Kids Crafts: Potato Print Fall Table Runner

Posted by the Mom (aka Kelly Biedny)

We love playing with our food, put not only when we’re cooking. This fall craft takes potatoes and puts them to use as a tool for creating art of a non-edible form.  I think most of us have done potato print art in our lives (or some fruit or veggie print). We have before as well, but we like to venture out from the standard paper prints on occasion–and this Potato Print Table Runner is what we came up with and are sharing.

To make a Potato Print Table Runner, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric for the table runner. We used a scrap we had in our fabric scrap bucket, but you could purchase something as well. Grandma Sue recommends muslin.
  • Acrylic Paints in fall colors. We used brown, orange, golden yellow and a khaki green. You can use paints specially designed for fabric, but it isn’t necessary…we did not.
  • 2 potatoes. This will allow you to do 4 designs.  You can use more if you’d like 😀
  • A scissors to cut your fabric.
  • A few paint brushes to apply paint to the potatoes.
  • A skewer or two to carve in your designs.
  • A knife, spoon or strawberry corer to scrape away the parts of the potato that are not needed for the design.
  • Paper to make a pattern to use for cutting out your table runner.

Step One: Cut out the Table Runner:

You can make your table runner as long, wide or whatever shape you want.  We recommend creating and using a pattern.  We folded our fabric in half and layed our rectangular pattern with rounded corners on the fold. We then pinned and cut the shape out.

Step Two: Clean and Cut Your Potato

Next you prepare your potato.  If it’s from your garden, you’ll want to wash all the dirt off, then cut the potato in half. Adults or older children should do the cutting in half step.

Step Three: Carve Your Design in the Potato

Now for the fun part.  Give your little artist a skewer and let them draw the outline of what they want to create in the potato.  We did leaf shapes for ours. Make sure the shape is pretty simple and the lines are well defined.  Once the kids are done, an adult can check their work and do some additional carving if necessary.

Step Four: Remove the Excess Pieces of Potato

Since we want only the leaf part of our ‘stamp’ to apply paint to the fabric, we have to remove the excess potato around it so the leaf part is higher than its surroundings. Soph, age 9, did the removal on her carving herself, using a strawberry corer–if you don’t have a strawberry corer, a spoon would also work. An adult could also help a younger child by using a knife to remove the excess.

Step Five: Apply Paint to Potato ‘Stamp’

When you’ve finish removing the extra potato from around your leaf design, it’s time to start the stamping.  To ensure that all of the detail gets through on the stamp, we recommend painting the paint onto your stamp with a brush.  Don’t allow too much paint to get into the ‘cracks’ of your design.  You can also add more than one color at a time if you’d like. In our finished table runner, you’ll see some of the stamps are multi-colored.

Step Six: Stamp Your Print on the fabric

When your potato stamp is covered with paint, it’s time to get to work.  Lay out the fabric that you cut into the shape you wanted. Press the potato onto the fabric, rocking it back and forth to ensure every surface with paint touches the fabric.  Then, remove the stamp and see your leaf print!

Step Seven: Get Creative!

Continue stamping with your stamp, changing colors and making whatever kind of design you want on your table runner.  You can also carve out multiple kinds of leaves, or whatever shapes you want.  You decide where and how to place the stamps around the fabric.

Step Eight: Dry and Finish

When you are finished with your design. Let the paint dry.  Grandma Sue says that if you iron the design, it will help the paint set…you can probably tell from the wrinkles that we haven’t ironed ours yet, but we have it out now and will have it for years to come for an awesome, hand-made fall decoration.

If you like this idea, please share it with your friends…AND, if you make one of your own, please stop by our Facebook page and post it, we’d love to see it!


Happy Family Crafting Everyone!

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