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DIY from Pulp Art – Plantable Paper

DIY weddings are all the rage right now as are “green” weddings, and this idea combines both into a wonderfully fun project. I contacted Pulp Art on Etsy, and they were sweet enough to put together this DIY post on plantable paper just for Hill City Bride!

Plantable paper is one of the newest trends to use when creating your eco-friendly wedding. Because it is made from recycled papers plus a mix of flower seeds that are embedded into the handmade paper, plantable paper uses no trees and allows you to offer guests an eco-friendly idea that they can take home to plant and commemorate your wedding. They will think of you every time they look at the gorgeous blooms in their garden.

To make heart-shaped plantable place cards or favors, gather high-quality scraps of paper in the color of your choice. Card stock and many scrapbooking papers make wonderful handmade paper because they are made of high-quality fibers and have colors that are nicely saturated. Don’t use newspaper, tissue paper, construction paper or flimsy, weak paper. If you want to end up with a good quality piece of handmade paper, you must start with good-quality scraps.

To make your paper, gather everything you will need: a blender, a packet of seeds, a heart-shaped cookie cutter, paper scraps and a mold. A mold is a piece of professional papermaking equipment: a screen is pulled very taught across a wooden frame. You can make your own with an old picture frame without the glass and some screen from the hardware store (you can find directions on the internet) or you can buy them through papermaking suppliers. A mold must have a very tight screen so that there are no sags where water might puddle and create uneven thickness in your handmade paper.

Begin by tearing your paper scraps into small pieces. Make sure to remove any staples, plastic windows from envelopes and any other non-paper materials. Soak them briefly in water to soften the paper so that your blender motor doesn’t have to work too hard. (Make sure to use a blender that is dedicated to papermaking. Because paper is made with chemicals, you will want to buy an inexpensive blender at a yard sale that will never be used for food preparation.) Toss the scraps into a blender with some water and pulverize. You can make a fine pulp or keep the paper in smaller chunks. Once you are happy with the consistency, add a handful of seeds to the blender, and give it a quick pulse to blend the seeds throughout.

Place your cookie cutter on top of the screen, and place in a sink. Slowly pour the pulp into the cookie cutter, using your finger to push the pulp into an even layer as the water drains into the sink. When most of the water has drained off, lift the cookie cutter, move to another part of the screen and repeat. When your screen is full, place the screen in a warm place or outside in the sun until dry. As the paper dries, the individual fibers will start to lock together and get stronger. To dry the paper more quickly and make a stronger paper, put another piece of screen on top of the heart and press the water out with a sponge. Once dry, lift the paper off the screen, punch a hole in it and thread a piece of string through the hole.

Remember to give your guests directions on how to plant their paper: place the paper into raked ground, cover with a quarter inch of soil then water and keep moist until germination, about 6 to 8 weeks. Take a look at the last photo to see seedlings popping out of some white plantable paper!

I love this idea, and the little seedlings bursting through with life convince me that this indeed is a darling little project. If you love the thought of doing something “green” for your wedding, but you do not want to tackle a project, be sure to visit Pulp Art and check out what have for your wedding day! They make place cards and rectangle hang tags in addition to the heart shaped ones featured today. Thank you again, Pulp Art, for inspiring us to make some plantable paper of our own!

  • Ashley - How long will these last? As in, will they sprout before being planted and if so how long after being made will they sprout?

  • Jennifer - Those are great questions, Ashley! If they are not left wet, the seeds won’t germinate, and I would consult the seed packets to see what their suggestion is as to how long the seeds will be viable. Thank you for stopping by!

  • lauren - Make sure the seed paper is kept in a dark place and if possible wrap in tinfoil. This will prolong the life of the seeds and keep them from drying out.

  • Joyce Warren - Thanks for the great idea! I will use it for my church group.

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