How To Decorate Your Lampshade Using A Potato

How To Decorate Your Lampshade Using A Potato

Sarah Rae Smith
Feb 24, 2010

Awhile back we made over this lamp and have been thinking since that it needs a little something extra. Today we started in on potato stamping (though we still have more to go) and thought we'd share a bit of our journey with you. Even though we learned the method when we were little, we still love the look!

What You Need

1 Lampshade in need of some spunk
1 Potato
Cookie/Circular Cutters
Paring Knife
Craft Paint
Paper Towels


1. Disconnect Shade: Although it sounds like a basic instruction, we wanted to make sure you're tackling this project with the shade off the lamp base. If you'd like to change the colors of the shade or lamp base, see further instruction here.

2. Cut Potato: Decide on a design, it doesn't have to be something you have cookie cutters on hand for. In fact, the more geometric your shade, the better the outcome. Something that when repeated as an all-over pattern will look like just that — a pattern. Not just shapes on a lampshade. Place cutter into potato and use a paring knife to cut up to the cutter. This will remove the exterior potato while leaving the important parts that will be used to stamp.

3. Add Paint: Dry the cut surface of your potato on a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Place potato stamp in a small dollop of paint on a paper towel. Make a stamp on the paper towel to remove excess paint. Now, you're ready to stamp!

4. Stamp: Apply stamp to shade, if you'd like to make a repeating pattern, try using a piece of thread and two straight pins, pinning the string top to bottom to create a vertical line, allowing you to stamp straight, without wiggly lines. Move the string as you go around the shade. (or freehand if you're daring enough!)

5. Allow To Dry: Set the shade aside (in a low-traffic area) and allow to dry for 2 hours. Your new shade is ready to be re-attached to the base and take center stage in your room.

Additional Notes
If you aren't looking for something that looks particularly "crafty" try opting for a paint color that is a tone of the existing shade. Look for something slightly lighter or darker to accent the piece without drawing every eye in the room! Our shade will be receiving 2 or 3 more colors of smaller circles (we didn't want to scare you by saying the only way to stamp was using 2,000 circles!), so the heavier sections of white will be blending in more. Don't worry if some parts stamp heavier than others, you can always find ways to lessen the look if it isn't what you want!

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(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)

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