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Project

Potato-Print Baby Clothes

Sometimes, the most ordinary items can be used to create extraordinary results. By using some humble potato prints, you can create one-of-a-kind fashions that your kids will love.

Introduction

Resources

For permanent fabric paint, we used Setacolor -- Transparent by Pebeo.

Materials

  • Potatoes (white potatoes, russets, or red potatoes)
  • Permanent fabric paint
  • Sharp knives
  • Foam brushes
  • Paintbrushes in various sizes
  • Cutting board
  • Forks
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Paper towels
  • Child-size hangers
  • Melon baller
  • Fine brushes
  • One-piece or prewashed T-shirts
  • Ironing board
  • Iron

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Peel potato to create a smooth edge. To make the leaf, use a chef's knife to cut a large potato in half lengthwise.

  2. Step 2

    Use a paring knife to carve a tear-drop leaf shape out of other half.

  3. Step 3

    To create the ladybug body, carve a semicircle out of the other half for the body or cut a small red potato in half and in half again. For the head, use a melon ball scooper to cut out a circle for a round stamp.

  4. Step 4

    Place potato stamps on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Do this only the first time you use stamp.

  5. Step 5

    Apply paint to the flesh of the potato with a foam brush. You can use green for the leaf, red for the body atop the leaf, and black for the head.

  6. Step 6

    Slide a cutting board inside the shirt to block paint from bleeding through the back. Press the potato stamp firmly onto the shirt. Stick a fork in larger potatoes for stability when stamping.

  7. Step 7

    Draw a green stem with a detailing brush.

  8. Step 8

    Stamp another ladybug body and head atop stem.

  9. Step 9

    Draw black antennae with a detailing brush. Using the end of the brush, add small dots to the body and end of each antennae.

  10. Step 10

    Heat-set the shirt by ironing on the front with a hot iron after stamping. For a design with a lot of detail and "puffy" painted areas, iron the back as well.

  11. Step 11

    Peel a potato to create a smooth edge. Cut two large potatoes in half and use to make five potato stamps: a rectangle for the body, four green feet, tail shape, mouth, and a small triangle for spikes on the back. Place potato stamps on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Do this only the first time you use the stamp.

  12. Step 12

    Apply paint to the flesh of the potato with a foam brush.

  13. Step 13

    Slide a cutting board inside the shirt to block paint from bleeding through the back. Press the potato stamp firmly onto the shirt. Stick a fork in larger potatoes for stability when stamping.

  14. Step 14

    Dot black eyes with the back of the paint brush.

  15. Step 15

    Dot white teeth with the back of the paint brush.

  16. Step 16

    Heat-set the shirt by ironing on the front with a hot iron after stamping. For a design with a lot of detail and "puffy" painted areas, iron the back as well.

  17. Step 17

    Peel a potato to create a smooth edge. Create the leaf stamp: Cut the potato in half lengthwise and carve a teardrop shape in one half. Cut triangles in staggered shapes along both sides of the leaf shape.

  18. Step 18

    Create the carrot stamp: Cut the potato in half lengthwise, and carve a teardrop shape in one half. Cut triangles in staggered shape along both sides of leaf shape. Cut elongated shapes from the second half of the cut potato. Place potato stamps on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Do this only the first time you use the stamp.

  19. Step 19

    Apply paint to the flesh of the potato with a foam brush.

  20. Step 20

    Slide a cutting board inside the shirt to block the paint from bleeding through the back. Press the potato stamp firmly onto the shirt. Stick a fork in larger potatoes for stability when stamping.

  21. Step 21

    Heat-set the shirt by ironing on the front with a hot iron after stamping. For a design with a lot of detail and "puffy" painted areas, iron the back as well.

  22. Step 22

    Peel a potato to create a smooth edge. Create four potato stamps of simple shapes: a tail feather and three half-circles for the body, head, and wing. Place potato stamps on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Do this only the first time you use stamp.

  23. Step 23

    Apply paint to the flesh of the potato with a foam brush. Use a lighter color for the wing stamp to differentiate it from the body.

  24. Step 24

    Slide a cutting board inside the shirt to block the paint from bleeding through the back. Press the potato stamp firmly onto the shirt. Stick a fork in larger potatoes for stability when stamping.

  25. Step 25

    Use a detailing brush to create details on the beak.

