How to Make Plantable Seed Paper

Plantable seed paper with seedlings

 The Spruce / Kate Pullen

Overview
  • Working Time: 60 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Seed paper is produced by mixing recycled paper pulp with seeds and pressing the mixture into a shape. You can use plain white paper, newspaper, tissue paper, cardboard, and most other types of paper (besides paper with a glossy finish) to create the pulp. The process is quick and easy, and it doesn't require any special equipment. But it can be messy and wet, so it's important to work on a protected surface. The end result is a textured paper with a more natural look than store-bought options. Plus, seed paper can even be planted in soil where the seeds should grow if the soil is kept moist. Seed paper is excellent to use for gift tags and cards. Be sure to include directions for the recipient that they can plant the paper, and tell them which seeds you used.

Tip

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.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic wrap or parchment paper
  • Cookie cutters (optional)
  • Paper towels or cloth
  • Hairdryer (optional)

Materials

  • 2 parts water
  • 1 part paper
  • Plant seeds of your choosing

Instructions

  1. Make the Seed Paper Pulp

    Tear the paper into small pieces, and place it in the blender. Then, add twice as much water as paper. (For example, if the paper reaches the 1 cup mark on the blender, add 2 cups of water.) Blend the paper into a pulp, and then transfer it to the mixing bowl. Squeeze the water from the pulp, and make sure there aren't any large chunks of paper in it.

    Next, add a handful of seeds to the paper pulp. The number of seeds required will depend on the type of seeds you use and the finished effect you are looking for. For instance, if you have somewhat large seeds you might not want to use that many of them. Or perhaps you prefer for the paper to be dotted with many seeds.

    Mix the seeds into the pulp using your hands or a spoon. Don't use the blender, which can damage the seeds.

    adding seeds to paper pulp
    The Spruce / Kate Pullen
  2. Press the Seed Paper Pulp Into Shape

    If you are using cookie cutters as molds to make specific paper shapes, place them onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then, press the paper pulp firmly inside the cookie cutters for even coverage, and remove the cookie cutters.

    If you aren't using cookie cutters, simply press the paper pulp on plastic wrap or parchment paper into your desired shape. Try to spread the pulp fairly thin, as a thick layer will take longer to dry. Use a paper towel or cloth to press as much water as possible from the pulp.

    pressing seed pulp into a heart shape
    The Spruce / Kate Pullen
  3. Leave the Paper to Dry and Finish as Desired

    Drying the seed paper quickly is essential. Otherwise, the seeds might start to sprout. Place the seed paper in a warm environment, and ensure that air can circulate around it. Blowing the seed paper with a hairdryer on the cool setting can help it≠ to dry.

    When the seed paper is thoroughly dry it can be finished as desired. For instance, you can decorate it with stamps or writing utensils. And you can punch a hole in it, through which you can feed a ribbon or string to use the paper as a gift tag.

    handmade plantable seed paper gift tag on a bottle of wine
    The Spruce / Kate Pullen

Tips for Making Seed Paper

  • Press rubber stamps into 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, custom finishing touch. It's best to use a simple stamp versus one with many details, as all of the details might not show on the rough paper surface.
  • Keep the seed paper trimmings when you cut it into your preferred shape. These can 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.