This is one of my favorite monthly crafting events! So much creativity, inspiration and camaraderie!
My post for this Blog Hop is a long one….so settle in and hang out with me for a bit…I’m so excited to have you over and I have lots of things to share!
The theme for this month’s hop is Flowers.
If you know anything about me or my blog, you know that my approach is sometimes literal, sometimes out of the box. Well, today’s project is a little of both!
First up are the cards I’ve made for the hop. I paired the Chevron Stripes stamp set with distressed edges and Rustic Cream cardstock to create a vintage-y feel – but still clean and simple!
Now that you’ve seen the finished product, let me take you back to the beginning … before these cards were born…when they were just an idea in my head!
After some brainstorming and researching, I decided that I would take the literal approach to the flower theme.
Not only would the cards feature a flower embellishment, but they would contain actual flowers!!!!!
How? With some plantable paper, of course!
As paper-crafters, we put lots of time and love into each creation. We hope the recipients appreciate the effort and we cringe at the thought of our handmade cards ending up in the trash! (it hurts to even type that!)
Plantable paper is a great way to extend the longevity of your cards and make sure they’ll serve a special purpose in the life of each recipient.
Even better – plantable paper is super easy to make!
I really mean it.
I’m not pulling a “Martha-Stewart-it’s-so-easy-to-raise-bees-and-harvest-your-own-honey” move. I promise. This is really really easy.
$20 and a trip to Home Depot is all you’ll need!
Now, I’ll walk you through the steps of how to make plantable paper, as well as share a few more photos of the finished product.
How to Make Your Own Plantable Paper
please excuse the yucky photos! I did this on my balcony.
Staple Guns or Tacks
Paper or Cardstock Scraps
Seeds (small ones work best)
Drying Rack or Cookie Sheet
Step 1: Make a frame
Start with four lengths of wood (dowels or molding both work well). I used molding, which you can have cut on-site at most Home Depot stores.
Overlap the dowels to create the frame and use twine or wire to secure the corners.
Step 2: Add Mesh to Frame
You’ll need aluminum mesh… the same stuff used on screen doors. It is sold in huge rolls…way more than you’ll need for this project! It is very inexpensive though! Only $7 for the roll I purchased.
Cut the mesh down to the size of your frame and use a staple gun (or tacks) to secure the mesh to the frame. It doesn’t matter which side of the frame you attach the mesh to.
Step 3: Make a Paper Smoothie
(if you have children, you may want to be very vigilant during this step. It looks like a smoothie – but I can’t imagine that a paper pulp smoothie is very delicious!)
Add shredded or ripped paper to the blender until it is about half full (I filled mine up a bit too much).
You can use any paper you like. This is a great way to up-cycle old newspapers, mail or paper crafting scraps.
Fill the blender to the top with water.
Next, I added a few drops of food coloring as an experiment, see if I could add color to the white paper. We’ll see how that pans out in the upcoming photos (hint: it didn’t)
Blend until the pulp mixture is about the consistency of porridge (not quite as thick as oatmeal).
(see what I mean about the smoothie)
Step 4: Pour the Pulp
Place the mesh frame into a rubber tub…
…and pour the pitcherful of pulp over the frame. You may need to add additional water to the tub to make sure the mesh frame is completely covered with water/pulp mix.
Swish the frame around in the water to be sure the the paper pulp has landed on the mesh frame!
(this is the step where I realized that adding food coloring would do nothing to enhance the color of the paper, ah well!)
Step 5: Pull the Pulp out and Scatter Seeds
Lift the frame from the water and rest it on the rubber tub.
While the pulp is still waterlogged, sprinkle the seeds onto the pulp.
Use your hands to press out most of the water from the pulp. This will press the seeds into the pulp and help them stay put. You can even move the pulp around a little to make sure the seeds are nicely nestled.
Step 6: Let the Paper Dry
With most of the water gone, you can turn the pulp, which will now be more like paper, out onto a cookie sheet lined with an old dishtowel. Layer another towel on top and press down to push out the last bits of moisture.
At this point, the pulp will be delicate but stiff enough to handle.
Gently place the paper on a drying rack or cookie sheet and allow to dry for 24-48 hours.
This process goes by very quickly! In the course of an hour, I made four sheets of plantable paper… two of which, I made with some scraps of PTI cardstock
*hint: given the thickness of PTI cardstock, allow the shredded cardstock to soak in the water before blending it. This will soften the paper and result in smoother pulp*
So what happens after you have made the paper?
Here’s what the paper will will look like after it’s dry (not so beautiful, huh?!)
First, I trimmed the edges of the paper and ran it through my Cuttlebug. This will flatten the paper, which might be a bit warped. It will also press the seeds into the paper so they won’t budge!
Next, I made a few flowers, just as I would with any other cardstock. Some Tiny Tags added a cute touch, as well as functionality, since they tell what the seeds are!
I like the look of the seeds on the flower, so I let them be visible. You can certainly hide the seeds by using the back of the paper as the front of your flower.
With all of that done – just add the flower embellishments to a card or tag!
You can even pair this up with a sweet miniature terracotta pot, a bag of potting soil to complete the gift.
And on the inside of the card – a little rhyming ditty to instruct the recipient!
(hey…I never claimed to be Shakespeare!)
If you have made it all the way to the end of this post, without cursing my name or giving up on me…I am sending you all the Damask Love in the world and inducting you into the Damask Love Blog Reader Hall of Loveliness!
I’ve been wanting to include more involved projects on my blog for a while, and now, I can finally check that off my list!
Now – get back to hopping through those blogs! There is tons more inspiration waiting for you!