Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Crafts- Potato Stamps

There are less than 20 days until Christmas!!! There are less than 20 days until Christmas??? The days are already flying by and I'm holding on as tightly as I can to all the holiday lights, Christmas trees, menorahs and gift wrap that I can. Like every kid, December seemed to drag on growing up but now, it flies by way too fast. Maybe it has something to do with having a check list of things to do: get gifts, wrap gifts, mail gifts, put up decorations, bake cookies, drink egg nog--so many things. When the season becomes more of a to-do list, it loses its magic.

So take back the magic! Slow down and enjoy this time with family and friends. This past weekend, I went to several holiday markets (does 3 count as several? constant debate). If you're in the Boston area, definitely check these places out. They all support local artists and businesses plus have a unique selection of gifts. I stocked up on some cheeky cards and cooking materials.

  1. SoWa Holiday Market: It's not summer anymore! The vintage shop was open as part of their Chrismukkah celebration. The official holiday market is next weekend so you can still check out local artisans and goodies. 
  2. Eat Boutique: I went here for a book signing and workshop with Joy the Baker but they had other local businesses set up as well. They'll be hosting more authors in the coming weeks and have a great space for meet and greets. 
  3. The Umbrella: A friend of mine works at this community art center in Concord. Similar to SoWa, they host artist studios which were open to the public so it was like walking through a gallery or museum but you could talk to the artists at the same time. 
The workshop at Eat Boutique was going through how to make your own wrapping paper (or gift tags, as someone more clever than I pointed out). Maybe I quit the whole Girl Scouts game too early but during the workshop with Joy the Baker, we made ink stamps out of potatoes and cookie cutters. Boy Scouts ain't got nothin' on us! Some of the women had clearly done this before but I was a novice.

This is perfect for small cookie cutters or you could just get larger potatoes (or cut them long-ways). First, you cut the potato in half and press the cookie cutter in about half way. Carefully using a paring knife, cut around the potato like you would if you were making slices. You want to cut it so you're hitting the cookie cutter edge as you go around. You will be left with a potato slice minus the cookie cutter shape.

I think it would be fun to then roast these potato slices because they have festive shapes built in! At any rate, remove the cookie cutter and voila! Ink stamp. If you use a really dark ink, you can carefully slice off a bit of the shape to switch colors. Or make multiple stamps.

Who knew it was so simple to be so crafty! I want to try this with my niece and nephew. I think that would make me cool, right? In the past, we've made paper snowflakes but I got cool points for finding Star Wars snowflake patterns. Clearly it is my life goal to be the cool aunt. 

  • Medium potatoes (variety doesn't matter but something that's easy to hold)
  • Miniature cookie cutters
  • Paring knife
  • Ink pads (variety of colors)
  • Paper (variety of colors)
  1. Using the paring knife, cut the potatoes in half (we did 'hamburger' style but if you have larger cookie cutters, you can do 'hot dog').
  2. Press the cookie cutter into the cut face of the potato about half way.
  3. Using the paring knife, cut around the edge of the potato where the cookie cutter has been pushed. It's okay if the knife is hitting the cookie cutter edge.
  4. Pull the sliced potato ring and cookie cutter off the potato stamp.
  5. After dabbing the cut side with a paper towel, you're ready to use ink! Dab the potato shape-down on the ink pad a couple times to get an even coat.
  6. Press to paper in whatever pattern you desire! And repeat...
  7. Add decorations with marker or leave plain. The ink may bleed through so make sure to protect your table!

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