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Print making is great fun and very rewarding for all ages. Potato printing is very simple to set up with little cost involved and minimal equipment. Keep your designs bold and simple, straight lines are a lot easier!

Before you start, you will need.

  • Medium to large potatoes – each one makes 2 designs
  • Kitchen knife or craft knife
  • Paper plates for ink
  • Sponge or J-cloth to go over the printing ink
  • Poster paint or lino printing ink
  • Paper, folded cards etc for printing
  • Cloths, wet wipes for cleaning hands
Printing ink

Printing ink (we used Brian Clegg Block Printing Ink)

Cut a potato in half. Draw your design on the cut side of the potato and cut away the area that you don’t want inked. Cut down to approximately 1 centimetre. When the design is finished, cut a wedge into each side of the rounded side of the potato making a slot handle.

Squeeze a generous amount of paint/ink on the plate and cover it with a damped sponge or J-cloth. This prevents getting too much ink on the potato and allows a more even and quicker drying distribution of colour. Dab the potato onto the sponge until the ink comes through. You are ready to start printing.

Paper plates with sponge and printing ink

Paper plates with sponge and printing ink

Press the inky potato flat onto your paper without it sliding. This gives the sharpest design. Generally, you can get between one and three prints before needing to return the potato to the ink tray. Shiny or close grained paper doesn’t work as well as it is less absorbent.

Printing in action.

Printing in action.

Have fun!

We used an airer and pegs for hanging the finished prints up to dry. It takes less space and avoids smudging one print against the next.

In this short video Jacqueline shows how to cut a printing block from a potato and how to make some wrapping paper – it’s child’s play.