How to use a Potato Stamp to decorate a tote bag

I love potato stamps. They are so simple, easy, and inexpensive, yet they produce really cool results.

MakeorBreakShop potato stamp bag


Let’s get to it!

potatostamp supplylist

For this project, you will need:

– tote bag

– fabric paint or ink

– knife & cutting board

– potato (preferably one that is “about to go”)

You may also want to wear gloves to protect your hands and put down newspapers on your work surface. Fabric paint has a way of getting on everything if you aren’t super careful…

Start by cutting the potato in half.


Next, plan a simple design. I chose a triangle. Most geometric shapes will give you a cool pattern. It’s a good idea to draw it on the potato surface first. A pencil won’t leave a coloured mark, but it will leave an impression. The goal is to cut away the potato’s surface around your design. So use a knife to make cuts perpendicular to the surface of the potato around your design.


Next, make cuts parallel with the potato surface to free up the bits you want to get rid of.


Make a small pool of paint or ink and dip your potato stamp in. Try to keep the ink only on your stamp and not the surrounding potato flesh – the neater you are, the neater your results! There’s a big glob on my stamp here. Try not to do that.


Next, make a couple of test stamps on a scrap piece of paper. How easy is it to make a clear stamp? To line up the edges to make a repeating pattern?


It was tricky to make a consistent pattern with my stamp because I couldn’t see the corners of the triangle when I was placing it on the paper. I cut away more of unused potato surface and also cut back the corners. This helped a lot!


Once you are happy with your stamp and technique. It’s a good idea to try out a few patterns on scrap paper. Once you’ve got a design, stamp away on your tote bag.


Pro Tips:

** It helps to blot the stamp immediately after re-inking it. Otherwise that first stamp or two is quite intense.

** If you are making your stamp follow a straight line, it helps to draw in straight line with a ruler and a sewing-marker, or chalk on the bag.

** Make sure you are using even pressure when you make an impression. It can help to gently roll the stamp from side to side and front to back.

** If you’ve got a lot of ink on your stamp, you may find it sticks to your paper or bag as you pull it away. Keep on hand on your paper or bag while you pull the stamp away to make a cleaner impression.

** Experiment on paper first! It can be hard to decide when to stop stamping, so it pays off to have a plan going in.

If you love this bag, go buy it in my Etsy store!