Portable Seed Catalog

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Introduction: Portable Seed Catalog

Okay I will admit it. I am a seed hoarder! Whenever I stop into any business, that carries seeds, I walk out with no less than 2 or 3 packs. I can tell it is almost summer when I see those beautiful racks of seeds. The issue becomes how do you sort through all those packets to find that one vegetable or flower? I spend more time digging through all the packets of seeds (and spilling them) than I do planting them. I needed some way to organize my seeds. I started by doing the typical Google Search and couldn't find anything that met my needs of simplicity (depends on you), ease of use, portability, and minimal investment (you know I need the extra money for more seeds!). Nothing seemed a good fit so I came up with the "Seed Catalog". I hope you find my tutorial useful and can adapt it to your own needs!

Supplies

  • Binder- I prefer the 2" model
  • Card Stock or Heavy Weight Paper
  • Plastic Page Dividers
  • Binder Sleeves- Photo Pockets that are 3.5 x 5 (seed packets are typically 3.25 x 4.5
  • Sheet Protectors (Optional)
  • PVA Glue like Elmers White Glue
  • Small artist brush (Optional)

Step 1: Setting Up the Cover and Spine of the Catalog

For this step you can go as simple or as creative as you would like. I wanted to show you how I decorated mine with dried pressed flowers (For the observant person ironically I used dried wild weeds).

Step 2: Printing the Title

Grab your binder and cardstock. Decide what writing you would like on the cover and spine. In my case I am using a 2 inch binder and old resume parchment paper that I happen to have on hand. In Microsoft Word I used Old English font and centered the writing "Seed Catalog" on the front page and "Seed Catalog" at the Top Center of the Spine. After printing I had to cut the print out for the spine to 2.25 inches so it would fit with a little bit of slack when I add the flowers.

If you know caligraphy now is your chance to shine.

Step 3: Making Dried Flowers and Arranging Them on Your Project

Making dried pressed flowers is extremely easy. Use any old heavy book that you have lying around. Caution: Sometimes different vegetation leak fluids during this process and may stain your book! Lay the flower, stem, leaf in the book making sure it is flat and arranged how you would want it to be when it becomes stiff. Try not to overlap items unless this is part of your theme. Different flowers take different amounts of time to dry according to their moisture content. Some will dry out in a day or some will take a week. Just keep checking until they are thoroughly dry to the touch.

Once your items have completely dried take time to arrange them on your project to see what arrangement looks best. You can see my intitial arrangment above.

Step 4: Gluing Down the Arrangement

Once you have your arrangement settled work in one small space at a time. Most of the time I use White Elmer's Glue but I wanted you to be able to see what I was doing so I used Elmer's Stick School Glue. I would not suggest this glue because in my experience it does not hold as well or as long as Elmer's White School Glue.

You can apply the glue to the page or to the object. If you are worried about your paper getting wet and wrinkling apply the glue to the object and place it down. In my case stick glue is not as wet as the white glue so I wasn't worried about that happening.

You have a short working time so once you get all items down gently press them with your finger to make sure everything is making contact.

Proceed to the next area until you have placed all objects. Let them dry completely. At this time you can take a small paint brush and use a mixture of White Elmer's Glue and water and give all the items a coat of glue that will help them stick and make them shiny. This is not necessary and a step I did not use since my catalog was for go and not show (Okay maybe a little show)!

Step 5: Seed Storage

Your binder is ready and now you need to store the seeds. The best way I have found is using Picture/Photo Pocket binder sleeves in size 3.5 x 5. The typical seed packet is 3.25 x 4.5 so they fit nicely in that size sleeve. You can find these on Amazon.

Generally you have 3 choices to store the seeds. You can store them in the orginal package, in little ziplock baggies, or a custom seed packet.

Step 6: Making a Custom Seed Packet

Generally I use the orginial packets to store the seeds because it is less time consuming and I like the look of the colorful package showing the product in it's full glory but you have other options also. They make custom size ZipLocks that would go nicely in the pocket binders and it has the extra bonus of sealing in the seeds and keeping mositure out. The final option is to make a Custom Seed packet. This comes in extremely handy if you save your own seeds or are given seeds from someone else.

Step 7: Cutting Out Your Custom Seed Packet

I have included a template for a 3 x 4 inch size seed packet. The template is set to print on a regular size 8.5 X 11 inch sheet of paper and can easily be cut out by hand with a pair of scissors. You can also pull the template into a program to be used by a cutting machine like a Cricut or Cameo.

