Friday, August 4, 2017

How To: Decorate Clothing with a Potato

Potatoes are kind of magical little vegetables. They grow within the dark soil, emerging full of possibility. The diverse food options one potato can be created into is pretty impressive. But potatoes can be used for more than just food. When I was in collage, I had an awesome clock that was powered by potatoes! My potato clock rusted and I had to throw it away, but it was precious for the couple of years I used it. Potatoes can also be used as tools of decoration, which I will demonstrate in this tutorial!

In this tutorial, I am using a potato to decorate a shirt. A simple design that can be created by carving into a sliced potato is a great way to embellish a plain shirt.

A plain blue shirt, waiting for pizzazz. 

Step One: Gather supplies. You will need:
  • A marker to draw design onto potato
  • A knife
  • A cutting board
  • A carving tool
  • Pallet
  • Paint Brush
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Fabric Painting medium
  • Iron
  • Shirt
  • .....Potato!

Step Two: Design

With your sketch book in hand, brainstorm simple designs. You should avoid getting to elaborate as the purpose of the design is to add a pattern to your shirt by the repetition of a simple image. I chose a whale. I am a fan of whales, but they are also quite simple to draw and quite easy to recognize. Other ideas are a brontosaurus, a daisy, a cactus, a cat head, a tree or a turtle. 

Step Three: Prepare the potato for carving.

Cut your potato in half. With one half, draw your design onto the potato with a marker. The second half can be used for a second design, or you could cut it into chunks, sprinkle with olive oil, chili pepper and salt, pop into the oven to cook, and have a delicious treat.

Step Four: Carve your design into your potato. Carve all around the design, so the design itself is the thing that sticks out. 

Step Five: Prepare the paint.

Choose a color that you think would look good on your shirt. I chose pale purple! Mix your paint with fabric pain medium. The beauty of fabric painting medium is that you can mix this medium with any acrylic paint to create fabric pain. But you can also buy fabric paint at most craft stirs if you prefer this route. 

Step Six: Time to stamp that shirt!

Apply fabric paint onto potato design. Before stamping your shirt, test on a piece of paper. If you are happy with the result. It is time to start stamping away on your shirt. You can either be random with your stamping or purposeful. This is up to each individual shirt designer.

Step Seven: Let sit for 24 hours then apply heat with Iron

The heat sets the paint so it will not fade over time or in the washing machine.

Step Eight: Wear your new shirt!

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