Here’s a little craft I’ve always wanted to try: Flower pounding. It combines two of our favorite things: Flowers, and hitting stuff. The results were not exactly spectacular, but it was so easy and fast, we want to keep experimenting. Corrie is away at theater camp, so Benny and I did this together.
-Light-colored cloth with a rough weave
-fresh flowers, leaves, and ferns
-parchment paper or wax paper
-Lay the cloth on a surface that can withstand hammering.
-Arrange the flowers face down on the cloth.
-Put a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper over them.
-Hammer the heck out of them.
-Peel up the parchment paper and shake off whatever loose flower material didn’t get pounded into the cloth. You want just the color to be in the cloth.
-If you like, add decoration with markers, paint, embroidery thread, etc..
Here is Benny arranging some flowers. We chose ferns, rose petals, pansies, some wild yellow flowers with wide, flat petals (some kind of cinquefoil?), and cow vetch for our first round. We were looking for flowers with deep color and relatively flat blossoms.
And . . . bonk bonk bonk!
It was hard to know when to stop. We didn’t want the flowers to lose definition, but we wanted to make sure we were really driving the material into the weave of the cloth.
It did smell lovely as we pulverized those poor blossoms and ferns.
Then we peeled the parchment paper up to see what we had . . .
And once we shook and brushed off the excess, the results were not too spectacular.
The ferns were nice, better in some spots than others
and the pansies came through well.
You can see the two different colors on the petals.
You could do a really pretty design, a wreath shape or something, with just ferns and pansies. But you can see the rose petals were faint and blurry.
The cow vetch gave a great, deep color (though much more blue than purple, interestingly!) but lost its shape completely, not surprisingly (the petals are small and fringe-like).
We decided the whole thing needed more color, so we added a day lily and a handful of geranium petals. This is the great thing about this project: You can just keep adding stuff.
and that brightened up the whole thing! The day lily released a surprising amount of dark red and purple when hammered, as well as orange and yellow.
I did scrape off a bit more petal material after I took this picture, but the color that soaked into the fabric stayed very deep. The geranium petals were hard to separate from the cloth, but they certainly kept their shape and color.
And there it is! Benny added a birthday message and we sent it off with some cookies.
If we had more time, this would be a lovely project to combine with embroidery. I would love to experiment with making some symmetrical patterns and designs.
I will admit, I have no idea how well it keeps, but I’m pretty sure it will fade like any dried flower, although putting it behind glass would probably protect it somewhat. It would be smart to spray it with a fixative spray to preserve the colors.
You could also do this on watercolor paper or canvas. We also wanted to try pounding daisies, white violets, and other light-colored flowers into dark fabric.
Have you done this craft? Any tips? How long did it last?