Flower pounding is one of my favorite autumn crafts to do with the kids. You could do it year-round but my favorite flowers to use bloom best in the spring and early fall.
Paper or cloth for the background
Hammers (one for each person who wants to pound if possible!)
Hard flat surface (that won’t be damaged by hammering on top of it)
Basket (to hold the flowers you gather)
Scissors (to help remove stems and pick flowers)
Small scrap piece of cotton fabric to lay on top of your flowers while you pound
Flowers and leaves
Pencils, markers, crayons, etc. (to draw and write in your cards)
A note on your background: We were making cards so we used water color paper, although heavy card stock also works well. I wouldn’t recommend normal copy/printer paper as it is too flimsy. You can also pound your flowers onto plain white cotton or unbleached muslin and frame your picture.
A note on your flowers: Flat open faced flowers work the best. Pansies and yellow daisies are my favorites. You can experiment with all types and colors of flowers; you might be surprised at what works and what doesn’t. Fern leaves are also beautiful to use in this craft. Colorful fall leaves look gorgeous when pounded too.
Gather Natural Materials
Go outside with some enthusiastic children and gather your flowers and colorful leaves. Get lots!
Make sure you take time to smell the flowers and enjoy being in the great outdoors with your precious little ones. Enjoy the feel of the breeze blowing through your hair, and the smell of the grass and the falling leaves. Take time to swing in the trees or climb up a big rock wall!
Find a good spot to rest for a while.
I try to remember that I will have these sweet boys under my care for such a short period of time, there is so much fun and learning that I want to share with them before they grow and start families of their own! I want them to have happy memories of their childhood that they will want to recreate someday with their own children.
Once you have a bunch of pretty flowers gathered in your basket you can set to work.
If you are making cards like we did, then you’ll need to fold your paper in half and decide which side you want up and how the card should open. Then lay your paper out flat and carefully place a flower face down in whatever position pleases you the best. If the flower you’ve chosen has a large stem on the back or a very juicy part where it connects to the stem you may want to carefully cut that piece off. I find it easiest to do this by laying the flower where I want it and holding its petals in place with my left hand and carefully cutting the juicy part off with scissors in my right hand. You can also pluck the petals out and arrange them carefully on your paper before covering them with your cloth, as we did here with this small yellow sunflower’s petals.
Then without disturbing the petals, lay your piece of cloth on top of the flower, holding it in place with one hand while you lightly tap on top of the flower with your hammer. Little ones may need your help holding the flower with the cloth over it while they tap with the hammer. Tap all around the flower, hitting it with your hammer as flatly as possible.
Once your cloth looks wet all over on top of the whole flower carefully peel the cloth back and peel up the pounded flower.
And there you have it! Your flower should have transferred all of its pretty color onto your paper. Continue adding more flowers and leaves to your art until you are pleased with the outcome. You can add stems to your flowers by pounding or drawing them on with colored pencils. This craft is as much fun in the making as it is enjoying the final product! Here are some pictures of our finished cards:
Even the cloth we used to cover the flowers while we pounded them turned out pretty…
Rachel Flores is a happy mama of four in the foothills of East Tennessee. She is passionate about showing her children the wonders of the world they live in, and spends as much of her time outdoors with them as she possibly can! In her “free time” she creates, sews and journals about their second generation homeschool life on her blog At the Butterfly Ball.