Victorian Flower Pounding

Victorian Flower Pounding

In Victorian times flowers were a way to send an unspoken message.  White poppies for consolation, yellow poppies for wealth and success, myrtle for marriage, and orchids for mature charm (uhhh…thanks for the orchids…I think.)  To remember these messages Victorian ladies would pound the flowers into fabric or paper.

I have done that tonight with some pansies.  The language of pansies is “love in idleness” and being a free thinker.  I think that fits me perfectly.  My love is completely idle and I feel like I’m thinking practically for free being a teacher so pansies are perfect. Besides, that is the only thing I have blooming right now, so pansies it is.

This is a ten minute craft or you can be more elaborate and make a big display.  I opted for cute and small.  Besides these do eventually fade so you don’t want to make anything permanent like a quilt because you will have a blanket of brown dots in a year or two leaving everyone to wonder what your flower language message was intended to be.

Step 1

Pick a flower or two.

Step 2

Break off most of the stem so it will be as flat as possible.

Step 3

Place your flower face down on a piece of cotton fabric on top of a magazine or newspaper.  You can also place a paper towel or additional piece of fabric on the back. Place another thin magazine on top and then pound away with a rubber hammer.  A regular metal hammer works, too.

Step 4

Peel the flower off of the back of the fabric. Turn your fabric over and feast your eyes on this freethinking beauty.

Step 5

You can frame it or scan it to make a notecard.  I chose to make a small sachet to put in my linen closet.  Sew on a backing and stuff with a little fiberfill, spray with your favorite cologne or essential oil, and put it to work in your closet.

Sending messages through flowers has persisted for a century or more.  Nowadays, we all know when you get red roses, it means love.  But I believe you can even take that meaning a step deeper in these modern times.  For example, if you get florist roses it means true love and sacrifice.  If you get grocery store roses it means “Ooops, I probably forgot about this romantic occasion and you should feel lucky you’re getting anything at all.”  Worst of all are street corner flowers.  It means that the giver can’t even bother to get out of the car and will grab anything available.  Gentlefolk, take note. Always go to the florist.

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