Oh, I love printing with vegetables. I really do. It is a perfect way to play with color and experiment with form and shape. And, potato printing is one of my favorite kinds of vegetable printing. There is something so magical about turning a brown lump into a bright, colorful bit of art. I am always captivated by the way in which the print contains echoes of the original form, but with its own new, mysterious botanical shape.
When Danielle from This Picture Book Life asked me to collaborate with her on a craft project + book review for a new super fun book, it was an immediate yes, yes, yes! And, of course, I chose the project with the potatoes.
A little bit about Danielle: Danielle Davis reads, writes, and roller skates in Los Angeles. Her blog, This Picture Book Life, is a good place to find her.
The book is filled with inspiring, lively prompts that nudge you to think in ways you might otherwise not. Everything seems like a mini experiment in stretching your mind.
I played with Potato Printed Kebabs!
Small circular biscuit cutter (optional)
Paper (trimmed cardstock in various sizes)
First, slice the potatoes in half. This is a nice way for older children to practice using a knife. Of course, adult supervision is important as is teaching children proper knife safety.
Leave some potatoes as is because you can print with the halved potatoes just as they are. In fact, this is one of my favorite kinds of vegetable printing! I love when my paper is filled with imperfect, textured, colorful, wonky potato rounds.
Find a tiny biscuit cutter, and press it into one of the potato halves. This will create a perfectly round circle. Use your knife to trim away the excess potato.
Use your Sharpie to draw shapes on the potato halves – diamonds, squares, and triangles were fun to experiment with! Once the lines are drawn, use the knife to cut out the shape. Be sure to carefully trim away the excess potato. This will leave nice, clean lines.
Mix-up some punchy, fun paint colors. I like to experiment with adding white and black to my chosen colors. This creates lots of different shades of the same hue.
Use the paintbrush to coat the potato with a thin layer of paint. Then, place the potato down on the paper, and press firmly and evenly. The wobbly lines and grainy texture is what that makes it interesting to look at, so don’t feel the need to be exact when you cut and press and print.
Experiment with pressing very firmly and also very lightly. Try coating the potato with lots of paint, and then make repetitive prints until the print disappears. This will create a series of ghost prints.
Make Potato Kebabs in Playing with Food because this is fun and satisfying!
Once you are done making kebabs, print on small squares of cardstock, and you will have a new stash of gorgeous, curious gift tags and note cards.
Print, print, print everywhere.
Then, box up your potatoes stamps for the next day or give them to a neighbor!