This handmade, Earth-inspired paper is made with recycled paper and embedded with wildflower seeds. A meaningful way to celebrate our planet! Makes a beautiful gift for family and friends.
- Scrap paper (suggested types listed below)
- Wooden frame (build your own or use an old picture frame)
- Window screening (you will need a number of pieces that are larger than the frame)
- Staples (for tacking the screen to the frame)
- Blender (for making pulp)
- Old towels and/or large rags (to soak up water)
- Rolling pin or flat-sided jar or bottle
- Wildflower Seeds (find seeds at Shop Our Members)
1. Cover surfaces with plastic to waterproof them.
Remember, making paper is a wet, messy process! Have plenty of old towels, rags, sheets, and sponges for both making the paper and cleaning up afterward. Note that the dyes in colored papers can stain surfaces like countertops so protect them too.
2. Tear the paper into pieces about an inch square (or smaller).
Cover the paper with warm water and let it soak for at least two hours.
Rather than new paper, if possible, use paper from the recycle bin to make this activity the most Earth-friendly.
Gather scrap paper – including office paper, envelopes (remove any plastic windows), colored paper, and uncoated gift wrap, For Earth-inspired paper, choose shades of blue and green, as well as white. You can use small amounts of glossy or coated papers as well as newspapers, but don’t make them the primary ingredient. Printed office paper often yields grayish homemade paper, so consider your color scheme and include papers in those colors.
3. Create the mold
1. Cut the screen so it’s an inch or two larger than the frame in all directions. This example uses an old 8″ X 10″ wooden picture frame and some scraps of window screen.
2. Holding the screen taut, staple it to the frame.
3. Cut a few additional pieces of screen larger than the frame. You will use these for transferring and drying the paper.
4. Make a pulp once the paper is fully saturated (about two hours).
1. In a blender, add enough water to almost cover the paper and blend until the resulting pulp resembles cooked oatmeal. (We used an immersion blender with a food chopper attachment to blend this paper.)
2. The four pulp colors have been blended and are ready to use.
5. Design your paper.
1. Place the mold (the wood frame and screen) on a layer of towels and rags that are on the waterproof surface. Remember the fabric may get stained from the colored paper. Apply the pulp to the screen and press. To create an Earth-themed paper, add colors in sections to represent the land (green), ocean (blue), and clouds (white).
2. Place a piece of screen over the pulp and press firmly with a dry sponge to soak up some of the water.
3. The damp paper is now ready for seeds.
6. Add wildflower seeds.
1. Sprinkle wildflower seeds onto the damp paper.
2. Place a piece of screen over the pulp and press. Use a rolling pin or flat-sided jar to help flatten it.
3. These seeds are nicely embedded in the paper. Some of the seeds may fall off once the paper is dry, but there will be plenty to grow. You can allow your paper to dry and then give them as gifts to celebrate the planet!
7. Plant your seed paper.
1. When it is time to plant, place the paper seed-side up in a container filled with moist potting soil. Spritz the paper with water to thoroughly moisten it.
2. Cover the container with plastic wrap to hold in the moisture and help the seeds germinate.
3. When the seeds start to germinate (sprout), remove the plastic wrap and place the pot in bright light or under grow lights.
8. Growing your wildflowers
1. Check the plants daily and keep the paper and soil consistently moist.
2. These wildflower seedlings are ready to be planted in a larger container or your garden.