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Posted on July 30, 2014 There have been 0 comments

Make a Potato Print Tote Bag with Friends!

What have you got planned over the next few weeks? Is there a day trip to the beach with your family or an afternoon out shopping with friends? Today we have a great craft project to share for our week of summer holiday activities, so whatever you have coming up, you’ll have the coolest bag around to carry all of your stuff!

Today is The International Day of Friendship, so why not gather a few friends around to make matching bags or design this bag using your friends favourite colours to give as a gift! This project is taken from Craft it Up Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong, and you’ll also learn a little bit about Argentina while you’re doing it!


Bag Yourself a Potato Print Tote

Using potatoes to print on fabric gives a lovely, slightly mottled effect — similar to colorful ikat fabric, which is popular in South America (see Fun Fact below). To get really crisp-edged designs you can cut your potatoes with a sharp cookie cutter. For this project, we used a sharp knife and a template, so you need to be careful while you are cutting or ask an adult to help with this step. No measuring is necessary for this design. If you start in the center and work outward, then the pattern will be centered. Overlapping only adds to the overall effect!

These colorful blankets are made in Argentina and other South American countries. Many of them use ikat fabric.


Muslin bag (ironed, if necessary)

Paper, pen and scissors to make the templates

1 large potato

Sharp knife

Tea towel

3 different colors of fabric paint

Large ceramic or glass plate

Parchment or baking paper cut to the size of your bag

Iron for setting the paint

1. Draw a template for your large diamond and one for your small diamond on the paper and cut them out. The large diamonds measure 1¾in (4.5cm) across and 2 3/8in (6cm) down. The small ones are 1in (2.5cm) across and 12⁄8in (3cm) down. You may want to make them smaller or larger depending on the size of your bag.

2. Slip your parchment paper inside the bag. This will stop the fabric paint from going through to the other side of the bag. Lightly fold the bag so that you can see where the middle is. This is where your design will start.

3. Cut your potato in half and place your large template on one half. Using a sharp knife cut the potato into the diamond shape. Repeat this step with the smaller template. Blot your potatoes on a tea towel to dry them out.

4. Dip your potatoes in fabric paint and print rows of large diamonds first, tessellating each row as you go. We used a repeating pattern but you could create a random pattern or use more colors. When you want to change color, rinse your potato under a tap and then blot it dry before using it again. Allow the fabric paint to dry.

5. Once the first layer of diamonds is dry, stamp your smaller diamonds over the top. Allow all of the fabric paint to dry completely, and then iron according to manufacturer’s instructions to set the paint.


fun fact

Ikat fabric has been popular in South America for centuries. It is made by a process similar to tie-dyeing. However, ikat textiles are made by dyeing the threads before they are woven, rather than by tie-dyeing the fabric.


Looking for more craft projects? - you'll find them here.

This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, summer holidays, Libby Abadee, kids, craft it up, 2014, project