ClickCease Hapa-Zome: The Art of Pounding Flowers – Wilder Child
Hapa-Zome: The Art of Pounding Flowers

Hapa-Zome: The Art of Pounding Flowers

My daughter loves art and smashing things (yep), so I have wanted to try hapa-zome with her for a long time. The term means "leaf-dye" in Japanese, and was coined by India Flint, author of Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles. This was simple, fun, physical and the results were stunning. Just head outside with your hammers and give it a try!

  • Cloth or paper
  • A hammer (we couldn't find ours, so we used a rock!)
  • Some flowers, leaves or other plants. Make it more wild and free time by encouraging the kids collect the plants and colors they are drawn to.
WHAT YOU DO 1. Place the cloth or piece of paper on a hard surface (we used a log).2. Arrange the plant material on the fabric or paper.3. Fold over the cloth or paper and have the kids start to hammer! If you want to protect the cloth more, you can put a piece of paper over it before pounding.4. Open the cloth and remove the plant material.5. Let dry.

Hapa-zome smashing flowers art activity for kids

WHAT WE LEARNED Next time we will try just using the petals, because I think the stems caused some of the darker areas. There are other things you can do to improve the quality and technique such as using a pre-mordant on the cloth, but simpler is better for us these days. If things take too long to set up, the kids just run away into the forest (which is just as well :) )

Below is our result using just a piece of paper. When we got inside my daughter asked if she could smash a few blue berries on it, and the color from them turned out amazing! It ended up looking like a butterfly, so we talked about mirror images and symmetry found in nature.
Hapa zome kids are activity

MORE LOVELY STUFF If you are as hooked as us, here are some other hapa-zome projects to try:

- Hapa-zome book mark
- Make a greeting card

Did you try it? Head on over the the Wilder Child Facebook and post a picture of your results!


Hapa-zome art technique - pound some flowers with the kids!

Your Woman Gone Wild,

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  • Yes, ours went a bit brown but it’s still got some color to it (the brown also may be due to the materials we chose). If you add a mordant, it will most likely hold its color better, It’s dried and doesn’t smell at all…right now it’s in the playroom and the kids use it for all sorts of things.

  • This looks really good for small children as it is so physical, rough and simple. But I wonder what you do with the cloth later – does it go brown or start to smell bad? do you just recycle it or can it be used for another project?

    Sarah DIXON

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