Vegetable Stamps

paper sheet with a lot of vegsetables prints of many colours

We are going to prepare a variety of vegetable stamps and use them to create a natural design prints.

In order to obtain a great variety of shapes, we will combine stamps made from the patterns naturally found on/inside some fruit and vegetables and stamps created using cookie cutters.

The stamps can be used further for creating nature design images on wrapping paper, bookmarks, greeting cards and invitations or decorating any other objects.

The aim of this activity is to encourage children to observe and explore natural materials around us, study the wonderful patterns found in nature and get inspired by nature’s designs to create their own art pieces.

As a warm up for this activity, get your children to explore any interesting designs in the garden, in the fruit & veg aisles of a supermarket or even the bushes and trees on a nature walk.

With the latter, please exercise some caution while picking any wild berries. Do not let your children to pick any wild fruit you are not familiar with in order to avoid any skin reactions or accidentally ingesting anything that is not edible.

 

Skills Developed

Food, Design, motor skills, Patterns, colour combining, painting, printing.

 

Equipment and Material

We used a few vegatables just as an example, but you could go around the local farm market with your kids choosing seasonal vegetables. Observing them and getting the right inspiration for creativity.

Here all the material need for this activity:

white paper, colours, brush and knife is the material needed for the activity

  •  A few small potatoes and a variety of fruit and vegetables with a 3D pattern (e.g. lemon, okra, corn cob)
  • Ccookie cutters, a small vegetable knife or a safety cutter, chopping board.
  • Paint brushes and a variety of colours of acrylic paint.
  • A few sheets of white printing paper (to test stamps and practice designs) and any objects you are going to decorate

 

Let’s make the vegetable stamps

1. Cut the potatoes in half (adults to help and supervise this stage!) . Cut and prepare any other vegetables you are going to use.

activity core is cutting a potato using a cookie cutter

2. Press the cookie cutter into the into the cut side. Carefully circle with a knife and dispose of the potato layer outside of the cutter shape.

potatoes cut as a stamp craft

Remove the cutter and your stamp is ready to be used. As you can see it’s very easy, but younger kids will need some help.

Variation: Carve lines or simple shapes into the potatoes using a safety cutter or a small vegetable knife (adults to help and supervise)

more stamps made using potatoes

 

Stamping and Printing creatively

3. Dip your stamps in the acrylic or use paintbrushes to cover the printing surface of the stamp.

dipping vegetable stamp in purple acrylic
4. Enjoy testing your stamps and creating various designs on a white sheet of paper.

stamping using a potato

purple prints made using a potato, craft vegetable stamps

vegetable stamp made with potato, a red heart, love of craft

Once you are happy with your design, it is time to create your final masterpiece and to decorate any paper/ objects prepared.

 

Educational Tips

  • Provide children with some practice paper to test the right amount of paint and strenght for printing before stamping the final sheet.
  • Demonstrate with practical examples, that both insufficient and excessive amount of paint will not produce the desired result.
  • Testing and seeing the “mistakes” first will teach them to predict and evaluate the results before taking action, preventing waste of valuable resources.

Although this activity is best done with acrylic paint, if you don’t have any, you can use thick water based paint. Just make sure you don’t add any water.

vegetables stamp flowers in yellow

 

Adaptation for 2-4 years olds

Adults should cut all vegetables, children can help to press the cutters in. Let the youngest children to freely explore print making on a larger sheet of paper that can be used as a handmade wrapping paper.

  • Focus on play with different colours, create repeated pattern using the stamps.
  • Encourage children to talk about their art to expand their vocabulary.
  • Ask them to name the colours, shapes, vegetables, fruit.

 

For older children

If your kids are aged 7-9, and  possibly 9-11, you could extend this to a whole project of creating stationery sets with their vegetable design print.

they could have fun creating bookmarks, greeting cards, party invitations, party banners, notebook covers, display borders for Harvest festival etc.