Plant seeds using a new method this year! Combine your love of crafting with gardening and recycling by making handmade seed paper that will blossom for summer.
- Assorted Paper (no glossy finish)
- Tissue Paper
- Wildflower Seeds
- Mixing Bowl
- Large Spoon
- Kitchen Towels
- Parchment Paper
- Rolling Pin
Step 1: Gather an assortment of paper that has a matte finish. Glossy finish paper will not work for this project! Rip the paper into small pieces and place them into a bowl.
Step 2: Pour water into the bowl until all of the paper is submerged. Soak the paper overnight.
Step 3: Place the soaked paper in a blender. Add water and blend. If needed, add more water until it blends into a pulp that looks similar to oatmeal. Slowly mix tissue paper into the blender until you achieve your desired color. We suggest using an old or inexpensive blender that is not used for food.
Step 4: Place the pulp back into the mixing bowl. Sprinkle seeds into the pulp and gently mix with a spoon. Do not put seeds in the blender. That will destroy the seeds, and they will not grow.
Step 5: Lay down a kitchen towel onto a waterproof, solid surface. Place spoonfuls of pulp onto the towel. Spread the pulp with the back of the spoon as much as possible.
Step 6: Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the paper. Using a rolling pin, gently but firmly roll and press the excess water from the paper pulp. Switch out the towel for a dry one as needed.
Step 7: Once most of the water has been pressed out, flip the paper onto a dry towel and allow it to dry. Flip the paper as it dries to speed up the drying process.
Step 8: When it is time to plant, place the paper on slightly compact soil. Add an ⅛ inch of soil over the top of the paper. Water the soil. Place the planted seed paper in a sunny location and keep the soil moist.
Ideas to take your seed paper to the next level:
- Cut your seed paper into fun shapes, such as butterflies, flowers, and hearts, and use them as gift tags.
- Fold the seed paper sheets in half and use them as greeting cards for special occasions.
Learning and Discussion:
1. Some people take seed paper to the next level! This Business Insider article tells the story of a small startup, established by university student Gonzalo Mestre, on turning residual cotton from the textile industry into plantable seed paper.
2. Before machines made paper, people made paper by hand. This brief article by the American Forest and Paper Association highlights handmade to modern-day mills.
Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!