My mom is cardmaker/stamper. She has supplies galore in my sister’s old bedroom which she has turned into her “office”. My girls love to dig in her materials when they visit her house. Often times they make cards of their own for friends and family. This past week when the girls and I went to my parents’ house, my mom decided to do something different. She helped them make seed paper.
If you aren’t familiar with seed paper, it is just what it sounds like. Paper with seeds it in. You plant the paper, it dissolves in the dirt, and the seeds grow into plants. The process of making the paper can be a bit messy but the Nutty and Tottie thought it was a ton of fun and can’t wait to do it again as soon as I buy my own supplies.
To make seed paper with your kids, you’ll need a few paper making supplies. You don’t have to have anything super special. My mom put together her own “kit” with things she had laying around.
- A frame the size you want your paper to be (a cheap picture frame works great)
- A foam “paper” sheet (found at a craft store) the size of the inside of the frame
- A piece of plastic canvas (found at a craft store) slightly larger than the foam sheet
- A plastic grid thingy such as a paint can grid (found at a hardware store)
- A bowl or tub big enough to fit the above supplies in
- A blender
- A cookie sheet or something similar
- A sponge
- Paper you would like to recycle such as white envelops from the mail (just get rid of the plastic window), barely used printer paper, or scrap paper from crafts. White paper works best but you can use another color if you want. Just make sure your paper is not glossy.
- Something to give your paper texture such as 100% cotton toilet paper or different paper with texture. (If you don’t use something for texture, your new paper will be the same texture as the recycled paper you are using)
- A bonding agent like corn starch
- Tissue paper to add some colorful specks (optional)
- Seeds (flatter seads work best, wild flower seeds are fun) For our paper we used a combo of wild flower seeds and marigold seeds.
Start by tearing your recycle paper into small pieces and putting it in the blender. You’ll need about 1.5-2 cups of torn paper.
Add a little bit of of the texture material and about 1/2-1 tsp of your bonding agent.
Let the mixture sit for 1/2 hour to allow the paper to soften.
Blend the water/paper mixture in the blender until it is soupy.
While the water/paper mixture is blending, fill your bowl or tub about 1/2 way full with water. (Hint, do NOT wear Grandma’s dress shoes while doing this).
Add tissue paper or food coloring to the blender for some color if you want. You’ll need to add more than you think in order for it to turn out. We didn’t add enough yellow tissue paper so you can’t see it in our finished paper. Blend well again.
Once your mixture is soupy again, pour it into the water in your bowl. Yes, you are diluting it out. Be careful, it can splash! Nutty thought this part looked super gross.
Stir the new mixture around a bit with your hand.
Now for the fun part! The plastic grid thingy goes on the bottom, followed by the plastic canvas, with the frame on top.
Dip the things in the bowl and swish around a bit to get an even layer of pulp across the plastic canvas. Do not try to fill in holes with your fingers, just dip and swish again if you do not get an even layer.
Let the water drip out as much as possible.
Grandma showed this girls how to do the first round and they did their own after that (with a bit of help to make it even).
Place the entire pulp set up on a cookie sheet then sprinkle the seeds all over the pulp.
Remove the frame only and put the foam sheet over the pulp.
Use a sponge over the foam sheet to press squeeze as much water as you can onto the cookie sheet. Be careful not to rub and create holes.
Once you have a lot of the water removed, flip the set up upside down and slowly remove the plastic canvas and plastic grid thingy leaving the pulp on the foam sheet.
Remove the water from the cookie sheet, place the pulp on the foam sheet on the cookie sheet and lay in the sun to dry. Technically you can leave this anywhere to dry but we had sun to help.
Drying can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day depending on how thick your paper is.
You should be able to get a few pieces of seed paper out of your pulp mixture. Once done, DO NOT put your pulp water down the drain! I will clog your drain. Use a strainer to separate any remaining pulp and put that in the garbage. Throw the water in the grass.
When your paper is dry, cut into shapes as desired. Some of the seeds will fall out of the paper as you cut but that’s ok.
For an added touch. Punch a hole in the paper, add a cover page, and tie together with a ribbon to give as a gift.