Not Your Ordinary Potato Stamp

Reader Contribution by Lindsey Bugbee
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When I think “potato stamp”, irregular circles of paint come to mind. For years, this is how we – my family, at least – have utilized the humble potato (when we weren’t eating it). However, all that changed last weekend when I found myself snowed into our apartment with a sprouting potato.

It’s not that I have anything against potatoes that are exercising their potential to grow. Quite the opposite – I will eat them with a smile on my face. It’s just that I needed something to do that didn’t involve stepping foot outside. Thus I decided to create a potato stamp.

I didn’t want to make just any potato stamp; I wanted to make an impressive potato stamp … something that made more than imperfect circles. I was going to use that potato to its full potential to create something with meaning.

If you find yourself snowed in with a potato, feel free to follow these steps to make your own potato stamp. First, I cut the potato in half, then I laid a business card on one of the halves and used it as a template for cutting.

Once I had cut the potato, I whipped out my trusty hobby knife and began carving. As you can see, I inverted “THANKS” and kept it in front of me so I could have a sort of guide. You’ll need to use either a hobby knife or a sharp, thin (and probably non-serrated) kitchen knife to carve. I used my hobby knife to “draw” small shapes at a time, then I’d slip the blade horizontally about ¼ inch under the shape and slide the shape out.

This is a project that requires only a little patience. I had the whole thing finished in 10 minutes … much less time than it took for the other half of the potato to roast.

Now, here’s the thing with potato stamps – you have to dip the potato in paint (or brush the paint on, as I did). Ink will not stick to the potato … it has to be paint.

I love the look of this potato stamp with its thick and irregular letters. Using paint instead of ink lends a unique texture that is perfect for any craft you wish to create. I decided to create some handmade thank you cards with my potato stamp.

I did realize the day I made the potato stamp that our time together was more than likely limited. Effectively, I used it several times on different materials for later use. I was right about my potato stamp’s untimely demise: your potato stamp will last you approximately twelve hours before it swells too much to be of much use.

On the positive side, I now have a surplus of potato stamp handmade thank you cards that I am itching to give away (handmade envelopes included). Please visit my giveaway blog post Giveaway: Handmade Thank You Cards for more information. The drawing will end on March 15th, but if you are reading this post after March 15, stop by The Postman’s Knock anyway – we’re always giving a neat goodie away!