Join us this Thursday, February 7 from 4 – 5:30 pm in the co-op’s cafe seating area to make plantable seed paper. This family-friendly activity will be sponsored by Monadnock Waldorf School.
Can’t join us but still want to do a fun Valentine’s Day project? Use these instructions to make plantable seed paper at home.
This is a great activity for the whole family that turns waste paper and unused seeds into a beautiful Valentine’s gift. Once it warms up in the spring, you can place your seed paper under a thin layer of soil, and watch it grow.
- Paper to make pulp
- Food coloring or colored tissue paper (if you want to add color to your paper)
- Seeds (small seeds are best – poppies, marigold, etc.)
- Wash cloths and/or paper towels
- Cookie cutters to make the paper into shapes
To make the pulp, you will need paper and water. I used shredded office paper with a little bit of red tissue paper added in for color. You can use any sort of non-glossy paper, including egg cartons, tissue paper, computer paper, etc. If you aren’t using shredded paper, you will want to tear your paper into small pieces – about 1” to 2” in diameter.
Put your shredded paper in a bowl or bucket and cover it completely with warm water. Let this mixture sit for a few hours or overnight.
Take the wet paper mix and put it in your blender, making sure to add enough water to cover the top of the paper. Use the “blend” setting for 5-10 seconds or until the mixture is pulp with no distinct paper shapes visible.
Pour the pulp mixture into a bowl. You can now add seeds and any other decorative elements, like dried flower petals. I recommend adding about ¼ to 1 tsp of seeds, and a tsp of dried petals/leaves for a half cup of pulp. You can play around with the ratio of seeds to pulp to get the desired look. Make sure to mix the seeds in by hand, rather than using the blender.
You are ready to start making paper!
Take a wash cloth or towel and lay it down as the base layer. For a smoother surface, you can add a layer of paper towel, but this is optional. Place your cookie cutter on top of the wash cloth/paper towel. Take a handful of pulp and gently squeeze the excess water out then place the pulp inside the cookie cutter. Keep doing this until you have about ¼” of pulp gently pressed inside. Note: don’t squeeze all of the water out at this stage – you want the pulp to stick together inside the cookie cutter.
The next step is to use your fingertips to gently press the pulp, so the water seeps out into the washcloth below. As you do this, press along the edges and throughout the center of the shape to remove moisture and create an even surface. If you feel a thin spot in the paper, you can add additional pulp. You can now remove the cookie cutter, gently holding down the paper, so it stays flat through the process.
Flip the paper heart onto your palm, gently releasing it from the washcloth. You can turn it over onto a dry wash cloth and press the other side of the paper with your fingertips to remove excess water and even out the thickness of the paper.
The finished paper heart should be about 1/8” thick. If it is too much thinner, the paper may tear more easily, and if it is thicker, it may be difficult to dry it out.
Your plantable seed paper heart is done. Place it in a warm location so it can dry out. If you leave it damp, it may start to sprout too early. Once it is dried out, it can be stored till spring, then planted outside.
Monadnock Waldorf School provides independent education from nursery to grade 8 on their two campuses in Keene, New Hampshire. Nature-based summer programs are available for children ages 3 – 9 and they also offer enriching hands-on activities throughout the year that are open to the public.
Join MWS on February 9th from 10-12 for a Valentine’s Craft workshop!
Location: 98 South Lincoln Street, Keene, NH 03431
Learn More: monadnockwaldorfschool.org