I wanted to share my contribution to the Ofrendas: Celebrando El Dia de Muertos FREE eBook that I told you about earlier this week. I’m in love with any sort of craft idea that starts off simple and inexpensive but yields great results. I think that is the true spirit of craftiness. You use what you have and you make it look fab.
You could easily go out and buy an expensive stamp or start carving your own. Or, you can walk into your pantry and grab a potato. Yes, I said potato. You know I love me some potatoes–to eat (fat girl status) and to craft with! It’s fun to carve potatoes and make stuff. It’s the weirdest thing to cut one in half, carve your design, use it as a stamp and then proceed to watch it get all brown and funky.
Dude, it’s like science.
I wanted to create something for the kitchen, since everyone was going to be cooking up those delicious sounding recipes from the eBook. Every good chef needs a cute kitchen toalla (towel).
If the idea of using an x-acto blade worries you, use a paring knife or a butter knife–you can even use a ballpoint pen if you want. The potato is easy to carve.
I just use an x-acto blade because I’m gangster like that.
It does come with a few casualties. Remind me to tell you the story of how I stepped on an x-acto blade and it almost went completely into my foot a couple days before my wedding. Fun times.
Slice your potato in half. Make sure you pick one that is a good size for your design.
Trace your design using a sharp pencil then start carving your potato. Make sure you scrape away enough of the negative space so you can get a good impression once you start stamping.
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I made two stamps, so I could interchange them while the paint was drying. The most challenging part is the teeth. If you mess up, all you have to do is cut the potato once more and start over. No biggie.
With your dauber (a stencil brush would work, too), add the paint to your stamp. I kept alternating with the other stamp but sooner or later you will want to change colors. Just wipe as much paint off your potato with a paper towel as you can. I used light colors on one potato and dark colors on the other.
I only get 1-2 really good impressions. What does that mean? You can only stamp once or twice before you have to apply more paint to your stamp. Unless you’re going for that faded, distressed look, which is cool, too.
This potato is happy to be sacrificed for your kitchen towel.
There…that’s much better.
Enjoy. ¡Feliz Día de los Muertos!