Introduction: Plantable Greeting Cards
Plantable card is available from a variety of online retailers, however it is always nice when giving a card that the card is hand made, and as it turns out, making a hand made plantable card is not difficult at all. All you need are a few materials, tools and a little bit of patience.
Step 1: What You'll Need
You will need the following items in order to make your very own plantable greeting card.
1) A blender
2) A blowdryer or hot air gun
3) A bowl
4) Something to stir with
1) Coloured paper (Green for the stem, I chose to have a red flower)
2) Some cardstock
3) Water based glue (Hot glue gun or pva)
4) Assorted decorations (Felt, Water based paint/felt tips/crayon etc.)
Step 2: Blending the Paper
Get your blender and add equal parts shredded paper and water, blend it together until it is a fine, mushy paste. This only takes less than a minute to do. Place this mixture in a bowl to one side and wash out the blender, then repeat this step for the second colour you're using.
I used half a sheet of A4 paper for the stem, and a whole sheet of A4 for the flower, so adjust your amounts for your design as necessary, as mine are rather thick.
Step 3: Adding the Seeds and Drying
Add the seeds to the wet pulp mixtures and stir them in with your stirrer. Then get the mixtures out and squeeze them until they're only damp rather than sopping wet. You can use a strainer like a sieve to get the water out, or just squash them between your hands. Have a towel handy so you don't get coloured water all over the place. When the paper is damp, shape it into the shape that you want to finish up with and then place it next to a hairdryer to completely dry. Don't leave the hairdryer unsupervised, as fires can start from the smallest things.
The shape you decide to make at this point will determine what you'll eventually be able to do with your card. I'm a fan of the more three dimensional cards and so chose to make my flower and stem quite fat, but this means they won't fit easily into an envelope, if at all. If you'd prefer, make your paper thinner before shaping it to dry.
Step 4: Decorating Your Card
To make the card look nice, now is the time to decorate the card itself before placing the final seeded paper on top. You can do this step whilst your creations from the previous step are drying, just move far enough away from the blowdryer so that it doesn't blow your decorations off of the card.
Originally I had thought that the whole card would be planted along with the seeded paper, so I used water based paints, felt and paper so it would all be biodegradable. However, after feedback from a few people, it seems that they would much rather keep the card itself, choosing to plant only the seeded flower. As such, I designed the card to look nice without the seeded flower on, with a space to glue it in for the final look.
This is what my card looked like after decorating it ready for the seeded flower to be placed on top.
Step 5: Final Product and Thoughts
Finally glue the seeded flower on to the card and you have the finished product- a plantable greeting card. Give it to anyone you know that has a green thumb, and remember to include instructions on when to plant, where to plant and how to plant.
I chose some flowers that can be sown straight away and turn to seedlings after 2-3 weeks before flowering that year, so as to make them more interesting for the person receiving the card, though you can choose any flowers you like so long as you give instructions with your card.