Skip to Content

Pounded Flower Tote Bag for Mother’s Day

Did you know that you can dye fabric by pounding flowers? This unique flower tote bag makes a perfect Mother’s Day gift – and the kids will love creating it!

Skills Required: None. Children can make the project, however it will require preparation and finishing by an adult. It’s simple and will keep kids busy for awhile.

Decorate a bag with flower pounding

I saw a tutorial for flower hammering/pounding a while back, and I knew that I just had to try it with my kids. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I thought we’d make some prints on a tote bag for a fun Mother’s Day gift.

A tote bag is perfect since you don’t really have to wash it, and the natural flower dyes are less likely to fade away. These were so fun and easy for the kids to make, and they turned out really beautiful!

Flower Tote Bag

Supplies needed:

  • Cotton tote – Note that this is a thinner cotton tote, not canvas. I think canvas would be too rough, so I found this thinner one at Hobby Lobby
  • Alum powder – I bought this online
  • Rubber gloves
  • Parchment paper
  • Masking tape
  • Flowers
  • Board
  • Hammer
White canvas tote, wood board, flowers, hammer, parchment paper

To help the natural dyes take to the fabric, you need to prepare the bag first. Wash the bag to get rid of any residue. Next, dissolve 1/4 cup of alum in 2 cups of hot water. Soak the bag in the mixture, wring it out, and let it air dry.

Do not wash or rinse the bag again before dyeing. Iron it to get out all of the wrinkles. When using the alum, make sure to wear your gloves and don’t use any utensils or containers that are going to come in contact with food later.

Blank canvas tote and bag of alum

Once your bag is ready, slip a piece of wax or parchment paper inside to keep the flower dye from leaking through.

Place a piece of wax paper between two layers of a tote

Gather your flowers and leaves. The smaller ones that we used are marigolds and petunias, but I’m not sure what the other ones are. The marigolds definitely worked the best. I love the bright orange!

If the flower is really full, with lots of layers of petals, you’ll want to pluck a bunch off first, so the prints come out nicer. I left the green stems on the the flowers, but told the kids not to hammer them.

You can try to take them off, but I didn’t want the flowers to fall apart. Lay your flowers out on the bag, and secure them with lots of masking tape.

Tape flowers down on a tote

Put the bag on top of your board and hammer away! Be careful with any extra “juicy” plants. The leaves we used splattered if you hit them too hard, and I even got squirted with one! The kids thought that was hilarious.

Also make sure you hit every part of the flowers. At first we had some flower prints that turned out just looking like a bunch of dots/hammer marks. It’s a good idea to try it out on some scrap fabric or paper first.

Child pounding flowers on a canvas tote with a hammer

Peel the flowers and tape off to reveal your print! So exciting!

DIY pounded flower tote

We added some more flowers and even a few random petals here and there.

Tote with flowers taped on top

When you are done, let everything dry, then put another piece of parchment paper on top of the bag and iron over your design with a hot, dry iron on the highest setting. This will help the colors set in and keep them from fading.

You should be able to wash your tote just fine; obviously don’t use any bleach, and cold water is preferred.

DIY Mother's Day tote bag

This flower tote bag was seriously such a great craft for the kids (and me). You have to try it out and make a Mother’s Day gift of your own! I want to plant more flowers just so we can make more pretty designs!

Yield: 1 tote

Flower Tote Bag

Did you know that you can dye fabric by pounding flowers? This unique craft project makes a perfect Mother's Day gift - and the kids will love creating it!

Learn how to make a DIY flower tote with real flowers! This is a fun craft for kids, and makes a great gift.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $2

Materials

  • Cotton tote
  • Alum powder
  • Parchment paper
  • Masking tape
  • Flowers

Tools

  • Rubber gloves
  • Board
  • Hammer

Instructions

  1. To help the natural dyes take to the fabric, you need to prepare the bag first. Wash the bag to get rid of any residue.
  2. Dissolve 1/4 cup of alum in two cups of hot water. Soak the bag in the mixture, wring it out, and let it air dry. Iron to get out the wrinkles.
  3. Slip a piece of parchment paper inside to keep the dye from leaking through.
  4. Gather flowers and leaves. Pluck some of the petals off to make the flowers more flat.
  5. Lay your flowers out on the bag, and secure them with lots of masking tape.
  6. Put the bag on top of your board and hammer away. Make sure you hit every part of the flowers.
  7. Peel the flowers and tape off to reveal your print. Add some additional flowers in random areas and hammer as needed.
  8. Let everything dry, then put another piece of parchment paper on top of the bag and iron over your design with a dry iron on the hottest setting. This will help the colors set in and keep them from fading.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!


For more crafts like this, check out the following ideas – these are some of my favorite for Mother’s Day:

Tote made with flower pounding

Looking for patriotic inspiration? Make this
Previous
4th of July Wreath Made in Fifteen Minutes!
Use your stash of wine corks to make your own DIYi cork board! This cute craft can be put on the wall, doorknob, or fridge (with magnets).
Next
DIY Cork Board (Mini) Made from Wine Corks!
Skip to Instructions