Hanukkah Stamps

What You Need:

  • 1 large potato
  • Paper and pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ballpoint pen or pencil
  • Kitchen knife
  • Small paring knife
  • Acrylic paint for using the stamp on paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Newspaper
  • Sponge or paintbrush

What You Do:

  1. Have your child draw out a six-pointed star, called a Star of David, of a size of her choice. Cut around the outline of the star to create the stencil for her potato.
  2. Ask your child to help you set up her workspace. Lay out some newspaper to protect tables and the floor.
  3. Help your child cut the potato in half, making sure that the cross sections are large enough for the stamp.
  4. Help your child place the cut-out stencil on the sliced section of one of the potato slices. Using a pen or pencil, draw around the stencil so that the design is clearly visible on the potato.
  5. Now it’s time to cut the potato stamp out! Carefully use the paring knife to cut away the outside edges from the design, so that the design sticks out about 1/4-inch from the rest of the potato. It can be helpful to cut small amounts at once, and slowly work your way down. Be careful—the knife will slip easily through the potato.
  6. Your child's stamp is ready! She’ll probably need to do some experimenting to figure out how the potato takes the paint best. Squirt a little of the acrylic paint onto the aluminum foil, and have your child use her paint brush or sponge to carefully apply paint onto the cut design.
  7. Test the stamp on extra newspaper. If there is too much paint, the stamp will be too wet, muddying the outlines of the stamped design. If you have too little, the design might not show up, or certain sections could be missing.
  8. Once your child has perfected the amount of paint to apply, begin stamping on cards, gift tags, or whatever else you like. You may need to experiment a bit more with the paint for each type of paper, because each paper will absorb the paint slightly differently.
  9. If your child wishes to use a different color than what she started with, have her carefully use a paper towel or clean, wet sponge to wipe away the paint. You may also want to carefully rinse the potato under the sink and dry it with another paper towel before switching paints.

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