Smashing Flowers……..no, really!

What started out as a short discussion has been expanded a little further by popular demand. In this lens I will discuss the “art” of smashing flowers…fun craft for the kids (best if they like to pound on things!) or a use for all those flowers and extra energy for the adults! Read on for more information on how to smash a flower.

It all started when I was looking through some “how to’s” on the internet and randomly came across one on smashing flowers. I decided to try this myself. Since most of my flowers are yellow in the weeds here , I headed to Home Depot and picked up $5 worth of those bedding plants people replace every year (annuals). I then came home and grabbed some thick paper (watercolor paper), a hammer, and picked some of the flowers. I cleared out a spot in the garage and sat down………..

Method
I placed a scrap piece of paper down, then one sheet of heavy paper (use two if it is light)
I then arranged some flowers in a pretty pattern, added another sheet of heavy paper, and another sheet of scrap on top of that.

Then I took the hammer and started pounding on the flowers! It took me a *LOT* of taps with the hammer to cover the whole page.

Problems!1. The flowers added enough bulk that the papers wouldn’t stay on top of each other and kept sliding around. I solved this by gently setting a piece of plywood on the paper stack and doing a pre squish. I guess that’s why one suggestion was to tape the whole pile to the work surface! I was lazy and didn’t want to go find tape.

2. Some flowers are very juicy! Seems the thicker the flower, espically those with big middles, the juicier and messier they are. My first pounding ended up a wet gooey mess. I ended up having to take the middles out of any daisy like flowers, take off the stems of the succulent type flowers, and place the flowers further apart on the paper to start. I also learned reallllllly quicky to tap gently, not smash the flowers (contrary to the craft name!) unless you wanted to be wiping flower juice off of everything. (see section)

3. Tapping a piece of paper 100′s of times with a hammer triggers wrist pain…..I think next time I’ll use a sledgehammer (bigger surface area to tap with).

4. Some yellow flowers tapped into brown mushy messes. I ended up doing a test page of one or two petals of each flower type to see the results and discarding flowers from plants that didn’t smash well. (see section)

5. You have to make sure the surface underneath your paper can handle being smacked by a hammer… my garage floor was starting to show some wear, so if you value the area you might want to find another place. I highly recommend not trying this on your new hardwood floors!

Results
WARNING: Make sure the smashings are DRY before putting on the scanner bed. Gently brush off the loose pieces or it takes *forever* to get them off the scanning glass………..trust me……..

I did notice a bit of fading, and I imagine over time the paper smashings would change color due to oxygen exposure. I immediatly scanned/photographed mine to preserve the colors. I’m thinking that self adhesive laminating might be a good protector. After the smashings
have dried completely so there are no gooshy flower pieces hanging on, you might be able to run them through a hot heat type laminator. I have not tried this yet so flower smashers beware! The heat may alter the colors (definetly will if you don’t let them dry).

I ended up with some pretty cool designs……

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