapes are stamped, set aside to dry for 10 minutes.

3. DELIVER
Once dry, wrap up treasures and deliver to family and friends. Add a colorful ribbon or tape for extra pop! (Or just pop the paper into a frame to create a custom print!)

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Comments

  • I LOVE how this turned out. I have been needing some new art for my wall but haven’t really found any that I like that fit my budget and this is to perfect! Im totally going to try this out this weekend!

  • I know potato prints have been around for quite some time, but the way you used them to make this collection of prints was so exciting to me. It just made my imagination come alive, and I am definitely doing this! I’m choosing the color palate for my living room this week, and I think I’ll take those colors and make a collection of prints for one of my walls… maybe mix them in with my photo collage? Oh, the ideas!

  • The square pattern is great, I love the diferent textures, forget the rubber stamps, the potatos stamps are the future ;)

  • Your newest follower and a big fan of your potato printing…one of those “why didn’t I think of that moments” too clever. x

  • This sounds like the perfect way to DIY decorate a new apartment! I’m in LOVE with patterns, so this is going to be a must for my soon-to-be apartment.

  • I helped my daughter made Valentines with a potato stamp one year. I have been wanting to make buy and customize some plain dish towels and this might be the route we take.

  • Ahhh, I love these prints and how beautiful they are in monochrome. This could be an incredible decoration trick for a small spaces where the patterns could really jazz up the walls. I bet with a dose of daring and the right paint it could be pretty incredible straight onto the walls too…

  • Lovely! I’ve been potato stamping for YEARS and often make my own gift wrap using this technique. Such a personal touch. And cheaper!

  • Will you provide more details about the “all-purpose” paint and paper? I found acrylic paint in the craft store – is that suitable? The paper that is suitable for acrylic paint is heavy weight and doesn’t seem like it would work as wrapping paper. Please clue me in.

    • hi katie!

      you can water down acrylic if it feels too thick, but regular acrylic applied with a brush should work just fine :)

      but you can also use butcher-style paper for this, too if you need something thicker.

      grace