Pebble and scribble

Creative and fun craft ideas for children

Mini Well dressing

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Our mini well dressing

Our mini well dressing

We decided to make our own mini well dressing, to coincide with the well dressings being up and around in the villages in the Peak District where I grew up. I was explaining to Ted that well dressings are a summer tradition when local people get together to create beautiful pictures with flower petals pressed into clay to celebrate the supply of water through wells to the villages. He was fascinated by this idea, and keen to have a go. It also seemed really relevant because in the recent spell of hot weather we had been talking about how important water is to us all. Making our own mini well dressing had lots of stages, which was great for Ted to try out different techniques. He wanted the design to be of our hands, so we drew around them and used the traditional technique used for well dressings of pricking out the design from paper onto clay, which Ted enjoyed. We also went on a hunt round the garden to collect flowers, and took the petals off to press into the design. Pressing the petals, seeds, rice and lentils into the clay really required lots of concentration and was also great for helping Ted develop fine motor skills.

Materials

  • Wooden board
  • Bowl to soak board in
  • Clay
  • Rolling pin
  • Paper
  • Cocktail stick
  • Flower petals, seeds, rice, grains

How we made it

  1. Soak a small wooden board in water – for real well dressings they soak then for about seven days, but once we started we got impatient and only soaked for several hours
  2. Prepare clay
  3. Press clay onto board to cover it
  4. Use rolling pin to roll clay flat onto board
  5. Draw outline of a design onto paper
  6. Place paper over clay and using cocktail stick, prick holes through design through to clay
  7. Remove paper to reveal design pricked out onto clay
  8. Collect flower petals, seeds, rice, grains, moss etc
  9. Press collection of flowers into your clay to create a colourful picture
Soak wooden board in water

Soak wooden board in water

Prepare clay

Prepare clay

Push clay onto board

Push clay onto board

Push clay onto board

Push clay onto board

Roll clay

Roll clay

Draw design on paper

Draw design on paper

Prick design through paper

Prick design through paper

Collect flower petals

Collect flower petals

Our collection of flowers

Our collection of flowers

Pressing petals into clay

Pressing petals into clay

Pressing thyme into clay

Pressing thyme into clay

Putting lentils into clay

Putting lentils into clay

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