Friday, 1 August 2014

Summer Seaweed Craft

Seaweed pressing is a very effective craft to do with your children after a trip to the seaside. Not only will they be making beautiful artwork, they will also be learning how to preserve seaweed samples just as scientists do.

It is a craft that would be a welcome extra to any of the Picture Book Explorers packs that accompany books with a seaside connection. Add it to your explorations of Picture Book Explorers~The Lighthouse Keepers Rescue or  Picture Book Explorers ~ The Mousehole Cat or Picture Book Explorers ~ Stone Girl, Bone Girl or Picture Book Explorers ~ Cedric's day at the Castle or Picture Book Explorers ~ Katie Morag and the New Pier

First of all, you need to go to the seaside :)
Whilst you are there, collect as many different types of seaweed as you can find and put them in a bucket of seawater. It helps if your bucket has a lid as you will need to transport bucket, seaweed and water back home. Keep the seaweed in the seawater until you come to press it. You will also need to collect a couple of large bottles of seawater too.

When you get home, you will need:
two A4 size pieces of wood (chopping boards work well)
some A4 size pieces of strong cardboard,
some greaseproof paper cut larger than A4,
two larger than A4 size trays,
some A4 watercolour paper,
a paintbrush,
a couple of canvas belts or some rope.

First prepare your press.
Lay the belts or rope under the one of the wooden boards and add the first layer of strong cardboard.

Pour some seawater in the bottom of one tray to a depth of 5cm/2".
Select your seaweed samples from the bucket and rinse them in the seawater in this tray. If your samples are large, you may want to cut small sections using the scissors.

Place your watercolour paper in the second tray and pour a small amount of seawater onto it, so that it is just covered.

Arrange your seaweed on your paper.

Get someone to help you lift the paper out of the tray and onto a sheet of strong cardboard.
You may need to use a paintbrush to tease some of the fronds apart.

Cover the whole picture in greaseproof paper, taking care not to disturb your arrangement.

Put your picture on its cardboard into the press and cover with another piece of cardboard.

Repeat the process until you have made as many pictures as you want.
Place the second wooden board on top of the pile of cardboard and fasten the whole thing together.
Tighten the belts/rope so that the cardboard is compressed and will not slip.
Leave for about a month.

As we did this activity less than a month ago, here is a picture of pressed seaweed that was made at an earlier workshop by one of the children in our local home educators group. We did this craft at our local home educators craft session. The organisers gave me their kind permission to write this post and share this activity :)

I'll show you the results of my children's projects when we get them back :) 

In the meantime, I would love to hear about your favourite seaside related craft :)


  1. Wow - what amazing colours and textures! I would never have thought to do this.
    Thanks for sharing at the Mumsnet linky.

  2. This is a lovely craft idea I only wish that we lived a little closer to the sea:)
    Thank you for linking up to this weeks #homeedlinkup

    1. We live nowhere near the sea, but we had a HE trip to Filey to collect fossils so we collected seaweed at the same time. Any excuse to go to the seaside if you ask me. It's the best place to get fish and chips ;)

  3. Nice article, thank you for the sharing