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Wildflower Greeting Cards

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.

Instructions:

  1. Begin with several sheets of plain white or colored craftpaper. (Avoid newspaper or any paper printed with ink. These typesof paper turn a very unappealing gray color after they are blendedinto a pulp.) Shred the plain paper into 1-inch pieces until youhave 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 soakingwater. Add about 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of fresh water to the blender, ahalf cup at a time. Blend until the mixture looks like a pulpysoup. Be careful not to add too much water or the consistency ofthe 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 toprotect small hands from any sharp edges. Place the screen into thebottom of the pan. Fill the baking pan with water until it is aquarter full and then pour in the blended paper pulp. Be sure thescreen is submerged beneath the paper pulp mixture. Add one packetof wildflower seeds and mix with your hands to evenly distributethe seeds.
  4. Carefully lift the screen up, catching the paper pulp and seedmixture on top and allowing the water to drain off. Lay the screenon a bath towel to dry. The pulp layer should be as thin aspossible without creating any gaps or holes. If the layer is toothick and remains wet for a long period of time, the seeds mightbegin to sprout.
  5. When the first towel becomes saturated, move the screen toanother dry towel. This process could take 48 hours or moredepending on the thickness of the paper pulp. If the drying processis taking a long time, try using a blow dryer to speed it up.
  6. When the paper is completely dry, gently separate it from thescreen. Using sharp, sturdy scissors, cut the finished paper intoindividual cards and decorate with markers, stickers, crayons orstamps. Two cups of paper pulp should produce two or threeindividual cards.
  7. When decorating your wildflower cards, be sure to include thefollowing growing instructions: (1) Cover this card with pottingsoil. (2) Water well. (3) Keep the soil moist by watering asnecessary. (4) Enjoy your spring flowers!

Materials:

  • 2 cups of paper torn into 1 inch pieces (use plain white orspring-colored construction paper, free from any ink for bestresults)
  • bowl of warm water
  • 9×13 inch baking pan
  • 7×10 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 finishedcards
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