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Plantable Paper for Earth Day

Apr15

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recycled-paper2.jpg

Earth Day is April 22, so celebrate by growing some paper. Made from recycled materials, this homemade paper has added seeds so that it can be planted. If you punch a hole in the paper, these would make wonderful gift tags for a Mother’s Day gardening themed gift. So you can make them on Earth Day and give them on Mother’s Day! Making paper is a simple process that you can complete using household items, but it is a bit of a messy project, so be prepared. My kids loved playing in the gooey paper pulp.

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Everything for this project except the seeds was found around our house. We used a small embroidery hoop for the frame to get a circular shape, but you can use old picture frames or whatever you have on hand.

One benefit of the embroidery hoop is that it can be stapled with an office stapler rather than a heavy-duty staple gun. We had a torn screen in the attic and cut some mesh from it. Then we gathered the paper; you can use pretty much any type of paper that does not have a shiny coating — office paper, envelopes, toilet paper tubes, card stock, newspaper, etc. You will want to use some heavyweight paper or cardboard in the mix to get a nice thick piece of paper. For the drying surface, you’ll need something absorbent that won’t leave too much of an imprint on your paper, keeping in mind that colored paper may bleed onto the fabric. We used flannel, but you could try felt, old t-shirts or dish towels.

We tried several different seeds (zinnia, lavender and basil), but you could use any seed that is flat enough to adhere to the paper.

Supplies:
* 3″ embroidery hoop
* Stapler
* Floral tape or duct tape
* Mesh screen
* Paper
* Blender
* Bowl
* Pressed flowers
* Seeds
* Fabric
* Sponge

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1. Cut the screen just larger than the embroidery hoop and staple it to the outside.
2. Secure the screen and cover the staples with waterproof floral tape or duct tape.
3. Tear the paper into small pieces and add it to the blender until it’s about half-full (oops, she’s filled it up too much in this photo). Add warm water until the blender is 2/3 full and blend until the paper is completely processed with no lumps.
4. Dip the screen into the pulp and, holding it level, scoop pulp on top of the frame.
5. While you are holding it on the frame, allow it to drip and sprinkle on some pressed flowers and seeds.
6. In one quick motion, flip the paper onto the fabric and before removing the frame, press with a sponge to remove excess water. Once you have removed the frame, you can press again to remove more water.

Allow the paper to dry on the fabric for a few hours, then carefully peel it up and move it to a dry surface, then let it dry overnight. If you put the paper out in the sun, it will dry quickly. I think these would be pretty with rubber stamp imprints, punched hole designs, or stamped letters.

Now you can plant your paper and grow some green stuff. Happy Earth Day!

About the author

Ellen Luckett Baker

http://thelongthread.com/
Ellen Luckett Baker is the author of the long thread, a blog about handmade goods. She has always enjoyed making things, but the flexibility of staying at home with her two daughters along with the creative inspiration they provide has led her to craft on a daily basis. Combining her love of graphic design and sewing, she has created an Etsy shop selling machine embroidery designs and sewing patterns.

Ellen lives in Atlanta with her husband and two young daughters. She holds a B.A. in Art History and a Master's of Public Administration with a focus in Non-Profit Management.

Ellen recently wrote 1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects her crafting book. She is crazy talented!


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12 Responses to “Plantable Paper for Earth Day”

  1. Boston Mamas Apr 15 at 9:25 am Reply Reply

    Beautiful project! I’m going to link it up in a round up. -Christine

  2. Tifani Apr 15 at 12:30 pm Reply Reply

    Genius! We are doing this one.

  3. tara Apr 15 at 1:41 pm Reply Reply

    i love these for earth day and mother’s day! super the cutest.

  4. Molly Apr 16 at 12:15 pm Reply Reply

    I absolutely love this idea. Thanks for the great explanation!

  5. Amanda Formaro Apr 17 at 10:28 am Reply Reply

    These are beautiful. I made some with basil and basil seeds, and some with flowers seeds and bits of hemp in it. Made them into bookmarks. I just love this look!

  6. Monsterscake Apr 19 at 9:19 am Reply Reply

    Soo beautiful!

  7. Sihui Apr 19 at 4:55 pm Reply Reply

    Love the idea, it sounds like a fun project! I’ll definitely share it with my readers for Earth Day:)

  8. Ammie Apr 23 at 11:41 am Reply Reply

    This is lovely! I can’t wait to do this, but I had better wait till hubby gets home, because he won’t want to miss out, either!

  9. YooperGal Apr 28 at 10:43 pm Reply Reply

    Awesome! I can’t wait to do this project with my niece!

  10. TomPier May 06 at 11:01 am Reply Reply

    great post as usual!

  11. JDaniel4's Mom Apr 17 at 8:00 am Reply Reply

    What a wonderful project! I used to make paper this way with my dad. I love the idea of placing seeds and flowers in it.

  12. Charlyne Ewing Apr 29 at 4:26 am Reply Reply

    Such a neat and earthly thing to do with young, elderly, mentally handicap and it means so much to them! Thanks for posting and sharing

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