Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Project: Make seed paper for a plantable homemade card

Ever seen those greeting cards made out of paper that you can plant, which grows flowers or herbs? My husband gave me a card like that a long time ago, and I thought it was fun.

It's also fun to make your own seed paper -- and this is a great project for older kids.

(That's code for my preschooler and toddler weren't that interested or able to help.)

First, you make a frame. I used a plastic 8X10 picture frame on clearance for $3.50, and some mesh that I think plastic Easter eggs came in. The mesh is doubled and duct taped onto the frame. Not pretty, but functional.

Then you use a blender to whip up some slurry -- torn pieces of paper you were going to recycle anyway (I used office paper; one piece had red ink, so the paper turned out slightly pink) that had been sitting in a big bowl of water for a day.

Yum yum.

You pour the slurry into a large dish.

Add your seeds. If I do this again, I will also add tiny flowers placed just so on the paper. You know, weeds can be pretty.

Shake your frame through the slurry to get it all paper-y, and place the frame on an old towel.

Blot to soak up the water, then carefully peel off the layer of new paper.

Let the paper lie flat to dry, and then you can decorate it to use as a card to give to your favorite person.

Think I'm the homemade seed paper card expert? I'm not! I tried out this project as a National Wildlife Federation Be Out There Founding Mother. Find all the detailed steps for making seed paper, and suggestions for good wildflower seeds based on where you live, at the National Wildlife Federation site.