There’s been a flamingo outbreak recently. Not literally, of course – but in style magazines and all across Pinterest. In a bid to shamelessly jump on this bandwagon (but also to try out a new crafting skill) I thought I’d try potato printing a plain tote bag with some of these beautiful birds. For this project you will need:
- Canvas shopping bag
- Fabric dye in pink and green
- Small paintbrush
- Sharp knife
- Sharp pencil
- Kebab skewer or cocktail stick
- Scrap piece of fabric
1. Begin by cutting your potato in half lengthways. Draw your flamingo onto paper, or print one as I have done. Make sure it’s a simple silhouette and small enough to fit onto your potato. Cut out your image and place it onto the potato.
2. Using a sharp pencil draw around the flamingo, making sure you press down slightly to leave a groove. Remove the image, then use a knife to gently cut around the grooves to a thickness of about 5mm. Slice away the potato surrounding the image. To create the eye, use a kebab skewer or cocktail stick to make a hole.
3. Using fabric paint, apply a layer of paint onto the flamingo. Then test your stamp using a scrap piece of fabric. Press the stamp down firmly onto the fabric making sure it’s evenly applied. Check that you’re happy with the results and make any tweaks to your stamp using a knife.
4. For each flamingo I applied another layer of the fabric paint onto the stamp, as I wanted a block of colour. After applying each layer of paint I re-poked the flamingo’s eye with the kebab stick so it would not be filled up with paint when stamping.
5. Before stamping the bag, place a protective layer of a carrier bag or newspaper within the bag, so the paint doesn’t seep through. Then get stamping! Fill in any gaps or mistakes with a paintbrush.
6. I then decided to cut some tropical leaves to go between the flamingos, and got stamping with green paint.
This was a really quick way to customise a tote bag, and potato stamping has become my new favourite craft. If drawing is not your forte (like me) then using a template to cut around really makes it easy to achieve different stamps without too much effort, and it’s perfect for little ones to do too.