Looking for an out-of-the-box creative activity that combines your love of growing things with crafting? Seed paper is a fun project that’s perfect for all ages. You can make it as a fun winter project getting ready for spring. The seed paper can be great to make for personalized wedding invitations, birth announcements, or other special events. You could even use the paper you make as gift tags for birthdays and other holidays. Seed paper is an easy craft that doesn’t need expensive materials and gives you an opportunity to spread flowers.
Things You’ll Need
There are a few things that you’ll need to make your seed paper. First, you’ll need paper. The great thing about this craft is that you can use this project to recycle some of the materials out of your recycling bin. You can use newspaper, bills, cardboard, and other paper that can be recycled. You’ll also need a pitcher of warm water, a blender, waxed paper, towels, screen material, an embroidery hoop, sponge, spoon, and a mixing bowl. Some optional items to gather for this craft include food coloring, markers, and cookie cutters.
You’ll also need seeds to use. When making seed paper, the smaller the seeds, the better. Herb seeds, vegetable seeds, or flower seeds are all good candidates for a project like this, but native wildflowers can be a fun choice because grow well in a variety of areas. Seed bombs often rely on wildflowers for this same reason.
If you are planning to mail out your final results to friends, add a little note on the paper letting the recipient know what kind of seeds they can expect to see when they plant it.
Prepare Your Area
Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, you’ll want to prepare your area. Making seed paper can be messy, so you may want to add some plastic under the towels and wax paper. Have all of your tools close by, so you don’t have to stop the fun to find your cookie cutter.
Creating the Paper Pulp
The first step is often one of the most fun, but it does take some time. You’ll want to cut up or tear up the paper and cardboard you’re going to use for your seed paper. Once it’s in smaller pieces, you’ll want to use the pitcher of water to soak the paper. This process can take a few hours at least, or you can leave it to sit overnight.
Your paper should be saturated now, but it's still just a goopy mess at this stage. Run it through the blender to make the pulp while making sure that your paper has plenty of water in it. The goal is to keep the mixture wet enough that it won't gum up your blender but not so saturated that it just becomes a watery, paper soup.
All that water will need to be squeezed out after you’ve mixed the pulp up thoroughly. A good tip is to add water gradually as you go along to make sure that the paper blends evenly. Make sure that you break up any lumps or bumps in the paper. When you can no longer tell that your mixture was originally paper, you’re ready to put it into the mixing bowl. You can add a few drops of food coloring at this point if you’d like a different color from the color of the paper you recycled, or if you'd like to spread your garden's wealth around even more you can create natural dyes from other colorful plants in the garden.
Adding the Seeds
At this point, you can add the seeds to the paper pulp mixture. The number of seeds you’ll use will depend on the plants you’re incorporating into the paper and how close you want the seedlings. In general, you’ll want to add a handful of seeds and mix it in. You’ll want to mix the seeds into the pulp evenly to prevent it from clumping up in one area and leaving other portions of your seed paper without any seeds. Be sure to mix it using your hands or a spoon as putting the seeds into the blender can damage them.
Straining Your Pulpy Mixture
You’ll want to pour your paper mixture onto the filter and try to squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. You can use a spatula or a spoon to press the pulp against the screen to strain it further.
Shaping Your Seed Paper
After you’ve strained the pulp and the seeds, it’s time to make your paper. You can either create sheets using your own creativity, or you can spoon the pulp into the cookie cutters to create shapes that are perfect for gift tags. Start by laying out your towel on a flat surface. Spread the pulp onto the fabric of the surface. A sponge can be helpful here as it not only helps to remove additional water from the seed paper pulp but also flattens the paper out. Once the first side is dry, you’ll want to flip the paper over to allow the other side to dry. After it’s dry, you’re ready to decorate it, gift it, or plant it.
Planting Your Seed Paper
When you’re ready to plant the paper, just put it on the soil where you want it to be and sprinkle some dirt on top of the paper. This layer should be about a quarter inch of dirt or so. Water the seed paper, and work on keeping the seeds moist before they sprout.
Seed paper is a fun craft for everyone that’s not overly complicated. Kids will love being able to make a paper that they can color and then later plant to see how the seedlings grow. Even adults will get a kick out of paper that will sprout later. This nice touch can help brighten up someone’s day.