Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Project for Little Hands

Before I was a designer, I spent a few years as a Preschool Teacher. Looking back, I must say that what thrilled me the most about Preschool were the crafts and projects. You can be as creative as you want and the kids just eat it up and love it! This project is something that I loved to do with my students in the springtime and will be planning to do this summer in my workshop series at Camp Summer Playland. You can see the original idea here from the Family Fun magazine. Enjoy, and I would love to see how your projects come out so PLEASE post them!

Pounded Flower Prints

This pretty flower poster is its own reward, but the hammering technique — pounding flowers onto paper — can be irresistible to kids. Experiment with a variety of flowers. Primroses, pansies, and irises pass along their colors brilliantly.
  • Scissors or clippers
  • Jar with water
  • Heavy board or sturdy worktable (one you can pound on)
  • Watercolor paper
  • Stack of newspapers
  • Paper towels
  • Hammer
  • Tweezers
  • Clear acrylic coating spray (available at craft and hardware stores)
  • Pencil
  1. Cut flowers from your yard or pick a few common and abundant wildflowers and weeds, such as dandelions. Place stems in the jar of water as soon as they're cut.
  2. On the board or worktable, set a sheet of watercolor paper on the newspaper.
  3. Place a flower on the paper and cover it with a paper towel. Use the hammer to tap it gently and repeatedly, making sure you tap the entire flower and the stem, if desired. Peel back the paper towel to see how well the color is transferring. If the paper towel looks saturated, the watercolor paper will be too. When you're satisfied with the color, remove the paper towel and the smashed flower, using tweezers if necessary.
  4. Repeat step 3 with the other flowers.
  5. To protect the colors, spray the paper with the clear acrylic coating and let dry, then write the flowers' names in pencil.