Today I decided to follow her directions and let my two year old daughter and her best friend play with potato stamps too. Jessica's post included a few good tips. One especially caught my attention -
BE CAREFUL. I am very careful using the exact o knife and I still managed to cut myself 2 times. Thanks to cars band aids no blood was passed onto the potatoes or the shirts. Potatoes are tough but once you slice the blade will run right through it so take your time and don't apply too much pressure.
I probably won't admit it out loud but I will share that I'm extremely reckless with anything dangerous. No really, I'm not kidding. I have plenty of examples but for now, I'll share my most serious and recent craft related accidents.
Example #1: The house we lived in prior to our new home had a fireplace. I was very concerned my daughter would hurt herself as she was learning to walk so I covered the dangerous tiles with foam alphabet mats. I used sticky velcro to adhere the mats because I knew I would be removing them later and didn't want to cause any permanent damage to the wall or tile. Seemed like a great idea at the time. I was ecstatic when I was finally able remove the mats! Instead of patiently working on removing the velcro from the tile, I used a kitchen knife (I took from the knife block on our kitchen counter) that happened to be extremely sharp to pry off the velcro. Thankfully my husband was home when I accidentally stabbed myself in the wrist (yes, the wrist, as if I was intentionally aiming for a major artery and trying to instantly bleed to death!). I went to the ER and was asked fifty times if I had any reason to intentionally stab myself in the wrist (geeeezzzzz, these things happen on accident sometimes!). Obviously I didn't bleed to death but it was a major injury and took a long time to heal. What did I learn? I should be more careful.
Example #2: Just last year I was sitting on the floor making a really pretty baby rosette headband. Two problems with this scenario - 1) I was sitting on the floor, and 2) I was wearing shorts. I was using an insanely hot glue gun (no joke, you could probably glue your car to the side of the garage with that thing!). I put glue all over the back of a quarter sized rosette and then flipped it over to put it on the headband. You know what's coming next right? Yes, instead of flipping over onto the headband, that steaming hot rosette flipped right over glue side down onto my leg!! My husband was traveling for work that night. It was after midnight. My daughter was asleep. I knew I probably should go to the hospital but I wasn't convinced waking my sleeping daughter was a good plan. After talking to a nurse friend and texting her a picture of the burn, she practically forced me to go to the ER immediately. This was not your standard glue gun burn. It didn't even blister. My skin basically melted off. This was an 'almost burned my leg off' glue gun burn! Long story short, I had a really severe burn that took a really long time to heal and I have a really strange looking scar. What did I learn? I should be more careful.
Lets get back to my potato printing project...I read Jessica's tips and decided using an exacto knife was probably not my best option. I had to get creative but came up with a really easy and safe way to make potato stamps. I pushed a small cookie cutter into the potato and then gently used a dull knife to cut around the cookie cutter. perfect. No injuries and pretty stamps!
I also wanted to try making something other than a shirt. Remember my crafting partners for the day were two two year olds so our options were slightly limited. Prior to showing them the potato stamps and paint, I used foam stamps to paint their names onto a piece of white cotton fabric. I knew if my daughter saw me using foam stamps and paint, I would never be able to finish her name because she would want to "help." I prepared their work spaces before I ever let them know we were going to be painting today.
They loved it and to my surprise, were quite skilled at painting the surface of the stamps and applying them to the fabric.
We made a big mess but their finished masterpieces turned out great!
Later during naptime, I used their stamped fabric like patches and made cute tote bags.
I used Disney ribbon sewn onto white ribbon for the handles.
My daughter and her BFF were happy campers with their new bags. They especially loved the "sparkly" fabric and Disney straps.
No, my daughter's best friend isn't imaginery. I didn't want to post pictures of someone else's child on our craft blog with out parental permission! Additionally, both girls painted completely naked to avoid getting permanent fabric paint on their clothes. I didn't have too many internet appropriate pictures. :)