How to Make a Pillow Cover with POTATO STAMPS!

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how to make a pillow cover

I made this pillow sham using a stamp that I carved from a potato. Here how to make a pillow cover of your own with custom fabric that you print yourself!

My friend Sarah Lodato runs a crafting school here in Atlanta called Atlanta Institute of Stitches and Crafts. She teaches fun crafting workshops out of her studio and all over the city, and at a recent workshop we played around with potato printing. It was actually a block printing workshop, and she had both blocks to carve and potatoes. I found potato printing such a fun throw-back activity, and when I wanted to make myself a cute, modern pillow cover I decided it was potato time!

What I love about stamping is that you can turn a boring piece of vintage or stash fabric into exactly the design that you want. I chose some organic cotton muslin in off white for the front and a contrasting vintage print for the back, but you don’t have to use plain fabric. Stamping on a light-colored print fabric can be a lot of fun, too, and it yields some interesting results.

This project is a lot of fun, and you can even get your kiddos involved, if you want! Just make sure you either supervise closely during the parts that call for a knife or let them do the designing and stamping and you handle the cutting and carving.

How to Make a Printed Pillow Cover

Materials

  • raw potato
  • sharp knife
  • paring knife
  • pen
  • rag
  • water-based fabric paint
  • something to pour your paint on
  • 1 19″ x 19″ piece of fabric in a light color, ironed
  • masking tape
  • 1 19″ x 8″ piece of fabric, ironed (this is for the back, so it can be whatever print or colors you like)
  • 1 19″ x 14″ piece of fabric, ironed (this is for the back, so it can be whatever print or colors you like)
  • an 18″ square pillow form

Directions

1. Cut your potato in half using the sharp knife, making sure that your cut is as straight as possible. If you cut on a slight angle, your stamp won’t print evenly.

2. Draw your design on your potato using the pen and cut it out with the paring knife. Remember, you want to cut away the parts where you don’t want ink. So, to make my triangle stamp, I cut away everything but the triangle.

potato stamp

3. Blot your potato on the rag to get off any excess moisture, then spoon some fabric paint onto a plate. Lay your fabric out on a surface that you don’t mind getting painty, and use the masking tape to tape the corners down, so it won’t move while you’re stamping. Dip the stamp into the paint, blot a bit, and get stamping! I kind of wanted a little wonkiness to my pattern, but if you want a really straight, uniform design, use more masking tape to block off straight lines, so you have a guideline to follow with your stamping.

4. If you’re using more than one color like I did, just rinse the paint off of your potato and blot it dry again before switching colors. Once you’re done stamping, let the paint dry completely before continuing on. Mine needed to try overnight, because there were some areas that were a little bit paintier than others.

5. To make your pillow cover, click here to follow my pillow sham tutorial.

I originally published this tutorial over at Crafting a Green World.

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4 comments on “How to Make a Pillow Cover with POTATO STAMPS!
    • Thank you! Block printing is careful work, but it’s so gratifying. This was my first time, and I want to do it more!

  1. I love potato printing — I used to do it with my kids when they were young. One time I took a class and we printed fabric that looked like African cloth. I still have it and some day I’ll get around to making something with it!

    • I do that too, Andrea! Hoarding my most special fabric for years and years until the perfect project comes along.

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