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How to Make Seed Paper and Plantable Gift Tags
Seed paper gift tags and other paper items make a great gift! Use this simple papermaking process to make plantable paper. The finished handmade seed paper can be cut and decorated with rubber stamps as required and when it is finished, and the recipient simply plants the paper and the seeds will grow.
The seed paper is produced using paper pulp that is mixed with seeds before being pressed into shape. The paper pulp is made from pieces of recyclable paper. This includes newspaper and junk mail (although this will give a gray finish), computer and printer paper, cardboard from egg boxes or the inside of toilet rolls, tissue paper and many other types of paper with the exception of glossy paper as this is difficult to pulp.
This is a simple paper making process and doesn't use any special equipment. This creates a textured paper, which is more rustic looking and less refined than professionally produced papers; however, this adds to the charm of handmade plantable seed paper.
Types of Seeds Used to Make Plantable Paper
Small seeds are best for plantable paper. This can include flower seeds, a wildflower mix or even herbs and vegetables. Use this technique to make plantable gift tags, embellishments for handmade cards or a variety of other gifts and projects. Remember to add a note and instructions so that the recipient knows what to do with the plantable paper.
Supplies Required to Make Plantable Seed Paper at Home
- Paper to make paper pulp
- Mixing bowl and hand blender
- Towels or cloths
- Cookie cutters to make tag shapes if required
- A piece of plastic sheet or parchment paper
This is a messy and wet process; therefore, it is best to work on a well-protected work surface. Summer is ideal for making paper using this technique as the hot weather helps the paper to quickly dry.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Make Paper Pulp
Tear the paper into small pieces and leave to soak until the paper is fully saturated. This can take a couple of hours, or you can let it soak overnight. Use a hand blender to blend the paper into a pulp. Squeeze the water from the pulp; all lumps should be removed at this stage and the paper pulp should be well mixed.
Add a handful of seeds to the paper pulp. The number of seeds required will depend on the type of seeds used and the finished effect that you are looking for. Mix the seeds well using your hands or a spoon. Do not use the hand blender otherwise you will damage the seeds.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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Press the Paper Pulp Into Shape
If you are using cookie cutters as molds to make plantable seed gift tags, place the cookie cutter onto a piece of plastic sheet or parchment paper and press the paper pulp firmly to get an even coverage. If you are not using a cookie cutter as a mold, press the paper into the required shape. Do not make the paper too thick as this will take longer to dry. Use a towel to press as much water as possible from the paper pulp.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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Leave to Dry and Finish as Required
Drying the seed paper quickly is essential, otherwise, the seeds will start to grow. Place the seed paper in a warm but not hot environment and ensure that air can circulate around it is the best way to get the paper to dry quickly. Blowing the seed paper with a hair dryer on a cool setting will also help the paper to dry. When the seed paper is thoroughly dry it can be finished as required. Decorate the gift tag with a rubber stamp or two to give an attractive finish. Attach the gift tag with a ribbon or thread.
Tips for Making Seed Paper
- Use rubber stamps to impress the surface of the wet seed paper pulp before leaving it to dry. This can give an interesting texture to the paper and create an attractive finishing touch.
- The finished seed paper will have a rough surface. If you stamp the surface of the finished seed paper with a detailed stamp, all the detail may not show. Try using an unmounted stamp and pressing the stamp onto the surface with your fingers.
- Keep the off-cuts of the seed paper. These could be added to natural confetti for a wedding or simply packaged in a small bag to give as a gift.