Smashed Flower Prints

Here's a unique way to preserve the beauty of fresh flowers. This project also has a strong sensory component, since the scent of the flowers will be embedded into the print for a while.

Materials Needed

Fresh plant material - flowers, leaves, and greenery
Heavy white paper or cardstock
Hammer or flat rock

How to Do It

1. Lay down a sheet of white paper or cardstock on a protected surface. Thick newspaper is a good choice. A phone book is, too.
2. Sprinkle flower petals and greenery across the paper. You can do it randomly or try to make a pattern. Make sure there are no bugs on the paper.
3. Lay another sheet of paper on top of the plants.
4. Using a hammer or rock, pound all over the paper to transfer the flower pigments. After a while, lift up the top sheet to check your work. Continue if desired.
5. When finished, peel apart the papers and discard the flowers.

Variations & Tips

• Experiment with which flowers work best. Phlox, shown in the photo above, works very well. So do marigolds, violets, and black-eyed susans. Greenery from plants makes wonderful bright colors, but autumn leaves didn't work for me at all. I also found that some flowers with thicker petals didn't work.
• Make sure the plants you use smell reasonably good, because the paper (and your classroom) will pick up their aroma before you're finished.
• Since each project makes two prints, consider having two kids work on the pounding and then letting each person pick which print they want when they're done. To be sure both prints look good you should flip the papers over so hammering is done on both sides.
• If you use flowers with thin petals, you may want to leave the petals right on the paper instead of removing them. Allow to dry completely, and then laminate.
• If you're nervous about giving kids hammers, just give each child a handful of petals and leaves. Let them ball it all up in their hands and smoosh them against the paper to "paint" it.
• Some children might enjoy drawing in stems or a scene after the pounding is done.


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