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We had a very highbrow art-making session 2 days ago, including a naked 3 year old crouched on the table, and plenty of snacks. And some potatoes and tempera paint and a few tantrums where loaded paintbrushes went flying. These were rewarded with time outs, but I still feel like I lost, because Beckett laughs at me during his time outs.

Have you made potato prints? Probably when you were a kid, but have you made them recently? They’re so low-tech and fun. I cut two potatoes into thirds and used a sharp pairing knife to cut out shapes.

potato convo |

I won’t show you my circle, because it looked more like someone gnawed a chunk out of the potato. I placed them cut-side-down onto a paper towel while we gathered the other materials: paper, tempera paint, watercolor brushes and a brayer.


We practiced saying the different shapes and trying to make some patterns. I also mixed the blue and yellow paint up while Beckett was watching, and explained what I was doing. I’m sort of magic.

red square potato

We used a paintbrush to lay the paint on the potatoes, and then stamped away the day…

printing red square potato print |


Potato printing stripes |


printing blue diamond potato prints |

Potato Printing! |

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Reader Interactions


  1. Ann

    A classic! I have been meaning to try this too. I love how you made simple shapes. I would have tried to make them too complicated but they are better simple then the texture and patterns you create create enough interest.

  2. Mabel Davis

    I remember doing this as a kid in school. Can’t believe I forgot about it until I saw your great post.

    Thanks for bringing back memories and giving me an idea to do with my nephew. Can’t wait we’ll have so much fun.

    Great blog, can’t wait to try a bunch of your ideas.

  3. Jesna

    Wow!! I love this. Similarly I used to experiment with lady’s finger to make patterns. Thanks for the share! You got a nice blog Jeanette !

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