Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fun Summer Crafts Using a Hammer

Easy Steps to Creating Flower Prints on Fabric

© by Peggy Gabrielson

A great project for the whole family and is kid friendly. Plan a few hours of your day with this simple craft that can be given as a gift for someone special as a quilt block or a note card.

Fun activity for any age, for those who can hold and swing a lightweight hammer, your only caution is in supervising young children by keeping their fingers away from the fabric while hammering flower petals.

Pick fresh flowers from your garden, preferably bright dark colors are the best. Choose a variety; don't forget leaves and any ferns in your selection keeping them all in a vase with water until you are ready to use them.
a fellow workshop attendee placing rose petals on her fabric
If you are limited in your selection at home head on over to your nearest florist and purchase a bright inexpensive bouquet. Remember that light yellow and white flowers won't transfer pigment well and will fade some red flowers, can be a pleasant surprise, will show purple in color. Best choices are Pansies; their yellow middle looks fabulous in the printing process.

Gather Your Materials

You will need few supplies to get started besides your flowers chosen. Grab a hammer, block of wood a small cutting board is excellent for this, assorted fresh flowers, leaves, and ferns. Purchase freezer paper if you don't have it already, a roll is inexpensive and can be found in most stores.

Preparing Your Work Surface

Lay the sheet of paper gloss waxed side up on top of the cutting board; tape it to secure the edges down. Underneath your board place a towel to muffle the noise of pounding your leaves and petals. You would be thankful you did, believe me!

Your Fabric

Use 100% untreated cotton fabric that is lightweight. Look for yardage that states it is unbleached with no sizing. The moisture from the organic matter will absorb into the fiber easier with less force needed to see your result.

Preparations for a Successful Print

Pick your first flower and plan how you want to see your flower on the fabric, choose which side will be the backside and place the flower cover it with masking tape completely. Secure it well; turn it over with the taped flower on the board side and fabric facing up towards you. You will not see the flower because it is below.

The Process of Printing

Start pounding with the first blow the pigment will show through. Try not to remove the flower until it is dried completely, if you can't resist the urge then use a hair dryer to remove the moisture. Carefully peel back your tape to reveal the wrong side. Continue taping and hitting imprinting making a design that pleases you.

Helpful Tips and Ideas

Some leaves take more force to release their green color, while some flowers have a lot of moisture that it takes less of a blow. Experiment; see what works for you in a pattern that suits you. Afterwards iron to set the color in fabric.

A few flowers can make a beautiful quilt block for a pillow using a rotary cutter if you have one, or a pair of scissors cut off excess fabric evenly and sew a nice border around it. Try making smaller designs for note cards. All you need to do is tape the edges of your fabric to a mat framing it over the front of the card.

There are many ways to use your fabric prints, have you any to share?

Supplies Needed