Make your own potato block print pattern

Inspired by our new exhibition East of India – Forgotten trade with Australia and the traditional art of block printing, we have created step by step instructions for you to make a ‘block print’ at home, using simple house-hold materials, like potatoes! A perfect activity for the upcoming school holidays.

Wooden block printing has a long tradition in India where a design is carved into a printing block, the surface of the block is placed in dye and then printed onto the cloth. We found a great video on Youtube that shows more of the detailed process involved.

Important note: This is a great activity for children, but please make sure an adult does all of the cutting work.

All materials laid out, potatoes, knife, craft blade, chopping board, paint, paint brush, art paper

Prepare your workstation

Equipment

For paper print

  • Acrylic paint
  • Thick art paper

For fabric print

  • Acrylic fabric paint
  • Cotton fabric

Instructions

1. Cut out the patterned shapes provided on our downloadable pattern sheet (PDF 479 KB).

Cut out stencils of flower, rain drop and circles

You can use our fancy patterns or create your own!

2. Cut your potatoes in half. Make sure the outside of the potato is clean!

Potato cut in half

Make sure you cut your potato very straight for best results

3. On the flat cut side of the potato, place one of the cut out pattern shapes. Trace the shape onto the potato.

4. Using your crafting blade, cut around the pattern shape, removing the potato around the pattern. This will create your solid stamp pattern.

Potato stamp with simple pattern

Cutting out the potato stamp can be fiddly, make sure an adult does this

5. Lay your fabric or paper onto a flat surface. You might like to lay down some newspaper underneath and pop on a painting smock in case your paint gets a bit messy!

Potato stamp covered in blue paint

Coat your stamp with a thin layer of paint

6. Using a paint brush, cover your potato stamp with a thin layer of paint. Carefully place your potato stamp onto the fabric or paper and press down firmly. Remove the stamp and repeat the process evenly across the fabric/paper to make a beautiful pattern.

Blue potato stamp pattern on white paper

Use bright colours when potato stamping.

White potato stamp pattern on red fabric

Use contrasting colours when printing your potato stamp on fabric.

Tips

  • If you are printing with fabric paint, iron each side of the fabric for 15-30 seconds to colour-fast the paint.
  • Don’t just stop at paper or pieces of fabric, why not stamp a fabric tote bag or pillow case?
  • Get creative, use multiple colours and stamp patterns to make a unique pattern on your fabric
  • You could make a lovely notebook using stamped paper as a cover like we have in the picture below.
Paper notebook with blue potato print stamp cover

We made a lovely notebook with a stitched spine using the paper print

We’d love to see your potato block print creations! Send photos to web [at] anmm.gov.au or tag us on Instagram @ANMMuseum.

If your children are into crafting, they might enjoy a Kids on Deck session at the museum, where learning through craft and games is the aim of the day. For the adults, this Sunday we have a Bandhani (Indian tie dye) workshop.

One thought on “Make your own potato block print pattern

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s