A Garden Gift that Keeps on Giving: DIY Seed Paper
Hi there, and welcome to my virtual studio, where I’ll lead you through a favorite childhood project of mine: making paper! This time around, though, I’m putting my own spin on it by adding seeds freshly harvested from famous summer showstoppers. I can’t imagine a better way to say “hello” or “thank you” than giving a good friend a little piece of your garden! :)
Above, you can see the different varieties of seed pods I was able to scavenge from the garden: Calendula, California poppies, opium poppies, cornflowers, Shirley poppies, Sweet William, clarkia, bachelor’s buttons, painted sage, Queen Anne’s Lace, and feverfew. I wanted to let you see what the seed pods look like next to their flowers so you can forage within your own backyard. As you can see, the flowers you will get from this seeded paper make quite a striking and colorful bouquet!
This project only calls for common household items (blender, old paper, bowl, mesh strainer, an empty wine bottle, kitchen towels, and a drying rack).
Step One: Gather old newspaper or discarded paper from your office. Shred into small pieces and allow to soak in water overnight. (Optional: Add berries or other garden goodies to give your paper a natural color. I squished up some blackberries for a subtle indigo tint.)
Step Two: Place wet paper pieces in a blender. I found that you need to add quite a lot of water in order to ensure even blending.
Step Three: Once you achieve a fine pulp (something like oatmeal, yum…), go ahead and empty the contents of the blender into a shallow bowl.
Step Four: At this point you can add more water if needed and sprinkle your flower seeds into the mixture. Small seeds work best for this project.
Step Five: Grab a handful of seeded paper pulp and squeeze between your hands to get rid of any excess water. Next use the palm of your hand to squeeze the paper patty against the mesh “flame-tamer” (per the label on the strainer… fancy!!).
Step Six: Once you have gotten rid of most of the moisture, place the mesh “flame-tamer” and pulp patty between two kitchen towels. Use an empty wine bottle (I know, we use only the finest of materials in our kitchen) to flatten your patty into a thin sheet.
Step Seven: Use any fun objects you can find around the house (cups, cookie cutters, plastic boxes, etc) to create shapes. As you can see below, I used a cup to create a nice circles. Simply press your object onto the sheet of paper and scrape around the sides.
Step Eight: Carefully move the paper shape from the mesh strainer onto your hand, set on a drying rack, and allow to dry overnight.
The next day, you’ll have a nice set of seeded paper gift tags, business cards, love notes… you name it!
I chose to use one rectangular tag as a business card. Whatever you choose to do with the paper tags, be sure to let the recipients know that they are meant to be planted! All they need to do is wait for the last chance of frost to pass, plant the paper under a shallow layer of dirt (1 inch-ish), keep moist, and watch it sprout!
So there you have it, discarded newspaper turned into paper bearing flowers for seasons to come. I’ll try to do a post in the next few weeks outlining the planting procedure and the seed-growing outcome!
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial for a garden gift that keeps on giving! :)