Several years ago I started thinking about what I could do with all my junk mail, bill paper, and leftover newspapers.
We bought a shredder and began adding it to the compost and rabbit cage, plus we started making our own paper fire bricks.
Then I remembered in high school we made “homemade paper” with scrap paper.
This is done by shredding your scrap paper and soaking it overnight in a 5-gallon bucket. Then transforming it into pulp using a paint stirrer attached to a cheap drill, or small batching it in a blender. As long as you end up with a slimy mess with the pulp fibers broken down at the end, you’re on the right track.
We had fancy schmancy block forms for making the paper in school. I didn’t know where to get them … so I made one!
Now who knew window screen came in fine to medium mesh? I went with a fine, but it was too slow to dry. So I remade it with a medium mesh screen. I found an old picture frame with the glass removed, and I staple gunned the screen all around the frame. Then, for an added boost, I ran a fine bead of silicon around the inside and flip side of the frame.
Then, I set the frame over the sink , with a towel in the sink to catch the bits that fall through during the initial pour (so they didn’t clog the drain). Then I poured the pulp on the screen and evened it out. I just used my hand, but you could use a credit card or spatula or something similar, with the same affect.
After the paper pulp had dried for about an hour, I pushed saved seeds INTO the paper. (Tip: chive and dill are wonderful, but I have used big seeds, like squash, too!) Once I pushed the seeds into the paper pulp, I waited another hour. Then I used a handheld hair dryer to speed up the drying for a few minutes … until the paper was dry to touch.
Then I set the frame aside and let it sit overnight. By morning, voila, the paper was ready for use in my handmade greeting cards!
What’s WONDERFUL is that your handmade seed sharing cards can be torn up and PLANTED in the Spring!
It’s a thoughtful, pretty way to share seeds with the people you love… Wishing them health, wealth, and happiness. This is especially nice to send to people spread out all over the country. And because it came from your garden and it’s handmade, it truly says “I care.”