Upcycle junk mail into pretty and plantable DIY seed paper.
- Craft blender (a regular blender is fine, but it must be one you will not use for food)
- Small framed screen (available at hardware store)
- Sink or plastic bin (must be larger than screen)
- Cookie cutter(s)
- Sheet of wool felt (must be larger than size of tags)
- Seeds (seeds larger than the holes in screen are ideal)
- Blue and green scrap paper
- Recyclable paper (remove any staples or plastic windows)
- Review tutorial on making seed paper.
- Set up a workstation near an empty sink or outdoors.
- Fill sink or a plastic bin with a few inches of water. Test the water level by placing the screen in it. Screen should be submerged by about 1/2 inch.
- Lay out a few sheets of newspaper to use for drying tags.
- Shred junk mail to prepare it for papermaking. It doesn’t need to be finely shredded, but the blender will have difficulty with whole sheets.
- Use about 6 sheets of shredded junk mail and about 1/4 sheet of a shredded bright-blue scrap to make a light-blue colored base paper. (Add more colored paper for darker shades.) Fill blender about 1/4 full with water. Blend base-color pulp.
- Tear up a few tiny scraps of green paper to use as accents—the more irregular, the better. Set aside.
- Place cookie cutter on top of the screen and submerge it partially in water. Pour in just enough blended paper pulp to fill the cutter to the edges. Stirring the mixture with your fingers helps create a thin, even layer.
- Place paper accents on top of pulp. Sprinkle on about 8 to 10 seeds.
- Lift screen out of the water and place it over an empty sink or on clean cement, brick, etc. outdoors. Gently remove the cookie cutter, leaving your paper tag on the screen.
- Layer wool felt over the tag, so tag is sandwiched between the screen and felt. Press a dry sponge over the felt, absorbing the water. As the sponge fills, continue blotting gently without moving the felt until most of the water has been removed. Continue blotting until the tag clings to the felt when lifted from screen. If the tag still clings to the screen, gently blot more with sponge.
- Place felt, tag-side down, on top of newspaper and press lightly.
- When the newspaper dampens, gently peel back the felt. The tag should cling to the newspaper and release from the felt. If the tag hasn’t transferred to the newspaper, hold the felt down until water saturates the newspaper and try again.
- Repeat this process for each tag you make.
- Allow tags to dry. (Depending on how damp your tags are, this could be anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight.) Peel off the newspaper.
* To determine how much junk paper is needed, estimate how many tags can be cut from one sheet of paper. Use twice as many sheets to make your paper pulp.
DIY Seed Paper Tags c/o Country Woman’s featured blogger Adrianne Surian of Happy Hour Projects.
To read more about Adrianne and her blog, check out our blog and crafter spotlight.
Photos by Adrianne Surian.