Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Potato Stamps & Tea Party Napkins

My little girl loves a good tea party. She enjoys serving up delectable snacks on her play dishes, but doesn't have much of a linen closet to pull from when her dollies and bears come to tea.

If I was ambitious, I might have cut and hemmed some cloth napkins in little girl size. Instead I rummaged through a drawer to see what I already had around. Oh, happy day—the bottom back corner of a linen drawer revealed a set of 4 beige napkins that have not been used in ages. Umm, apparently because of the multitude of stains that were discovered in better light when I ironed them. Embarrassing!! Well, never mind, Sad Little Napkins. You're perfect for a potato stamping project, and you'll soon be party-worthy once again.

To transform our Tea Party Napkins, I gathered these other materials: paring knife (or exact-o knife), pen, cookie cutter (optional), potato, fabric paint (we used Tulip brand), craft paint brushes, paper bowls, painting clothes for kids.

The first step was to wash a potato and cut it in half. For one half, we pushed a metal cookie cutter into the potato and then used a paring knife to cut away the excess around the cutter, leaving a perfect heart shape. The other half we tried freehand. I etched a paisley shape on the potato with a pen and then cut away ¼-inch of the potato to leave a raised stamp. If you want to make a monogram letter or number, just be sure to draw it backwards since it will be mirrored when stamped.

Fabric paint is permanent and will bleed through the napkins some, so be careful to protect clothes and furniture. I put my kids in Daddy's old t-shirts, and the stamping fun began. To keep the paint even and the potato less messy, we brushed the paint onto the raised stamp. The kids practiced stamping on paper first, then worked on the cloth napkins.

The paint requires 24 hours to dry. Meanwhile, my daughter is anxiously awaiting...I hear her rustling through the pantry for some party food to serve up once her lovely napkins are ready for use.


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