Grow a Little Love: Making Plantable Paper Notecards

My mom is the queen of weird and fantastic presents. This year for Easter she mailed me a tiny greenhouse, basil seeds and henna. In an Easter basket. It’s tough keeping up with the most thoughtful lady in the land. Luckily I have the Internet on my team. A few weeks ago, seed paper poped up in my Google Reader and, at $3 a sheet, I thought, “I can make that.” You can make it too!


You Will Need:
+Old White(ish, text is fine) Paper. Junk mail works great because it’s real paper, newspaper does not because it’s too thin and shiny.
Construction paper or tissue paper in various colors
+Seeds. The smaller they are, the better they stay stuck in the paper. I used parsley.
+A Blender
+A shammy or a piece of smooth, very-absorbent cloth. This should ideally be a screen but let’s be real, who has a heavy-duty screen laying around? No one, that’s who.
+Something flat (and hard, like a piece of wood, if you want really great paper)


1. Rip the white paper up into pieces roughly an inch by an inch. Soak it in water for at least an hour before you want to start the actual project so that you don’t murder your blender.

2. Rip the pieces of colored paper up and let them soak in their own cups.

3. After the paper has been completely drenched and is nice and soft, scoop it out of the water. and into a few different containers so that you can make different colors. Add fresh water to each container. You’ll want about the same volume of water as paper, a 50/50 mix.

4. Blend each batch individually, making sure to rinse your blender in between each color. Now add the seeds and stir them so they’re evenly dispersed.



5. Set up your work station. You’ll want a bunch of newspaper, then the shammy, (then the paper pulp, but we’re not there yet), then another shammy, then more newspaper, then your flat surface. When I went to art camp as a baybay, we used to do this on the floor so that we could dance on the piece of wood we used to squish the water out. Feel free to use this method.

6. Grab a handful of pulp and put it on the shammy in a sort of thin layer. We’re talking half an inch thick max before patting it down. If you want to make polka-dotted or specially-shaped paper, now’s the time to do that. Try to make that lump of gross-looking pulp look pretty. Ready? Okay now…


do as i say, not as i do. using food coloring will dye your hands and make unevenly-colored paper

7. Smash it down with the other shammy. Now put a few layers of newspaper on top. Now your flat thing. Smash it down with your hands or your feet or any body part you prefer until allllll the water is gone. Now flip the shammy and pulp sandwich over and squeeze some more.


push it real good

7. Carefully peel the top shammy off the paper. It should come right off. If it doesn’t, you either have too much water left in the paper or you started with too much pulp.

8. When you’re satisfied, peel the paper off and place it on some dry newspaper to dry.


they look like some kind of futuristic meat alternative

9. Okay, after a day or two it’ll be dry and ready to go. You can either use the pieces as they are or use very VERY sharp scissors to cut them into shapes. I did both.

duct tape works for everything

duct tape works for everything

10. Glue or tape the bits of homemade paper to cardstock. That’s it! Write a note inside – don’t forgot to mention that they can plant the card – slap a stamp on it and put that future garden in the mail.

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


    • thanks! it’s actually spelled both ways and i chose “shammy” because i grew up on swim team and we used to buy shammies spelled that way and so that’s what’s stuck with me.

  1. This is awesome! Definitely trying this for my mum at some point, thanks for the great idea ^_^

  2. But wouldn’t your recipient then also be planting some random duct tape? That doesn’t seem very ideal.

    • you just rip the tape off before you plant the seed bits! the construction paper doesn’t have seeds in it so you don’t plant that part.

  3. So you make different colors by mixing in the different colored construction paper?

  4. Paper-shredder garbage is perfect for this kind of project, fyi. the paper strips are the right width to get blended up smoothly

  5. This is so cute! I’m going to make a card with this stuff and then put together a cute little kit with soil, a hand-painted flower pot, and a little watering can. My girlfriend is going to love it! :)

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