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Summer Beach shares how you can preserve summer blooms on a Nature Print T-shirt

June 12, 2019 3 min read

Summer is here and so are all the beautiful blooms . . . but before those flowers wilt in the dog days of summer, you can preserve them!

Summer Beach is back today to share how she and Ulysses preserve the stunning summer blooms to wear around and cheer each other up all winter long.

Let's see how...

How to Preserve Flowers with a Nature Print T-shirt

Nature Print T-shirts from Sassafras Science

Hi-ya peeps! Many people we know collect and press summer blooms in a journal and we think that is one fantastic way. In fact, here's our preferred method of pressing flowers.

But, today Ulysses and I want to share with you all another method of preserving leaves and flowers that will allow you to wear them around and cheer each other up all winter long.

How can you do this? Through nature prints!!

What you'll need

You are going to need the following:

  • A large White T-shirt (100% cotton)
  • Cardboard
  • Live Flowers and Leaves
  • Masking Tape
  • Newspaper or Towels
  • Hammer
  • A Brave Adult

Once you have what you need, here is what you do...

How to make your nature print T-shirt

  1. Begin by heading outside for a walk. While on your walk, collect a few live leaves or flowers that you find interesting or beautiful. Dead leaves or flowers won’t work as well because the pressed items need to be alive and full of water to best transfer their color. (Note: Please make sure that you only harvest flowers and leaves from your own garden or from ones that you have permission to take from. We don't want to encourage nature swiping!)
  2. Once you get home, place the cardboard inside of the T-shirt so that it is under the area that you want to transfer your design. Next, arrange your leaves and flowers in the pattern you desire and cover each of them completely with masking tape.
  3. Lay out several sheets of newspaper or a towel to protect the surface you are working on. Then place your fabric with the tape side up on top of the newspaper.
  4. Brave Adults Only: Use the hammer to pound over each of the design until the colors have been completely transferred. Set the T-shirt aside to dry.  (Caution: Make certain that all fingers are clear of the hammer and that the surface you are using is one you don’t mind being indented as hammers can do damage.)
  5. Once the T-shirt is dry, remove the tape along with the used leaves and flowers. The T-shirt should now have the same color and pattern that was on the leaf or flower transferred to the fabric.  (Note: Ulysses and I wear our T-shirts underground and over clothes. We and don't wash them because we wear them over other stuff. The impressions can fade quickly, so keep them out of the sun and water.)

Why this works

Flowers and leaves are made up of thousands of tiny little blocks we call plant cells. These cells have a very strong, rigid wall that keeps all of the contents inside. 

Inside each of the building blocks are chemicals called pigments that give the leaf or flower its color. When the foliage was hit with the hammer, the cell wall was broken. The interior pigments were released, leaving a perfect imprint of the leaf or flower. 

The reason you can see such detail is due to the fact that each individual cell contains slightly different pigments, giving the leaf or flower a rich depth of color.

Wrapping it up 

Wow, we can't wait to make our own nature prints t-shirts!! We might even try using one of the blooms off of a Sassafras tree...

If you try this out, take a pic and share it with us by tagging @sassafrassci. We would love to see your creations!!


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