Flower Pounding Note Cards

You Will Need:

You will need:

Fresh-cut flowers and leaves
Light-colored construction or watercolor paper, 8-1/2” x 11”
Hard, smooth, flat surface for pounding (plastic cutting board or concrete floor)
Wax paper
Masking or painters tape (restickable kind)
Hammer
Tweezers

Instructions:

  1. You can use any type of light-colored, porous paper. Construction paper, watercolor paper and coffee filters absorb plant pigments particularly well. Avoid paper with a polished surface such as copy paper which is not porous enough to soak up plant pigments. Cut 8-1/2-inch x 11-inch sheets of paper in half to form two 8-1/2-inch x 5-1/2-inch pieces. Fold each piece in half to create note cards. Sheets can also be left whole for stationary or cut into smaller cards for gift cards.
  2. From your garden, cut a selection of summer flowers and leaves. Look for rich, bright colors and interesting shapes. New blooms will have more color. Flowers with thin petals like pansies work better than those with thick, fleshy petals like tulips. Remove large or thick centers, calyxes, pistils, stamens, stems and leaves. To use flowers with large centers or multi-layered blossoms like roses, peel off petals and use individually.
    Suggested flowers: Balloon flower, coreopsis, cosmos, phlox, geranium, verbena, zinnia, dahlia, marigold, pansy, petunia, lobelia and impatiens.
  3. Select a hard, smooth, flat surface to use as a pounding surface. A hard plastic cutting board is ideal. You can also use the smooth concrete floor in your basement or garage.
  4. Using masking tape, create a 6-inch x 4-1/2-inch “frame” on your pounding surface to serve as a visual guide for creating your designs. Your “frame” should be slightly larger than the front of the note card. Adjust size accordingly for stationary or gift cards.
  5. To prevent plant dyes from staining your pounding surface, cut a sheet of wax paper larger than the masking tape frame and tape the 4 corners to your pounding surface.
  6. Placing the most attractive side face up, arrange whole flowers, flower petals and leaves on top of the wax paper in a pleasing design. Use tweezers to position small items. Your design should fit within the masking tape frame.
  7. Lay a sheet of note card paper on top of the flower arrangement, front side down. The area you wish to decorate should be on top of the plant material. Tape card corners with masking tape to prevent the paper from shifting.
  8. To transfer the dye from the flowers onto the paper, pound on the paper firmly and evenly with the hammer. This will force the color from the plant material to bleed into the paper. For greatest color saturation, hammer systematically in overlapping rows across the paper horizontally, then vertically.
  9. Carefully remove the masking tape from the corners of the note card and peel the card off the mashed flowers. Use tweezers to remove any clinging or imbedded plant material. Dry thoroughly.
  10. Fold finished note cards and pair with envelopes purchased at a craft or office supply store. To give as gifts, tie stacks of 4 or 8 cards with thin ribbon.

Additional ideas:

  • To make placemats, create floral designs on 11-inch x 14-inch sheets of paper and laminate at your local copy center.
  • Scan designs onto iron-on transfer paper, print and iron onto fabric (t-shirts, pillow cases, quilt squares, apron bibs, etc.) for washable, wearable art. Follow the instructions provided with the transfer paper (available at craft and office supply stores).
  • To frame floral designs, cut paper to fit selected picture frames before creating design.