In this tutorial I will show you how to make seed paper really easily and inexpensively from items that you probably have at home already. Feel free to adapt what you do have to make your paper. For example an old picture frame makes an excellent frame especially if you want larger pieces of seed paper. Instead of cheesecloth you could use door screen or any fabric that will allow water to pass easily through and stay taught in the frame.
You can use the paper however you like once you have made it but I think that it makes beautiful, original gift tags or bookmarks. Just make sure the person you give it to knows what it really is!
On trend at the moment is using seed paper for wedding invitations. Be sure to put instructions on the reverse so that all the guests know how to plant their invitation after the wedding. What a great idea!
You will need:
Old scrap paper (I used copy paper and tissue paper)
4 craft sticks
Cheesecloth or similar
Staple gun or foldback clips
Stick blender and small container
Old kitchen towels
Make a frame
Make a frame to form your paper in. Take the 4 craft sticks and place them to make a square shape with the ends overlapping. Then glue them in this shape using waterproof glue and wait for them to dry.
Add cloth to your frame
Cut a piece of cheesecloth so that it is slightly larger than the frame. You are going to stretch it onto the frame and fasten it.
Now attach one side of the cheesecloth to the frame using the staple gun or foldback clips. I decided on the clips so that I could dismantle it easily (it makes getting the paper out easy!).
Now pull the cheesecloth taught and fasten it on the opposite side of the frame.
Now fasten one of the other sides, pull the cheesecloth taught and fasten the final side. You have now made your paper making frame.
Make seed paper sheets
Now you need to produce your paper pulp. You can use any paper for this but if you use coloured paper you will get coloured paper at the end. I used a combination of coloured tissue paper and white copier paper. All the paper I used was shredded and/or torn up.
You need to soak your paper in warm water for at least an hour.
After an hour take some of the soaked paper, add some more water and pulp it. I used a stick blender in a glass and did it in several batches.
Now is the time to add in your seeds. I used a selection of annuals that should germinate out in the garden in spring without too much assistance.
Once the seeds are thoroughly mixed into the pulp you need to take some of the pulp and squash it into the frame. It works best if you place the frame onto an old kitchen towel and have another one ready to press onto the pulp. Squash the pulp flat onto the frame covering the whole cloth. Then squash it using the extra towel to remove as much water as possible. The more pulp you add the thicker the finished paper will be.
Now gently remove the paper from the frame and place it somewhere flat to dry. Note that this can take up to 2 days depending on how warm and dry it is. Now you can add more pulp to the frame and make another sheet.
I made some blue paper and some pink paper for a bit of variety. I left them for two days to dry and I also cleaned up my frame so that I can use it again.
I offer workshops on paper making which are advertised in the workshop section where all the materials you need are provided. If you are interested in a workshop, and no upcoming dates are displayed, please contact me and I can check what dates are available.