Yes, you can make your own seed paper. It’s even a fun little project for young and old.

By Clairisse Fontaine

You’ve certainly seen seed paper, also called plantable paper. It’s an eco-friendly paper made of recycled material that contains flowers seeds. All you have to do is to place pieces of it in the garden, water and flowers will shoot up. How cool is that! But it’s even cooler when you make your own!

My Experience

I discovered this technique when I was reading to a friend’s granddaughter from a children’s science magazine published by the Montreal Botanical Garden. Although it was aimed at children aged 7 to 11, Lili, who is only 5, enjoyed my reading it to her and we decided to try it.

And that gave me the inspiration to start a bigger project.

You see, I’m retiring next December and had decided to give my co-workers, whom I appreciate so much, a little something each month to mark the countdown. And also to express to them how much I have enjoyed working with them all these years and how I will miss them. The gifts need to have some link with the month I’m highlighting. Plus, making them has to be easy to do, since I have to prepare about seventy of them! Therefore, I was looking for something related to spring and that would allow me to include sunflowers as a thought for our Ukrainian friends.

Seed paper, I realized, would be the perfect gift!

How to Make Seed Paper

Making seed paper is not hard to do and it’s actually quite fun. And it’s a great activity to share with children or grandchildren.

Materials

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients and tools used in making seed paper.
  • Bucket of water;
  • Paper: I used sketchbook paper and pink and orange sheets of construction paper (they’re more fibrous). But you could also use newspaper or, even better, thin toilet paper. I think that would give a smoother pulp;
  • Colander;
  • Rolling pin;
  • Blender;
  • Dish towels;
  • Veiling (optional);
  • Seeds (I used cosmos, marigolds, dwarf sunflowers, poppies and zinnias);
  • Flower petals (optional);
  • Cookie sheet or cutting board.

For my own little project, I added little tags with a quote, so I also needed the following:

  • Printing paper;
  • Printer;
  • Punch;
  • String.

Making Seed Paper

First, shred the paper and soak it for several days in a bucket of water so that the paper is completely soaked and softened.

Pieces of paper turned into pulp in a small bucket.

Then put it in the blender, keeping just enough water to turn it into pulp.

Seeds and flower petals added to the paper pulp.

Then add the seeds and petals, mixing them in with a spoon.

Pulp being pressed in a colander.

When it’s done, pour the pulp into the colander so it can drain, pressing with a spoon to remove as much water as possible.

Pulp spread on a sheet of veiling.

Spread the pulp on a rimless cookie sheet or a cutting board covered with a dish cloth (I used veiling). Make a square with your hands so it will form a sort of rectangle. It’s the easiest shape to handle when you roll it out.

Rolling pin running over a dish cloth. You can make out the flattened pulp underneath.

Place a dish cloth over the pulp and roll it out with a rolling pin to make it as thin as possible. You will need to change dish clothes a few times to absorb as much water as possible.

Seed paper still moist after rollling.

This is the result you can expect.

Then let the pulp dry for several days. Make sure it is completely dry before cutting it; otherwise it will tear.

Dried seed paper ready to trim.

And finally, find it a vocation for your homemade paper: note paper, invitations, post cards, business cards, souvenirs for weddings or baptisms, etc. You get to choose!

LIttle squares of seed paper with added note.

For my part, I added a little quote that I like very much and which, I find, is just perfect for spring, especially in today’s difficult times: “Who sows flowers sows happiness!”

Happy crafting and enjoy a good start to your gardening season!

About the Author

Clarisse Fontaine is a speech therapist and lives in Québec’s Eastern Townships. She is a handy and creative person and a passionate amateur gardener. She combines her two great passions to add artistic touches to her landscaping and is always happy to help her family and friends beautify their gardens.

Translated from French by Larry Hodgson.

6 comments on “Do-It-Yourself Seed Paper

  1. Curious: how, why do the seeds know how to sprout after becoming paper rather than from their initial “planting” in the moist paper pulp? Might they sprout initially or will they preserve their viability?
    Thanks
    🙂

    • Honestly, I’ve wondered the same thing. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding: when you “sow” seed paper, baby plants germinate. My guess is that they start to prepare to sprout, then the dry period puts a halt to that… then the renewed and durable humidity finally lets them germinate. But I’m just guessing!

  2. What a lovely gift. Thanks for sharing.

  3. That’s interesting. Does the initial water not start germination?

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