Plantable paper made with flower seeds and recycled paper
Ever tried to make your own paper? To celebrate this spring, I decided to have a go at making my own plantable paper, which is just handmade, recycled paper with seeds inside, so you can plant it ! This plantable paper is ideal for sending someone a little note, letter or postcard, with a little extra touch – the gift of flowers.
It’s not that difficult to make. You just mush up a lot of recycled paper or card, add some seeds and form the sheets of paper. I will even show you how to make your own screen fo making the paper out of a coat hanger and some old tights.
What you need :
- a wire Coat hanger
- some old tights
- A wide flat container or dish
- Scrap paper or card
- A blender
- Some seeds
- Optional : Other decorational items or dye. I used some red food dye to make my paper pink.You can also use cookie cutters to make different shapes.
Step 1: Make your screen
If you want to, you can buy a ready made screen in an art shop or online. This will make the paper making a bit easier, and will save you making your own. However, I decided to use what I had to hand – as usual – and made a makeshift screen out of an old coathanger and a pair of tights. Here’s how.
Take your metal coat hanger and bend it into a rectangular shape that will fit into your container or dish. Try and make your form as flat as possible. Then put the tights over this shape, making sure to pull the fabric tight before securing it. You could also stretch or glue your tights or other fabric over a frame, to make a flatter, squarer screen.
Step 2: Rip up paper
You can use any kind of recycled paper or card. I used a mixture of paper, envelopes, an egg carton, and some cardboard. Rip it all up into small pieces. They don’t need to be tiny, just rip each piece a few times to make manageable sized pieces.
Step 3: Make pulp
Soak your peices of paper or card in water for about 30 minutes to soften them. Then blend the paper in an electric blender. Put a handful or so in at a time, with lots of water so it all gets well mixed and pulped up into a kind of paper gloop.
Step 4: Add the seeds and decorative items
Add some of the pulp, along with lots of water, into your container. Add some mixed flower seeds to this mixture. At this point you can also add any other decorative items. Try adding leaves, grass, glitter, petals, or dyes. I simply added a few drops of red food coloring to make my paper pink.
Step 5: Make the paper
Use your screen to form your paper sheets. Put your screen into the water, and shake it around to get an even layer of pulp over your screen. Pull out the screen, keeping it flat. Mop up any excess water with a tea towel and then take the paper off the screen. I did this by putting it upside down, rubbing the back with a tea towel, and carefully lifting off the screen.
You can try making shapes out of your plantable paper too, by using cookie cutters. I used this Eiffel tower shape by putting the cookie cutter on the screen, filling it with pulp, and then sliding it off the screen to dry.
Step 6: Dry out the paper
Leave you paper to dry thoroughly. You want the paper to dry as quickly as possible, but for it not to be too warm, or the seeds will germinate. So leave in a well aired spot.
Step 7: Use the paper
Use the paper to send a note, as wedding favours, as decorations, or as gifts. Write a note, a postcard or a love letter. If you are sending the paper to someone, be sure to explain that they can plant it, and how to do so.
Step 8: Plant the paper
Plant your paper, and watch the flowers grow!