Monday, October 11, 2010

leaf pounding

today we pounded leaves. i have been wanting to do this for some time. we often pound flowers and ferns in the spring and i wanted to see if we could make it work with the gorgeous fall foliage around us this time of year. the results were not as gratifying as i would have liked, especially for the kids, but we did enjoy moderate success with some of our selections.i cut muslin into triangles and rectangles on a fold so that they were double-sided. i used pinking shears to do so. we also needed our rubber mallets. they are our preferred foliage pounding tool though we have used regular hammers, too.
the leaves were selected and arranged between the folds of fabric. the top layer was then folded over onto the leaves sandwiching them in.
then the pounding begins! most of our leaves took some serious effort to transfer the color. you will know the color is transferring when you see the juices coming through the fabric. the juicest, freshest leaves make the nicest prints. here, the little red ones (no idea what these are but they came from a bright, bright bush) performed the best. japanese maples are excellent specimens for this project but we could not find any of those today.
opening up the fabric, we peeled away the crushed leaves to reveal the prints.
the inside of the panel, where the leaves where touching the fabric directly during pounding, becomes the outside of the piece. we then chose sticks from our yard to drape the fabric over. hemp cord was used to tie a hanger to the stick.
the children enjoyed this project, despite the effort needed for real results. i wish to make a banner with the triangle pieces i cut (in the first picture). only one of those turned out to my liking so far. i will gather more materials for experimenting and get back to pounding. i'll post pics when i am finished.


  1. That little red leaf that came from a really bright bush could have been from a Burning Bush. I kind of like the faintness of the leaf prints. The vivid flower prints are beautiful, too. Good ideas!

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