As it usually does, Hanukkah snuck on me this year, and once all the presents for Mini Mug had been delivered (online shopping FTW), I realized I had no wrapping paper. In the past I’ve resorted to using Christmas paper for the Hanukkah gifts, but I then remembered I had a slew of brown packing paper that I had been saving to use for who-knows-what. We’ll then I knew – grab a few extra potatoes while shopping for Hanukkah latke dinner, and make my own!
I’ve included a template below with a star and dreidel image you can use for your stamps.
Step 1: Cut a potato in half and measure the thinnest width so you know the approximate size to print out your image.
Step 2: Once your image has been printed, and roughly trimmed from the sheet, you’ll want to lay it on the cut side of the potato.
Step 3: Using your sharp pencil, poke holes through the paper into the potato. You’ll do that at all the points where lines meet, and this will be your guide for cutting.
Step 4: Once all the holes are poked, remove the template and, using your craft knife, connect the dots with cuts.
You don’t need to cut too deeply into you potato. Just enough so you can remove the surrounding part and leave the image raised, which we will do in the next step.
Step 5: Now, cutting into the side of your potato, at the approximate depth of your top cuts. you can remove the surrounding potato to reveal your image.
Now we are ready to get stamping!
Step 6: After you’ve blotted your potato on a paper towel (this may not be necessary if you potato isn’t very wet, but a drier surface will hold the paint better), use your brush to apply the paint to your stamp.
Step 7: Gently place the stamp in the location you want on your paper and press. You don’t need to press too hard, as this may make your potato slide a bit. I did have the happen a couple of times, but it adds to the rustic nature of the project (right?).
I found that I had to load my potato after almost every stamp I made. I quickly found my rhythm, holding the loaded brush in my left hand and stamping with my right. Applying the paint with my non-dominant hand wasn’t an issue as it didn’t need to very neat.
Step 8: Continue stamping, using a second color, and complete as many sheets of paper that you want. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it goes fairly quickly.
And that’s all there is to it. I used Mini Mug’s washable poster paints and they worked really well for clean up, and dried fairly quickly as well. Acrylic would also work and may make for more coverage per paint application.
I was really pleased with how this all came together. I saved the paper, thinking I would use it eventually, I was in need of something, and rather than buying it, I used what I had and made it myself. Go, Mug Makes!
Plus, most traditional wrapping paper is not recyclable, where as this packing paper is. That made me feel like I was helping this planet of ours. If you don’t have packing paper lying around, you could use a cut open grocery bag, stamping on the blank side.