Home > Family, Holidays, Parenting > Un-Crafty Family Meets Green Potato

Un-Crafty Family Meets Green Potato

My son had a school assignment to take a regular russet potato and dress it up as a character for a story he would write in class.  There was also going to be a prize for the best potato.  There’s a few things you should know up front:

  1. I am not crafty.
  2. My husband is not crafty.
  3. We’re both competitive.
  4. We started Sunday and it was due Monday.

We had the flier for the assignment in plain view all week, but just had not gotten around to it.  Sunday morning the pressure was on to deliver a potato character by Monday.  We agreed that my husband would take the kids to Target to buy supplies while I went to the gym. 

After my workout, I texted my husband to let him know I was on my way home and he called right back asking if I had my wallet.  I always have my wallet and my husband always forgets his…  True to form, he had forgotten his wallet and had no way to pay for the $36 in potato character supplies the Target cashier had just rung up.  Target is next to the gym, so I swung by and rescued the supplies. 

My son had decided that he wanted to make a leprechaun.  My son LOVES St. Patrick’s Day.  He is in the design phase of this year’s leprechaun trap…

Once bringing home the hostages supplies, my son announced we would paint the potatoes green.  Remember – my husband and I are neat freaks… So we proceed to cover the whole kids table with paper bags and newspapers.  We rolled up the kids sleeves and carefully doled out the green paint and brushes.

My wild child daughter had green paint on her, her clothes, the chair and the “covered” table in less than a minute.  I braced for my husband’s frustration with the mess, but he uncharacteristically laughed.  He had the foresight to buy washable paint! (I mean pick out, since he did not have the foresight to bring his wallet.)  This mess quickly spread to my granite counters and me.  But again washable, so we decided to live on the edge.

Next the potato needed limbs.  My husband suggested straws and I thought about toothpicks as anchors.  I whipped out my hot glue gun.

I must pause here – I only own a hot glue gun because I have pipe cleaner dreams of being crafty.  I think my neighbor has used it more than me, but HA, I now had a project for my glue gun.

Um, plastic straws melt when they meet hot glue. 

My son thought melting Mr. Potatoes arms was hilarious, but my husband rescued the idea by suggesting I apply the glue to the toothpick and waiting a second before placing the straws on the toothpicks.  I said I had a glue gun, I didn’t say I knew how to use it.

Next came wardrobe – my department.  We had bought a hat and fake mustache that truly must have been marketed with potatoes in mind… weird??  My son and I then fashioned a coat (more like poncho) out of a half of bandana and glue-gunned it in place – I was feeling very crafty at that point.

During this time, my daughter has helped herself to a bottle of purple paint and a container of googly-eyes – with my husband and I one foot away.  Apparently this craftiness took all of our energy.  So my husband helped the diva, while my son drew and cut our construction paper boots and hands, that I glue-gunned on. (Yes, I am going to continue to yap about the glue gun).

The piece-de-resistance was the pot of gold.  We took mini caldrons from our Halloween decorations and filled them with glass beads that you would use in floral arrangements (another thing I have a few materials, but no skill for).  We borrowed gold spray paint from a neighbor and voila:  The potato leprechaun had his pot o’ gold.

I am pleased to introduce you to Lucky:


A close up on the gold:


And what about my daughter’s potato?  Well… she’s three and had many “design-changes” mid-project.  I tried my best not to take over and make her a cute potato lass.  True to her artistic direction, we ended up with “Potato Ghost Goldilocks Leprechaun”:


This turned out to be a fun-filled, kitchen-wrecking, heart-warming, glue-gun wielding, family bonding experience.  This was more fun than carving pumpkins and everybody contributed to the finished product.  As long as there is washable paint, our family may continue to do Sunday craft projects until I accidentally glue the kids together!

  1. March 15, 2011 at 5:21 am

    What do you mean you’re not crafty? Those are two of the most adorable potatoes I’ve ever seen. Sounds like a fun day with new memories made. ♥ Diane

  2. March 15, 2011 at 6:35 am

    This is TOO cute and my kids are doomed if they ever ask me and DH for help. Yes, have glue gun, still in original unopened packaging AND a draw full of yet to be started craft projects.
    I say we meet up (after Easter) for some wine and some farts and craps (clever name, aint it?).

  3. March 15, 2011 at 7:19 am

    that looks like fun! I can’t wait til my kids get projects like that in a few years…I am very crafty!

  4. March 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

    As precious as that story is (and really. it’s precious) I am not the least bit envious or considering (for even one minute) a trip to Target for $36.00 worth of potato-decorating crafts.

    I hate crafts. Loathe. No exaggerating.

    My poor kids.

    I’m sending them to you and Mad Woman after Easter…

  5. Neighborhood Glue Gun Friend
    March 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Too funny… this is great..
    i love your glue gun
    I think I had more fun with this project last year than my daughter
    In fact… I do not think I allowed my daughter to touch her project… I think My husband and I took it over and she ended up watching a show… yes, control competitive parents rock!

    Love you – Miss Paige.

  6. March 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I am the most craft challenged person I know. It is painful for me to even think up a project! I have to say Paige, I am really impressed! You guys did a great job!!

  7. March 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I just found your blog through another favorite blog. This post made me hoot out loud! Thank god my son is only 15 months old and I don’t have to deal with crafts yet. I’m already thinking about how I can outsource it when the time comes because I am screwed otherwise. I can write a business plan, am great at financial analysis and strategy but I QUAKE at the mere thought of crafts. For someone who says she isn’t crafty, I think you’ve got skills. Well done and I look forward to visiting your blog more often.

  1. March 17, 2011 at 5:28 am

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