12 Days of Giftmas: Day 3 Handmade Seed Paper

Riding along, singing a song, riding in a PAPER wonderland…!

There’s something strangely satisfying about shredding paper isn’t there? However, I’m never sure what to do with all the resulting paper that’s left: we often use in in the wormery but after a recent clear out we had a LOT of paper.

I’ve been curious about the paper-making process for ages and with the shredder full of paper, it seemed like a good time to give it a try and a lovely project to do with the Lamb. She was as excited as me and even went on a mission to find MORE paper to shred!

It goes without saying that when using a shredder and blender, keep young children under close supervision.

We googled how to make paper and saw hits for ‘seed paper‘ where wildflower seeds are added to the pulp so that the recipient can then plant the paper and (hopefully) have some flowers grow. It was a fun, unusual, twist we had to try!

We started with our shredding and some warm water. The Lamb loved putting the shredding into the water, and we messed around pretending it was snow as it drifted down into the water.

The next stage was mixing! It was really interesting to feel how the shredded paper changed its texture: from smooth to slimy to sludge. I always try to use crafting as a learning opportunity so we had a little chat about how materials change when mixed with water and we looked at the changing colour of the water, trying to encourage the Lamb to guess what was causing it to change to a grey colour. Of course, we then had to make up stories about which fantasy characters would eat sludge soup too!

Yum! Paper soup

The instructions suggest leaving the paper soup to sit overnight, but we were too excited so put it straight into the blender.

(Adult supervision for the next bit!)

We added more water and the Lamb decided that she wanted to colour the paper as well so we added an entire bottle of food colouring (I think you only need a small splash but there was a bit of pouring incident. The joys of working with little people!).

The food colouring slowly filtered down

A good blitz or three later and our shredding was pulp.

We decamped up to the bathroom, which was a good idea as the next stage was MESSY! I dug out my silkscreen and laid it in the bath. We carefully poured the pulp into it. Even with our relatively careful pouring, the pulp still went everywhere and yellow water was all over the bath so I was relieved we were in a wipe clean area!

We gently pressed the pulp into the screen, trying to drain off as much of the water as we could. It was surprisingly tricky to drain the water off as the pulp seemed to want to keep hold of the water. In the end, I got an old towel, laid the screen on one end and pressed the other end into the pulp to absorb the water. Within moments the towel was soaking! We also got our wildflower seeds and gently pressed them into the pulp.

We left the paper to dry overnight, constantly monitored by an excited Lamb.

And voila! Here’s our handmade paper, complete with seeds!

I love the colour variations that run through the paper as if the food colouring didn’t quite mix properly, or perhaps the paper dried unevenly which resulted in patches of dark yellow.

You can see some of the larger seeds, attached to the paper. I think they look beautiful and the Lamb is fascinated with how our paper changed states. Now we just need to colour in our paper and include it with our Christmas cards. It’s definitely a craft we’ll try again, but next time I think we might keep the paper white but add some lavender seeds. Fingers crossed they grow!

Hope you liked Day three of 12 Days of Giftmas. Don’t forget to pop back tomorrow for more gift ideas. And while you’re here, why not pop over to my shop? Loads of lovingly made crafts, ready for you to gift.

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