  26. Step 26

    Heat set the shirts by ironing on the front with a hot iron after stamping. For a design with a lot of detail and "puffy" painted areas, iron the back as well.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show

Reviews (23)

  • mellymc 5 Mar, 2012

    Hello, would anyone please be able to tell me if you can make the potato prints a few days earlier than when you want to use them? If so, how do you store/keep them? I would like to make some for my sisters baby shower but would need to make them a few days before.
    Also, can you reuse them as I would want to do some trials first and then quite a few people would be using them on the day.
    Thank you!

  • Tiffany_Sun 30 Mar, 2010

    hi khartini, we recommend waiting for the paint to dry before ironing.

  • khartini 2 Nov, 2009

    Love this craft such a great idea!!!! Does the paint need to be completely dry before ironing the shirt?

  • sonoranstephanie 27 Jun, 2009

    any ideas for a 4th of july shirt for a 4 year old...something not too "baby"...more pre-school boy?

  • deebeee 10 Oct, 2008

    Sylvia - Thanks for the clarification. But one question, what did you mean by "OR The 2nd way is to draw the leaf shape" - you mean draw the leaf shape on the potato and then carve around it -- or....???

  • sylvia1313tx 6 Oct, 2008

    Carve out the leaf shape

  • sylvia1313tx 6 Oct, 2008

    still to deebee:
    (oops, it cut me off) OR The 2nd way is to draw the leaf shape

  • sylvia1313tx 6 Oct, 2008

    debeee, you asked "the leapdrop or other shapes are raised above the general potato area. Yes?" yes. that is the typical way ....carve away everything else EXCEPT the leaf shape...so when you ink it up, whatever is "tallest" is inked. OR
    The 2nd way is to draw the leaf shape

  • deebeee 6 Oct, 2008

    OK, I'm new to this. When instructions say to carve a leafdrop shape, I'm assuming, you are actually carving away the potato areas from around the leafdrop shape, so the shape stands up from the potato.

    Forgive my inexperience. In other words, the leapdrop or other shapes are raised above the general potato area. Yes? Thanks.

  • crazysheepgirl 5 Oct, 2008

    The ladybug is so cute. I also LOVE the bluebird. This would be a cute gift to give to someones new baby. HOW ADORABLE!!!!

  • beverson 5 Oct, 2008

    oh my gosh those lady bugs are SO cute! Just a suggestion, if you've never worked with stamping paint before, do a couple of practice designs on an old rag or scrap fabric first -- just to get a feel for how it works. Once it's on the shirt, it's permanent! If you make a mistake, work it into your design -- add another leaf or some random squiggles, that type of thing...

  • bethilyssa 5 Oct, 2008

    Martha - Do you have the pattern for those adorable knit veggies that are used in the photo?

  • NoAdditives 15 Sep, 2008

    My husband and I spent the evening stamping onsies for our daughter who will be born any day now. Not only are they absolutely adorable, they're really easy, no painting or drawing skills required! We're looking forward to making her cute and unique (not to mention inexpensive!) clothes for a long time.

  • lilymyheart 3 Aug, 2008

    Great idea. Looking forward to making a t shirt for my granddaughter. I have done alot of stamping but never with a potato. A good imagination and you could come up with a lot of different ideas.

  • genmom39 1 Aug, 2008

    Wonderful project for the entire family and great idea for all kinds of gifts from babiy shirts to tote bags, etc. Thanks for sharing.

  • victoriawilkinson 1 Aug, 2008

    I want to try this with my young niece who is excited about the impending birth of her baby cousin. I view using the potato as an earth-friendly activity, not impacting the environment whatsoever. If there was a severe shortage of potatoes then it probably would not be wise to use them but, as it is, it is using a readily available, comparatively inexpensive and natural item to make something practical and beautiful and fun.

  • luckyapple 1 Aug, 2008

    I love this idea. It looks very easy to get ur kids involved.

  • Cosmic 25 Jul, 2008

    Its a lovely idea and gorgeous pictures, but surely something else can be used - huge waste of food???

  • Cosmic 25 Jul, 2008

    Its a lovely idea

  • m2boys 29 Mar, 2008

    This is easy and I love it. I have made several shirts for my boys and they love them too. Thank you for this craft it is awesome!!!

  • CraftyMommy 16 Jan, 2008

    Potato Prints are so much fun! I recreated the Bird for my Daughter and Gator for my Son. TOO CUTE and easy to do!

  • Junerose 3 Jan, 2008

    Hi....Love the designs..so simple and so effective.

    June

  • kraftykym 26 Dec, 2007

    very smart ladies! Super simple idea!