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Pound Flowers for Summer Fun

By Brenda Hansell, Master Gardener

Many of the flowers you have enjoyed throughout the summer will soon fade away. Even cut flowers last only a few days in the house. Here is a fun way to preserve flowers and entertain the children. Flower pounding is an easy activity for most any age. Adult guidance and assistance will vary from child to child. When complete, my granddaughter jumped up, threw her hands in the air and shouted: “YAY, ART!!” (‘nuf said.) Read this article to learn how to share this fun activity with the child in your life.

Pound Flowers for Summer Fun

Materials:    Watercolor paper (optional card stock)

                    Parchment or wax paper

                    Masking tape

                    Hammer or mallet

                    Fresh flowers



1)    Gather the flowers. Bright colors such as red, yellow, and blue release more intense pigments.


2)    Trim off the stems close enough to the base of the flower to permit it to lay flat while   keeping  the bloom intact. Use some of the leaves as well.

 3)    Flowers with large centers, such as cone flowers, will require removal of the thick center. Use only the carefully placed petals. Otherwise, there will be too much dark pollen “explosion.” (Though it does create a rather interesting, abstract appearance!)


4)    Work on a hard, flat surface

5)    Arrange the flowers face down on the watercolor paper.

6)    Carefully cover with the wax paper

7)    Press down firmly on the wax paper and tape in place


8)    To get the feel of how firmly to pound & which flowers transfer best, you may want to try one or two “practice flowers” on a separate paper. (This is an optional step.)

9)    Using firm pressure begin pounding the flowers, working in from the edges 

 10) Carefully, lift the wax paper to check the transfer


11) Continue pounding until desired effect is achieved.

12) Some pieces of petals and leaves may stick to the paper. Gently use your fingernail to scratch them off.

13) Frame and admire the finished piece of ART!


Note, some folks embellish the print with colored pencils or fine painted brush strokes.

Photo credits: Branda Hansell (all)

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