Looking to add something unique to your special day? By using found flowers (better yet, pick or buy local blooms), you can make two beautiful creations: hammer-dyed floral napkins and pressed flower signs to take your tablescape from boring to beautiful. Maddie Ward of Sonnet Weddings created these floral masterpieces as a part of our Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Weddings in Arkansas. Now, she will be teaching us, too. Follow the steps below for each DIY!
Check out the full styled shoot and more inspiration on page 21 in print or view online here.
Hammer-Dyed Floral Napkins
Supplies: Pre-shrunk fabric pieces, hammer, hard surface, flowers and other plants, iron
*Note: This dyeing technique isn’t super permanent. The natural dye from the flowers will fade every time you wash the material or put it out in the sun. It’s a super ephemeral and beautiful way to enjoy seasonal flowers!
Step one: Prep your material
Start by ironing your material. Cotton or other natural materials seem to work best. For this project I used muslin that was cut into napkin-sized squares, and then washed and pre-shrunk.
Step two: Gather your flowers and greens
Choose flowers that look like they have lots of natural pigment. If you’re not sure, pinch them between your fingers and see if the flower stains. Also, gather plenty of greenery! I used all sorts of seasonal early-summer flowers and mint. It smelled so good!
Step three: Sandwich the flowers between two layers of fabric and smash with a hammer!
Put down your first piece of material on a hard surface that can be hammered on (I’d recommend a sidewalk, piece of scrap wood, etc.), then arrange your flowers and greens randomly or in a pattern. Put them close together or even overlapping for a very colorful result, or just in a few spots for a more subdued look. Top with your second piece of material. As you smash the flowers, they will dye both pieces of material. Smash with a hammer! You know you’re doing it right when you start seeing the dye come through the top layer.
Step four: Remove as much of the leftover flower and greenery pulp as possible
It can be easier to remove the smashed bits if you wait for them to dry. I would not recommend wetting the material unless you want some of the pigment to be washed out or bleed/spread.
Step five: Enjoy!
Use or display your project and enjoy!
Pressed Flower Sign
Supplies: Floating photo frame, flowers, white paint marker
Step one: Paint your photo frame
I decided to do a table number, so I printed out a pretty cursive script number as well as the word “table” in a fun font. I put the printed out papers behind the frame and then traced the letters and numbers on the very front piece of glass. The white paint marker dries quickly, but can be removed with nail polish remover if you want to start again or if you mess up! Once it was dry, I removed the papers from behind and it looked like I freehanded a very beautiful sign!
Step two: Add your flowers and greens
Open the floating photo frame and add your flowers and greens in whatever pattern you’d like. There are no rules for how to do this, but I’d recommend not putting white flowers behind white letters as it gets hard to see the letters. Experiment until you like how it looks, then close your frame!
Step three: Enjoy!
That’s it! This is such a fun and easy project. Some flowers will stay looking lovely for a number of days or will dry and be beautiful for a long time. Other flowers might wilt or lose their color so if this is for wedding day, I’d do a trial run well in advance or do this project a day or less before the big day.
Thanks again to Maddie of Sonnet Weddings for sharing these tutorials!