How to Make Your Own Plantable Seed Paper

How to Make Your Own Plantable Seed Paper

If you want to make your own plantable seed paper, it only takes a bit of time, patience and of course, paper you're ready to recycle. Here's the process that's worked for me in my quest to upcycle homework into plantable paper to support pollinators. 


Paper to upcycle

A bucket or bin

An old blender (I recommend finding one at a thrift store; do NOT use your regular blender you use for food!)

Mould and deckle (This is a great post all about making your own mould and deckle)

Any fun extras you want to add, like petals, leaves, herbs




1. Soak the paper overnight

Start by ripping the paper up into little shreds or cutting them with scissors. You'll want to soak the paper overnight, or longer if you're using thicker paper. 


2. Add the paper to your blender

Put your soaked paper into your blender and ladle some water in, too. There's no exact measurement on this step for me, so I typically just eye it to make sure there's neither too much paper (super thick finished product) or too much water (super thin finished product.) Generally I aim for about 60% water in my blender. 


3. Blend that baby up!

Blend up your paper until you have a nice paper pulp ready to go. 


4. Distribute your pulp into the mould and deckles.

I like to pour my pulp into the mould and deckle, but the talented folks at Paperslurry pull some sheets from a larger vat.  

I jiggle the mould and deckles a bit to make sure the pulp is even, and I usually use my fingers to push down the edges. I let the pulp sit for a bit over a drying rack to allow the excess water to drip out. 


5. Next up, couching (pronounced coo-ching)

This step is different for me every time. I like to play with materials with different textures and patterns. Sometimes I flatten the paper with a rolling pin over a piece of felt. Sometimes I let it just it be its wild, wonderful self. The key is to smoothly transfer your pulp from the mould and deckle to a flat, absorbent surface. And then you can test from there. 


6. Hand-Pressing

Use sponges, rags, felt, and other absorbent materials to press down on your paper to help it dry. Once it's dried a bit with the help of pressure, I give it a bit of time to dry a bit more on its own. Then, I add the seeds, flowers and other fun objects to the paper. In this round of papers, I'll be adding some pine needles and fleabane seeds (snow!) for holiday cards and some tiny dried Forget-Me-Not flowers. 


7. Let 'em dry

I like to let my papers dry on a flat surface for a few days, usually with felt or another absorbent material to soak up the water. Typically, plantable seed paper will dry over the course of roughly three days. 


8. Store in a cool, dark, dry place

Store your seed paper until it's time to plant in the spring. You can start your seed paper indoors, or you can start them directly outside once the danger of frost has passed. Here are a few tips on planting seed paper that work well for me. Enjoy! 

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