Wildflower Greeting Cards

 
 
 

By Caitlin Murray Giles

Contributor

Scrap paper transforms into beautiful, eco-friendly greeting cards that sprout wildflowers when planted. This project teaches basic paper-making skills while also offering a hands-on gardening experience.

Materials

  • 2 cups of paper torn into 1 inch pieces (use plain white or spring-colored construction paper, free from any ink for best results)
  • bowl of warm water
  • 9x13 inch baking pan
  • 7x10 inch piece of window screen
  • scissors, masking tape, blender, measuring cups
  • additional water
  • packet of wildflower seeds
  • old bath towels
  • markers, crayons, stickers, stamps to decorate the finished cards

Directions

  1. Begin with several sheets of plain white or colored craft paper. (Avoid newspaper or any paper printed with ink. These types of paper turn a very unappealing gray color after they are blended into a pulp.) Shred the plain paper into 1-inch pieces until you have at least two cups of paper scraps.
  2. Soak the scraps of paper in a bowl of warm water overnight. Place the wet scraps of paper into a blender. Discard the soaking water. Add about 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of fresh water to the blender, a half cup at a time. Blend until the mixture looks like a pulpy soup. Be careful not to add too much water or the consistency of the pulp will be too loose.
  3. Cut the window screen to fit inside the 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Fold strips of masking tape around the edges of the screen to protect small hands from any sharp edges. Place the screen into the bottom of the pan. Fill the baking pan with water until it is a quarter full and then pour in the blended paper pulp. Be sure the screen is submerged beneath the paper pulp mixture. Add one packet of wildflower seeds and mix with your hands to evenly distribute the seeds.
  4. Carefully lift the screen up, catching the paper pulp and seed mixture on top and allowing the water to drain off. Lay the screen on a bath towel to dry. The pulp layer should be as thin as possible without creating any gaps or holes. If the layer is too thick and remains wet for a long period of time, the seeds might begin to sprout.
  5. When the first towel becomes saturated, move the screen to another dry towel. This process could take 48 hours or more depending on the thickness of the paper pulp. If the drying process is taking a long time, try using a blow dryer to speed it up.
  6. When the paper is completely dry, gently separate it from the screen. Using sharp, sturdy scissors, cut the finished paper into individual cards and decorate with markers, stickers, crayons or stamps. Two cups of paper pulp should produce two or three individual cards.
  7. When decorating your wildflower cards, be sure to include the following growing instructions: (1) Cover this card with potting soil. (2) Water well. (3) Keep the soil moist by watering as necessary. (4) Enjoy your spring flowers!
 
 







 
 
 
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