CRAFT Project: Tater-Stamped Kitchen Curtain

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I’ve been wanting to try out potato printing for a while now–hadn’t done it since I was a kid–and I also needed some new kitchen curtains, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and stamp up some new window coverings. This is an extremely quick and easy project you can whip up in an hour or so. Best of all, the curtains are made by stitching tea towels together, so there are no hems to sew and you can hang them using curtain clips. Here’s how I made mine.
Tater-Stamped Kitchen Curtains
• A potato or three
• Kitchen knife
• X-Acto craft knife
• Felt-tip marker
• Fabric paint (I used Tulip Soft Fabric Paint, matte finish)
• Tea towels (I used the super-cheap and simple-looking Tekla towels from IKEA.)
• Thread

  1. Start by figuring out how many tea towels it will take to cover your window and sew them together at the edges. I didn’t want my window completely covered, so I used two towels sewn together along one long edge.
  2. Carving.jpg

  3. Cut about 1/3 of your potato off (with the potato laying lengthwise) and pat the cut surface off with paper towels. Use a marker to draw a shape on the cut surface. I chose to do a leaf. Simple, graphic shapes are best.
  4. Using a small knife (such as a paring knife), cut away at the outside edges of your design, slicing about 1/2″ down.
  5. Clean up your design by carving closer to the marked edge with the X-acto knife. If the potato starts to feel slippery, just keep dabbing with on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  6. Stamping.jpg

  7. Lay out your curtain on top of some newspaper. Dab the surface of your potato stamp with fabric paint. I used a foam brush to do so, and found that this produced a crisper print than dipping the stamp directly into the paint.
  8. Make some test prints on scrap paper. When you feel you’re getting the hang of how hard you need to press to get the look you like, try it out on your curtain. I chose to run the leaf pattern along one edge of the curtain.
  9. If you’d like to switch colors, simply dab your potato stamp on scrap paper and/or paper towels until the surface is clean and apply a new color. You can keep doing this until your potato gets mushy, if you like.
  10. After stamping pink and green leaves, I hacked away at my potato stamp and made a slightly smaller leaf and added some blue leaves to the design as well. If your potato is in good enough shape, feel free to keep carving into it–otherwise just switch to a new potato and start from scratch.
  11. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add curtain clips to the top, then hang and admire.

I had so much fun experimenting with potato printing, and am excited to apply the same technique to other items around my house like tote bags and teeshirts. I also can’t wait to try it with all the kidlets in my life!

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Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.

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