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GSCO STEM Club Activity: Pigment Transfer

Today, we’re going to learn how to use fresh flowers and leaves to create an imprint on a tote bag, T-shirt, tea towel, or watercolor paper. If you would like more activities like this one, join us every other week on Thursdays after school for one of GSCO’s STEM Clubs. For Daisy STEM Club, click here: https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/fall_2020_daisy_stem_club_virtual For Brownie and Junior STEM Club, click here: https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/fall_2020_brownie_junior_stem_club_virtual

You will need:

  1. Fresh flowers and leaves

  2. Rubber mallet or hammer

  3. Hard, smooth pounding surface, such as a wood cutting board or heavy cardboard pad

  4. Wax paper or plastic wrap to protect the cutting board surface

  5. Your canvas: T-shirt/banners/tea towel (heavy, un-textured cotton works best)or watercolor paper

  6. Goggles or protective eye wear

  7. Place a cutting board* or thick cardboard and mallet/hammer in front of each team of two people, or if making a smaller product such as a banner or tea towel, one per girl.

  8. Gather your flowers and leaves. It is best to use flowers with more delicate structure and those without a large/raised center.

  9. Place your preferred canvas on the pounding surface. 

  1. Arrange the flowers on one half of the cloth and fold the other half over to create a mirror image. If you prefer a singular image, place a piece of paper or scrap cloth on top of the flowers before pounding them. Remember, if you choose to do a mirror image, the SAME image will be on both halves of your canvas.

  2. Gently pound the flowers until the images show. Once you are satisfied with the images, you can open the cloth and remove the leaves and flowers.


** Note: If using a wooden cutting board, place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on the surface to prevent permanent staining of the board.  This is not necessary when using cardboard. 

Learn more about pigment transfer and natural dye:

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

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