CREATIVE FAMILY FUN: Make pounded pansy pouches

By Donna Erickson

A mother places her son’s crafty pansy pounch around his neck. (Photo by Donna Erickson)

I don’t know a young child who doesn’t love a hammer. Watch when kids grab one tightly in both small hands, lift it high and pound. Thud! They see it do something. It might only be a nick on a board, or, if lucky, they’ll hit a nail square on. Throughout the action, it’s a thrilling feeling of control and an introduction to the adult world.

Hammers can be the perfect tool for kids to make imprints of fragile flowers, too. When they tap, tap, tap a wax-paper-covered flower on fabric, they magically see the bloom’s natural colors and shapes appear right before their eyes.

No wonder families recently filled the benches at a craft booth at our local weekend farmer’s market. Pounding natural designs of violet pansies onto fabric was the first step. Then the children learned to hand-sew pouches with simple stitches after the pounding. Even some preschoolers could sew handily with adult assistance.

Here’s how:

  1. Cut two pieces of plain white cotton or muslin fabric 2 3/4 inch wide by 3 inches long with pinking shears.
  2. Put one of the fabric pieces on a cutting board or a flat piece of wood. Carefully set a fresh pansy bloom in the middle of the fabric — front side down and stem side up. Cover it with a sheet of wax paper and hammer over the wax-paper-covered flower until its color has been absorbed into the fabric. Remove the wax paper and pansy to reveal the natural, colorful floral design.
  3. It’s time to sew the two fabric pieces together to form the neck pouch. Thread a large needle with a 30-inch length of embroidery floss. Stack the fabric pieces with the floral print on top and, beginning at the top right corner, sew the sides and bottom together with a running stitch. Guide your child’s hands when needed. When complete, remove the needle and knot the end of the floss to the starting corner of the pouch.

Place the pouch around your child’s neck and put a coin or some treasure inside.

For more ideas about crafting with natural materials, visit


Find more family fun at Write to Donna at


© 2022 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.