Making seed paper allows your child to make a useful and pretty gift, and it’s a great way to recycle paper that may end up in the landfill otherwise. Please note: this is a messy project so you might want to work outside or protect your work surfaces.
What You Need:
• Waste paper. Printer paper, junk mail, and construction paper are great choices. Avoid shiny paper such as magazines.
• Blender or food processor
• Window screening
• Embroidery hoop or an old wooden frame and staples if you are using loose screening
• An old plastic storage bin large enough to hold the screen
• Towels or thick pieces of felt
• Tiny seed such as alyssum or poppy, or herb seed such as basil or dill
• Colored pencils or crayons to decorate finished pieces
What To Do:
•Tear several sheets of paper into tiny pieces or use a cross cut shredder.
•Cover the paper with water and soak for several hours until the paper is mushy.
•When saturated with water, place the paper mush in the blender and cover with water.
•Blend until the mixture has the consistency of oatmeal and you cannot read any of the words on the paper.
•Remove the mix from your blender and pour it into your plastic bin.
If you are using loose screening, cut a piece of screen large enough to fit in the embroidery hoop. If you are using a window screen, just use a corner. If you are using an old picture frame, staple the screen to the back of the frame. Spread out the towel or felt onto a protected surface.
Mix in a handful of tiny flower or herb seeds with the paper pulp by hand. Do not use the blender to mix in the seed. Work quickly so seeds do not absorb water.
Dip the screen into your paper pulp mixture. Spread the paper pulp on the screen making sure the entire screen is covered with pulp. Alternative method: with a large spoon slowly pour the mixture on the screen making sure the screen is covered with the paper mixture.
Let the screen drain and gently press with a towel or fingers to remove some water. Carefully tip the frame over and onto a thick towel, pulp side down. With another towel, press the back of the screen to remove excess water until the paper releases from the screen. You may need to use a spoon or butter knife to release the paper.
Cover with another towel and squeeze to remove water until it is dry enough to handle.
When the paper is dry enough to handle, move it to a different towel, drying mat or cookie rack to dry completely. When the paper is dry, draw a design or write a poem on your seed paper and give it to a friend or relative.
Make sure you give your friend or relative these planting directions:
1. Rake up soil.
2. Place paper on the ground and cover with ¼ inch of soil.
3. New seeds should sprout in two weeks.