How to Make Seed Paper: Step-by-Step

seed paper

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Overview
  • 30 minutes - 45 minutes
  • 2 days - 3 days
  • 1 greeting card
  • Beginner
  • $20
  • Seed paper is post-consumer paper embedded with seeds. You can choose exactly what seeds to include, from herbs to vegetables to flowers, and what to create with it. After it has served its purpose — as an invitation, a thank you note, a DIY gift, or just a fun project — add a bit of soil and water and it will start to germinate and grow into a multifold of seedlings.

    What You'll Need

    Equipment

    • 1 piece of mesh material in a frame, such as a window screen or embroidery hoop
    • 1 blender
    • 1 rimmed pan large enough to fit the framed mesh
    • 1 spoon
    • 1 old towel or large piece of felt
    • 1 large bowl
    • 1 pair of scissors

    Materials

    • 1 cups non-glossy shredded paper (enough for one small greeting card's worth of paper)
    • 1 packet of seeds of your choosing
    • 1 large bowl of warm water
    • 1 natural food coloring (optional)

    Instructions

    1. Shred Your Paper

      Assemble your paper scraps and tear or cut them up into small bits. The largest pieces should not be bigger than a half-inch wide. A by kind of paper will do as long as it doesn't have a glossy finish.

    2. Soak

      The night before you plan to make the seed paper, take a large bowl and fill it with warm water. Add your shredded paper bits to the water and let them soak overnight.

    3. Blend to Make Paper Pulp

      In the blender, mix the soaked paper with a little bit of added water to create a paste. Blend until the paper becomes thick.

      Try to use an old blender if you can, as this process may dull the blades. If you don't have an old blender you no longer use for food, go searching at a Goodwill or community group to find a used blender for this project.

    4. Customize the Color

      To create colored paper, add a few drops of natural food coloring to the thick pulp and pulse the blender to distribute.

      Natural Dye

      To make coloring easier, you can apply a natural Easter egg dying liquid as the extra water used in the previous step. The color will be more diluted with this method.

    5. Pour Out the Pulp

      Set out your rimmed pan, such as a baking pan, and pour in your paper pulp, using a spoon to get everything out. If it is very thick or dry, add a bit of water to loosen it.

    6. Dip Your Mesh Into the Pulp

      You're going to need to create an even layer of pulp on your screen. To achieve this, take your framed window mesh and dip it into the pulp mixture so that the pulp sticks to the mesh. Flip over and check to make sure that you have a good layer of pulp. If necessary, spoon some of the extra pulp to cover it evenly.

      Keep in mind the size and shape of the paper you want to make when adding pulp onto your mesh.

    7. Lay Screen on a Towel

      Lay out your old towel or felt onto a flat surface. Place your mesh onto the towel, pulp up, allowing any extra moisture to get absorbed by the towel.

    8. Add Your Seeds

      Sprinkle your chosen seeds onto the pulp layered on the mesh. Make sure not to cover the pulp completely with seeds. Gently press the seeds into the pulp so they don't fall off when the paper dries. If you are feeling artistic, create a design as you add your seeds.

      Choosing Seeds

      Small seeds of a non-invasive wildflower or low-maintenance herbs or vegetables are ideal. Do a little research and select seeds that have a high germination rate to improve the chances of your seed paper sprouting. Something to keep in mind is that smaller seeds make writing on the paper easier.

    9. Let Your Paper Dry

      Take your framed mesh and flip it over so that the pulp is facing down but not touching the towel. Allow the paper pulp to gently fall off your mesh and onto the towel. Try not to disturb or peel off in order to avoid tearing the pulp. Let the paper dry on the towel for at least one day.

    10. Create!

      Check to make sure your paper is completely dry. If it has curled at all, place a few heavy books on top to smooth out the paper. Once it is to your liking, use the paper to create your project. Use the unseeded side to write messages or decorate.

    Planting Your Seed Paper

    Kids would love this DIY activity, especially when you are ready to germinate your seeds. Keep in mind what seeds you chose and their growing season. If your paper is very large, rip it into smaller pieces. If you already have a small piece of seed paper, you can put it directly into an empty bed or pot of soil. Cover the seed paper with a quarter-inch of additional potting soil. Water lightly, keeping the seeds wet while they sprout and grow roots.

    Uses of Seed Paper

    • Greeting cards
    • Invitations
    • Notepaper
    • Gifts
    • A fun class experiment
    • Biodegradable confetti
    • Gift tags or decor
    • Wedding favors
    • Envelopes
    • Painting paper
    • And so much more!