Leaf pounding – my new favourite craft

I had a favourite new craft activity for the summer, which I had been meaning to try for a while but had not yet gotten around to. It is called leaf/plant pounding. (I ended up doing it so often this summer that I got teased just a wee bit by my co-workers. hah.)

The reason I started doing this activity this year in particular is a bit of a strange one… We had this huge box of billiard balls in our storage basement, which had been there for years and we never used them (they had been used once or twice in the past for some sort of painting activity); one of my co-counselors decided that if we didn’t use them by the end of this summer, we would get rid of them. So of course for a couple of us, that became a challenge: how to use these billiard balls!?! When thinking of craft ideas, I went back to the leaf pounding activity that I’d thought of doing earlier, and suddenly – click! – we could use the billiard balls instead of having to find smooth child-hand-sized stones. They’re the perfect size and beautifully smooth.

This activity consists of collecting some leaves and other plant material (blossoms, etc.), using them to create a design on one half of a piece of white/light fabric (like cotton muslin), folding the other half of the fabric over it, and then pounding it until the colours come out. It makes beautiful patterns and colours! It’s pretty amazing, actually. Hearing/seeing the kids reactions when I demonstrate the activity is great, and they were usually pretty eager to explain to their parents how we did the activity! (Look at all these colours, and we didn’t use any paint!!!) It’s fun to experiment with different leaves and plant parts – some give really clear images, some give unexpected colours… Some really beautiful art was created. I also like combining this with a colour scavenger hunt, where the kids have a bunch of paint chips and they have to find and harvest something to match each of the colours; we then use these plant parts to do the leaf pounding activity.

Needless to say, I ended up with lots of samples over the summer that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. Well, with a couple of friends having a (beautiful!) outdoor wedding just after the end of camp, one of my leaf pounding pieces turned into a wedding card. Another one turned into a Christmas ornament for a friend who, despite her September birthday, asked everyone to craft some sort of ornament for her future tree. So here are some examples of me putting my leaf pounding artwork to good use:

Happy growing (and harvesting and crafting)!


One response to this post.

  1. […] part! Using the colour from the plant parts we’ve found for either colouring/drawing or for leaf pounding. But just rubbing the plant parts on paper, you get colour! It’s pretty amazing! That in […]


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