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Green Up Your Stationery With Seed Paper Sheets
Seed paper gift tags and notecards are fun to make and to receive. You'll use a simple papermaking process to make the plantable paper, then cut it to size and decorate it with rubber stamps. When it is finished, the recipient simply plants the paper and the seeds will grow.
The seed paper is produced using recycled paper pulp that is mixed with seeds before being pressed into shape. Use newspaper and junk mail (although this will give a gray finish), printer paper, cardboard from egg cartons or the inside of toilet rolls, tissue paper and most other types of paper––just avoid anything glossy as it is difficult to pulp.
This simple paper making process doesn't require any special equipment. The end result is a textured paper with a more natural look than store-bought options.
Types of Seeds Used to Make Plantable Paper
Small seeds are best for plantable paper, particularly if you plan to write on it. Flower seeds, a wildflower mix, or even herbs and vegetables will all work just fine, but remember to add a note and instructions so the recipient knows how to use the paper and what will grow from it.
Supplies Required to Make Seed Paper
- Paper, to make paper pulp
- Mixing bowl and blender
- Towels or cloths
- Cookie cutters to make tag shapes, if desired
- A piece of plastic wrap 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 dry quickly.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Make Paper Pulp
Tear the paper into small pieces and place it into the jar of the blender. Add twice as much water as paper––for example, if the paper reaches the one cup mark on the blender, add two cups of water. Blend the paper into a pulp, then transfer it to the mixing bowl. 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 you are looking for. Mix the seeds well using your hands or a spoon. Do not use the blender or 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 them onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and press the paper pulp firmly inside for even coverage. If you are not using a cookie cutter as a mold, press the paper into the desired 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 pulp.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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Leave to Dry and Finish as Desired
Drying the seed paper quickly is essential, otherwise, the seeds will start to sprout. Place the seed paper in a warm but not hot environment and ensure that air can circulate around it. Blowing the seed paper with a hairdryer on the 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 for an attractive finishing touch. Attach the gift tag with a ribbon or string.
Tips for Using Seed Paper
- Use rubber stamps to press 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 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 used as a natural, eco-friendly confetti for an outdoor party or simply packaged in a small bag to give as a gift to a gardener.