Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Flower Power Bunting

Earlier in the Summer holidays, Maria was invited to a 'Fairy Party in the Woods', pretty much her perfect party! The birthday girl's wonderful parents had recently completed some Forest School Teacher training, so we had lots of fun - making flowery crowns, decorating cardboard wings and going on treasure trails through the woods. But our favourite activity was the one I'll share with you today, which both Venetia and Maria have been experimenting with quite a bit over the holidays.

You'll need some plain, light coloured fabric - ideally white or cream, a mallet type hammer - we used the flat side of a meat hammer, and a selection of flowers, petals or greenery. If you'd rather not pick your beautiful, live flowers for this, then we found flowers and petals that had freshly fallen worked well too, as long as they had lots of colour and moisture left in them.

This is a craft best done outside, as you'll see! Lay out your piece of fabric and arrange some of the flowers/petals/greenery on just one half of it.

 Fold over the other half of the fabric on top, and bash like mad with your flat hammer!

Can't get a much more perfect craft than that surely? Once you're happy you've released all the lovely, staining juices from your flowers etc then open up your fabric piece and take a look. If it's done as much as you want then pick/scrape off your battered plant bits and pieces. Here's the one from above, but we've just added a fuschia 'butterfly' too, ready for more banging.

And now here it is bashed again and opened...

So you see, you can create your finished article in different stages if you like. Here are some more photos of us at work, and different creations at different stages.

The cat really wasn't sure about all the noise we were making!

Some plants worked better than others - greens generally were pretty good, ferns were one of our favourites.

If you decide to give this a go yourselves, then obviously half of the fun is experimenting yourself to see what works well and what doesn't. But we weren't overly impressed with our yellows. They don't look too bad here, but they dried to more of a murky, paler colour.

Really dark pinks and reds, like our fuschias, worked best for us, and some oranges as well.

We had high hopes for some buddleia, and were all set to add a fuschia butterfly to this one...

But it turned out not so attractive, and not so purple.

Once you're done, make sure you've scraped off all the debris (otherwise you're likely to have bits decomposing on your fabric) and then hang up your works of art to dry.

We found our favourite flower to use earlier this week - red begonias that eagle eyed girls spotted on the ground underneath a huge, hanging basket at a local farm shop. They quickly pocketed the flowers and we bashed them as soon as we got home. My camera had a slight accident at the start of the week, so I'm afraid I have no photos of these in progress, but I'm sure you've got the general idea by now. We just added some random, green stalks to the collected flower heads.

Once we'd bashed them, they reminded us a little of poppies. We picked a few, juicy blackberries and just dabbed one on the centre of each of our 'poppies' to add to the look. This seemed particularly appropriate given the centenary of World War 1.

We also discovered with these flowers that we could re-use them on more than one piece of fabric. In fact it worked really well to do this. We peeled them off our first piece and just placed them on the next piece to bash again. These bolder prints were created from the re-used flowers.

We loved these so much that we turned them into bunting. I ironed over the pieces, right sides together, and Venetia sewed them down, leaving just the top open. Then we turned them the right way out again and I folded the top over some brown, garden twine and zigzag stitched them on.

Lots of fun to make, from start to finish, and a lovely reminder of the Summer and its beautiful blooms.

Hopefully you might be able to find some good flowers to give it a go yourselves?



  1. Love this!!! I did this last September as part of one of our homeschooling days...the kids loved it. Reece's is still hanging in his room :)

  2. this is such a fun idea and they look so pretty :-)

  3. Oh my goodness!!! These are absolutely beautiful!!! What a fantastic idea. That fairy party sounds like a little girl's dream come true!! Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos. : )

    ~ Wendy

  4. Love these! Your blackberry-juice centers make your "bashings" into convincing poppies. I smiled all the way through this post!

  5. What a wonderful idea... Pinned for next year for sure! (Most of our gorgeous flowers have passed their prime.) :-)

  6. Oh, my goodness what a great idea...I must try this! Your poppies are gorgeous!

  7. Love this project! Looking for DH's hammer! ;)

  8. I have got to add this to my never ending list of things to do before the end of summer - the results are so pretty and the girls would love all the hammering!

  9. This is a great idea for a bad day. You can get all your frustrations out by banging the hammer and you'd be left with something that would life your spirits. This has moved way up my list of things to try.


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