Have you ever peeled or cooked beets?
If you're like me, the moment you saw the purpley-red color that seemed to be permanently staining your hands you thought "I can do something with this!"
Alas, it turns out beet juice is no good for staining clothes. Even if you manage to get a faint pinkish tinge, it washes out immediately. I had envisioned using all those peels and bits in a dye soup. But a google search told me "no" before I even tried
I gave up on the idea for a while. Then the other day inspiration struck!
Remember potato prints? Your mom would cut a shape in the potato, you'd dip it in paint and use it as a stamp. I've done this with my kids, but they don't quite get the concept that less is more in stamping - usually the result is just a huge mess. A mess they're proud of, though.
Let me introduce the BEET PRINT.
No paint neccessary!
Just proceed as you would with a potato print: cut a beet in half, etch your shape in and cut away around the shape (hearts are perfect!). Just make sure to cut deep around it, leaving at least an inch of the "stamp" sticking above the rest of the beet.
Hand to your kids and let them stamp away.
After 3 or 4 "stamps" the juice will begin to dry. This is why you cut a deep shape, just peel a thin amount from the top of the stamp shape and you have fresh juice. Alternatively, you could dip the stamp in a little vinegar. The vinegar stamps are not quite as vibrant, but if you don't want to be running back and forth with a knife or peeler, it's a good alternative.
The finished product looks somewhat like this (my camera is really not doing well lately, the color is off on this, but you get the idea)
We made about 24 from one beet with juice to spare. You can also use the bits you cut off as "crayons."