Step 8: Getting Those Nice Crisp Folds on Your Seed Packets

Once you have your Seed Packet Template cut out you now have to fold it. To get nice crisp lines and folds start by using a straight edge and line it up between the two end points of the fold. Use a finger on the opposite side of the straight edge, against the paper, and carefully drag the finger while you fold the paper edge up. You now have a nice crisp edge. To make this edge even better take a smooth object, like the grips on the sissor, and gently but firmly slide it across the fold. Once you have completed these steps on all folds you are ready to glue.

Step 9: Gluing the Custom Seed Packet

After folding use Elmer's White Glue to glue up each fold taking care to only put glue on the amount of fold overlap. You do not want to glue your packet completely shut. Take time at the bottom to make sure all gaps are closed so you do not lose any seeds.

Packet is then ready for you to list seed type, variety, and date you received the seeds.

Step 10: Things I Would Add/Change

With any DIY project as soon as you finish it you find things you wish you had done. Below you will find things I will change next go round.
  • On the seed packet I would add another blank where I could list the month to plant.
  • Make seperate Seed Catalogs for my Summer Vegetables, Winter Vegetables, and Flower Seeds.
  • Organize the Catalog alphabetically (Asparagus-Zucchini) to make things easier to find.
  • Make an index.

Step 11: Video of the Final Product

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable. As with all things take what you like leave the rest and definitely make it your own!

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    31 Comments

    0
    Stevens Workshop
    Stevens Workshop

    7 weeks ago

    It's not exactly the Svalbard Global Seed Vault but pretty impressive never the less 🙂

    Screenshot 2021-05-01 at 18.05.32.jpg
    1
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    One day my friend one day! :)

    0
    XYZ Create
    XYZ Create

    7 weeks ago

    WOW a seed catalog is something I would have never thought of! It definitely beats the random seed packets I have scattered in a drawer. I have a ton of old trading card storage pages that I think will be perfect for this project.

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Same but unfortunately the Baseball/footbal card sleeves are to skinny. I had to go with the picture sleeves but you are right the Football card sleeves is what I thought of originally!

    0
    cirena
    cirena

    7 weeks ago

    Thank you, also for the "Add on tips".

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    No worries. We can always improve things! Thanks for commenting.

    0
    happyluckyidiot
    happyluckyidiot

    Tip 7 weeks ago

    This is ingenious! Your last bullet points are intriguing. Unless you have a huge hoard of seeds, making extra catalogs may be unnecessary as you can merely divide the one into subsections so easily with tab card dividers.
    How to sort is clearly a personal choice. For me I would separate initially into root, leaf, flower and fruit seeds as I garden biodynamically (with the moon). Under these sections I can still divide by sowing time or alphabetically. The possibilities are almost endless. Well done!

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Wow Biodynamically! I actually went and looked it up to learn more! I love learning new things. I agree that a lot of it is personal choice. The biggest take away for me was when I found the "picture sheets" that fit the seed packets almost perfectly! Thanks again.

    0
    wheelybad
    wheelybad

    8 weeks ago

    👏👏👏👏👏 Very inspiring. Such a great idea, my seed packets and self harvested seeds in bags are all in a box. Have to look at every pack to find what I want. The use of photo pocket pages is genius. I'm going to upgrade my garden journal to include seeds I think, that way I have notes on planting and seeds all in one binder. Thank you for sharing such a great idea

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Wow thank you. Yep. I started a garden journal this year and have already noticed areas where my lettuce and cooler crops grow better! It will really help next year. Do you just use a composition notebook for the garden journal?

    0
    Derecho83020
    Derecho83020

    8 weeks ago on Step 11

    I am so impressed. This is an awesome idea I hope to make soon for all my bags of seeds. You're a genius!

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    I appreciate it. My next step is to learn how to save seeds from this years crop! The seed packets will come in handy then!

    0
    kgibson1228
    kgibson1228

    8 weeks ago

    My next make! I too buy way too many seeds, this will keep them organized and findable.

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Same! I started making a second and third one for my winter seeds and my flower seeds :)

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Thank you. I am sure it can be improved on. :)

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Thank you. I appreciate it.

    0
    grapenut
    grapenut

    8 weeks ago

    Very nice, thank you!

    0
    wtsaunde444
    wtsaunde444

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    No worries. I appreciate the comment!