Crafts for the Uncrafty

Potato-Stamp Valentines: A DIY For Procrastinators (Like Me)

What’s more fun than painting potatoes? NOTHING.

My feeling about Valentine’s Day, in a nutshell: I want to be all “Ooh! A teachable moment wherein my child can learn the value of giving and receiving love, albeit via paper cutouts!” But I also do not want to put any real effort into the Valentine’s Day-celebrating process, because few things are less fun than dragging two children through Rite Aid in search of something – anything – that doesn’t have a picture of a Minion and “You’re One In A Minion!” written on it.

Regardless of your personal attitude towards Valentine’s Day, here is a fact: When you have a kindergartener, you have to help him or her make and distribute Valentines, because that’s in the contract you sign when you procreate. Fortunately for the begrudgingly-participatory Valentine’s Day celebrators among us, I have a friend named Mollie who is about as interested in fussy DIYs as I am…and yet seems to be always creating beautiful things. When I want to look like a crafty genius (but don’t want to, you know, try too hard), it is Mollie to whom I turn – and so it only made sense to ask her to start publishing her (actually completely for-real accessible) ideas to RG.

For Mollie’s first post, please allow me to present: Potato-Stamp Valentines. You can make these right now, because what you need is a potato and some paint and some paper and about five minutes, and I am certain that you have all of these things.

how to make easy potato stamp valentines for kids

Mollie’s (Ridiculously Easy) Potato-Stamp Valentines 

If you’re anything like me, crafting only works if the supplies are right there next to you and the process is uncomplicated in the extreme. I grew up making cards with these potato stamps, and while thinking about what my two-year-old could give out as his very first school Valentines I remembered how fun and easy they can be. Clearly the knife work has to be done by an adult – but the rest is totally doable from age two on (with a little supervision).

What You Need:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Acrylic or watercolor paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Cardstock or white craft paper
  • Marker

What You Do:

  1. Fold paper in half to make a greeting card.
  2. Cut potatoes in half using a paring knife, then use the paring knife to cut the desired shape into the exposed side of one of the potato halves. (Tip: Use a cookie cutter or a shape printed off your computer if you need a guide.)
  3. Remove the excess potato from around the shape.
  4. Dip the exposed potato shape into the paint of your choice to create a stamp.
  5. Press the stamp firmly down onto the paper, holding it in place for a few seconds to make sure the entire shape transfers over. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect – they’re supposed to look handmade!
  6. After the paint dries, use a marker to write your Valentine saying on the card. (And if your children are old enough, let them write their own inscription on the inside of the card to make it extra-special).

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Mollie Ortolf is a Texas native and parent of two who is working to bring Southern flair to Northern California one monogram at a time. She does not usually pose holding jars of lemon curd, but will make an exception just this once.

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