Week 5: The Power of Flowers
The Power of Flowers
“Where flowers bloom, so does HOPE.” Lady Bird Johnson
As our outside world continues to reawaken, flowers and blossoms are everywhere!
The following activities are focused on ways you can turn can take the flowers and blossoms that surround you and turn them into beautiful flower power projects! Press them! Pound them! Dry them!
Grab a basket, a pair of garden shears or small scissors, and sharpen your senses of sight and smell to track down some of the blooms that surround you. Take a walk around your yard and gather some of your favorite blooms and blossoms.
Pounded Petal Pigments
Did you know you can use a hammer to extract pigments from flowers and leaves to create artwork by pounding the natural pigments from fresh flowers onto paper or fabric? You can, and you can capture the natural beauty of spring flowers and make a cool craft or gift.
- Freshly picked flowers, blossoms and greens
- Fabric, paper (watercolor, card stock, construction paper)
- Masking tape or painter’s tape
- Hammer or rubber mallet
- Hard surface like as a plastic cutting board or piece of wood
- Markers for coloring
- Black fine point marker
- Cut your paper or fabric to match the craft you are going to make such as bookmarks, note cards, or frame-able prints for paper or pillow, sachet, or banner.
- Trim off any heavy stems and foliage from your collected flowers.
- Arrange flowers face down into the design of your choice onto the paper or fabric. Be creative!
- Cut pieces of tape into strips the size of your plant pieces.
- Reduce the stickiness of the tape by placing it on your clothes or onto dish towel and removing it several times.
- Place the tape on top of the flowers making sure to cover all the plant material completely.
- Turn the paper over with the tape side facing down.
- Using the hammer or mallet, pound on the paper or fabric so that the liquid pigment from the flowers soak into the paper or fabric.
- After pounding the flowers, turn over fabric or paper and gently remove the tape and pressed plant material to reveal the newly created images.
- Let it dry completely.
- If desired, use fine point marker to outline your design and fill in with markers.
- Use your new prints to create your planed craft.
Gather fresh flowers and press them to capture their beauty. There are two methods for this project. The first takes 2-3 weeks, and the other takes 2-3 days.
- Fresh flowers, blossoms and greens
- Vase or glass
- Heavy books or bricks
- Waxed paper
- Pick freshly bloomed flowers or flowers in bud form in the morning after the dew has evaporated. It is best to press flowers immediately after picking, but if you are unable to do that you can place flowers in a plastic zipper bag in the refrigerator. While gathering your flowers select flatter shaped flowers, such as pansies, and greens as they work best for flower pressing.
- To prep flowers for pressing, recut the stems under running water and place in a vase of clear water with a teaspoon of sugar and place in a cool place out of direct sunlight for several hours to allow the flowers to drink up as much fluid as possible.
- Space the flowers out and lay them flat in between two pieces of paper making sure that the plant materials aren’t overlapping or touching.
- Place pieces of paper in between two heavy books or pieces of wood and pile additional books or other heavy objects like bricks on top of the books to weigh them down. Since the flowers are wet and will be releasing liquid, you may want to layer additional wax paper between your book and the flower pressing paper.
- It will take 2-3 weeks for the flowers to press. change the sheets of paper and wax paper every few days.
- If you prefer not to wait the 2-3 weeks for the drying process to take place naturally, you can speed up the process using a warm dry iron. To do this set the iron on a low temperature and press each flower for 10-15 seconds. You may want to place a sheet of parchment paper between the iron and paper using to press the flowers to protect the iron. Wait 15 seconds for the paper to cool and carefully lift top paper to make sure flower is stiff and dry. Once cool, place between books and weights to allow flowers to continue to dry an additional 2 days.
- After the flowers have completely dried remove them very carefully using tweezers or your fingers.
Construction Paper Sun Prints
Remember those sun-print papers we used to use in school? Well, the sun’s ray are so powerful you can make sun prints on run-of-the-mill construction paper you have laying around your house! Gather up natural materials from your yard and experiment with other objects like magnetic letters, action figures, or whatever you can find. Have fun with it! Then use the prints you create to make cool crafts or gifts.
- Plant materials collected from the yard
- Darker colored construction paper
- Plastic wrap or plexiglass
- Rocks or stones
- Place pieces of paper outside on a flat surface in a place that receives at least 2-3 hours of continuous sunlight. Place your objects on top of the paper.
- Cover the pages with plastic wrap or a piece of plexiglass and place some stones or rocks in the corners to keep covering in place.
- After 2-3 hours of sunlight, remove objects from the paper and there should be images imprinted on the paper.
- Use your new sun prints to make a collage or craft or frame it.
Make A Floral Gift for Mother’s Day!
Make a colorful frame, and pick a meaningful verse, and your favorite flower creation to build a gift got your favorite person for Mother’s Day.
- Your pounded flower pages, sun prints, and pressed flowers
- Decorative items such as gems, or other small items. Whatever you have on-hand
- Paint brushes
- Fine point pen
Frame your flower art:
- Remove glass or Plexiglas from chosen frame and decorate as desired with paint and add decorations with glue or glue gun.
- If needed, cut your paper to fit your chosen frame. If framing fried flowers, create arrangement on a piece of heavy paper, such as watercolor paper, and glue down your design.
- Find a quote and write it on your paper.
- Frame your creation once your frame dries.
- Wrap your gift for Mother’s Day!
Here are some more craft ideas from the web: