Earth Day Craft For Kids: DIY Recycled Seed Paper
Kids are natural environmentalists. They love getting outdoors and enjoying nature. So, of course, they are interested in learning about and protecting the planet.
We tap into this excitement to teach them to reduce, reuse, and recycle--and to save money by turning off the lights, lowering the thermostat, and shutting off the faucet when they are not using water.
We usually start our herbs inside around this time and the children love watching the plants grow. They know that plants give us food, medicines, clothing, books, and oxygen to breathe!
My daughter was excited to learn that she can recycle some of the scrap paper from her crafts and proudly set to work making her own recycled seed paper. She plans to use these for gift tags for her grandparents. Later, they can plant the paper in the garden and enjoy some wildflowers!
- a plain picture frame (you can also use an embroidery hoop or even a wire hanger)
- wire screening (I have also seen people use old nylons)
- plastic or metal bin/tub
- scrap paper
- two pieces of stiff felt
- optional: liquid starch, gelatin, glue, or cornstarch to prevent ink from running when you write on the paper
- optional: food dye, dried flowers, onion skins, leaves, seeds, other inclusions
1. Wrap your screening around the frame and staple. We have a plastic screen from a kit a friend gave us so we were able to skip this step.
2. Collect and shred your scrap paper. Wearing a tiara helps.
3. Put the scrap paper in the blender with some water and mix until the pulp is the consistency of oatmeal. (Optional: add the starch or glue at this point if you wish.)
4. Pour about two inches of water into the tub. Add a few handfuls of pulp into the water.
5. Submerge your screened frame in the water and pulp mixture and scoop some of the pulp over the top. Wiggle the screen back and forth so that the pulp is evenly distributed over the top of the screen.
6. Keeping the screen even, slowly lift it out of the water and let the excess water drip. I also carefully pressed some of the water out at this stage.
7. Place a piece of felt on top of the pulp. Gently holding the felt on top of the pulp, carefully flip everything over so the felt side is down and the screen side is up.
8. Use the sponge to gently pat the screen and soak up excess water. Gently and slowly lift up the screen.
9. At this point, you can add some dried flowers or seeds or other inclusions.
10. Place the second piece of felt on top of the paper and press out excess moisture. I just did this with my hands but you could also use heavy books.
11. Remove one of the pieces of felt and flip the wet paper onto the towel to dry. Let dry at least 24 hours.
12. If the paper curls, or is still wet, place between two towels and iron dry and flat.
Enjoy your recycled, plantable, seed paper!