Hand printed wrapping paper – with potatoes

By Sarah-Jayne Turner from Pickles Craft Emporium

Anyone who has ever ordered anything from the internet will find themselves with sheets of packing paper knocking around.

You could just recycle it – but why not re-use it to make your own wrapping paper instead? 

Potato printing is a great activity to do with children. You can use any paint you already have (probably not gloss though…), grab a potato and a knife (or a cookie/biscuit cutter), dip it in paint and give it a go!

To cut your potato you can either go freestyle (draw on the potato and cut it with a knife) – or you can use your cookie/biscuit cutter to cut a shape into the potato and carefully remove the excess.

You need a reasonably deep profile – the shape to be stamped should stand about 3 – 5 mm above the rest of the cut surface.

Fine details will probably be lost – so it’s best to stick to large, simple shapes: hearts, stars, diamonds and so on. If you do want a more polished look then biscuit/cookie cutters or pre-made stamps are a better bet. 

You’ll probably want to ensure that you cover your work surface to protect it against splashes and spills. Lay out your sheets of paper and get printing!

You can either dip the potato directly in the paint or, by using a paintbrush (with a paintbrush you can cover different parts of the design in different colours). 


1. Overloading the potato stamps with ink is likely to result in a smudged or and messy shape. 

2. Washing and patting the potato dry after each use will help ensure colours don’t bleed into one another. 

When finished and dry, get wrapping!