This can be used to create anything you like recipe cards, gardening tip cards, gift tags, notepaper, stationary, etc., and makes a very thoughtful gift.
I have found several methods on doing this but none of them seemed to work quite right for me, so through a lot of trial and error and finding a few tricks of my own I was able to get a more desired effect from my project.
Make sure to have removed any foreign objects such as staples, stamps, glue strips, etc., and check your paper for any hint of slick or shine which indicates a varnish has been applied to it and it should not be used.
Step 1: Materials
An old wooden picture frame or make a frame to your desired size
Fine Window or Door Screen Material
A Staple Gun or Heavy Duty Tacks
Old Terry Cloth Towels
White Towels (not terry cloth 2 per sheet of paper)
Cooling Racks like you would use for cookies
Bricks or something to add weight
A Rolling Pin
A Plastic Container, larger than your frame
Any kind of small flat flower or vegetable seeds, I used tomato seeds for this project.
Step 2: Make Your Frame
Step 3: Shred and Mix Your Paper
Run blender on high speed until mixture is thick and pulpy looking almost like wet cement.
Step 4: Pour Your Paper
Step 5: Lift and Drain the Frame
I like to lay a piece of waxed paper over the mixture and help press the water out with a hand above and below the screen material to speed the process.
Step 6: Pressing the Paper
I used a tool from my kitchen for smoothing fondant and an ironing motion to complete this step.
The more you work the paper mixture the smoother it will become.
Step 7: Flip Your Paper
Flip the frame over onto the white towel. Remove the frame. If you have expressed out enough water the paper mixture should drop right out of the frame. If it does not, flip it back over, get a fresh thick towel and repeat the pressing process.
The thickness of the paper mixture will depend on how many times you poured mixture into the pan. I did it twice here and mine is about 1/4 inch thick so far in an 11x14 frame.
Step 8: Add the Seeds
Step 9: Press Your Paper
Slide a baking sheet, firm board, etc., between the lower white towel and the large terry cloth towel, lift your paper off and set on a flat surface. Lay a piece of cardboard on top.
Weight the whole thing down with anything heavy that will cover the entire piece of paper to extract more water. I used bricks but a hospital pail filed with sand, rocks or water works equally well.
Step 10: Roll the Paper Thin
a single thickness of Terry Towel,
a white non Terry Towel on top, spread longer than your paper,
and waxed paper on top.
Working lengthwise only take your rolling pin (I used a weighted marble rolling pin) and from the center out roll your paper from the center to the far end. Do not use a back and forth motion.
Repeat the process for the other half until paper is the desired thickness.
Step 11: Dry the Paper
If you choose to put it outside check your weather forecast to make sure it is going to be a nice sunny day that is not humid, forecasting rain or where birds will come to eat the seeds. (Ha, I speak from experience) You can place an aluminum pie tin with a rock in it next to your paper to discourage the birds.
Note: If you are going to be using your paper to make cut outs like an ornament you want it to be thicker than standard paper.
Step 12: Uses for the Paper
If you are giving it as a gift such as a note card, (I do not recommend greeting cards as they tend to get crumbly on the folds) be sure to include a note to let the recipient know what kind of seeds are in the paper and that they only need to tear it in large pieces and put it in the ground or a pretty pot as the paper creates its own compost and will disintegrate. Include other useful information such as if it needs a sunny or shady location, etc.
If they wont be using it right away the paper should be stored in the refrigerator until planted.
Pre sprouting your paper is as simple as re-wetting the paper, putting it in a plastic zip lock baggie and storing them in either a dark place like a shoe box or in direct sunlight until you see sprouts, depending on what the seeds are and then planting them.