Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Gifts which grow

How to make seed shapes

It's Ruby's birthday next month so I've been having a  trial run of something I want to make for her party bags.  That's if I do a party - after last year I'm not sure I can face it!  If not, I will make these as birthday treats for her to take into nursery for her friends.  The custom is to take sweets or cake in, but I think these are nicer.

They'd also make nice Easter gifts, an alternative to Easter eggs and it means giving something that will last and last.

A long-lasting gift to plant & enjoy the flowers

I experimented and made this up as I went along, but I'm really happy with the end results.  It's a great craft that kids can join in with, it's perfect for spring time and it's practically free!

These go in the ground not in your mouth!

You will need:

Newspaper 
Seeds
Cookie Cutters or shaped silicone ice cube moulds/cake tins
A blender
Sieve
Natural food dye (optional)


1. Tear up the newspaper into pieces.  You don't need to be precise but try not to make them bigger than a couple of inches.


2. When you have a nice lot of newspaper pieces, pop them in the blender a couple of handfuls at a time.  Add some water.  Judge this by eye, but it's better to have the mix too wet than too dry as you are going to squeeze the excess out anyway.  If it's too dry or you put too much paper in, you risk jamming your blender.  Give it a good blitz until you have a pulp.  Work in batches, transferring the pulp you make into a sieve resting over a bowl.  If you don't have a blender (or if you think your motor won't cope!) you can do this by hand in a bowl but you will need to tear your paper up into teeny tiny pieces first then mix and squidge together with water.

3. If you want to add food colouring, now is the best time to do it.  We weren't able to get an even distribution of colour throughout the mixture and I tried it at various stages.  But if you put a few drops onto your wet pulp now and squidge it in your hands, you'll get a hint of colour (and also on your hands!).  Remember, these are to be planted so don't use chemical colourings.

4.  Squeeze out the excess liquid.  Get as much out as you can.


5. Add your seeds.  I used one pack to make six large 'cookies'.  We chose wildflowers as these are gifts for young children so I didn't want any complicated growing instructions.  Thompson and Morgan have a trial price on their meadow flowers at the moment of only 99p.  You can find them in garden centres, or try Wilkinson's and pound stores for cheap seeds.  Vegetable seeds would be great too, especially if you match the shapes to the produce.


6.  Next fill your cookie cutter shapes with the seed mixture.  We chose butterfly and bee shapes because that's what we hope the flowers will attract.  You might find it useful to stand the cutters on some kitchen paper to absorb any liquid that will be squeezed out.  Push the pulp down very firmly.


7. Carefully push out your shaped pulp from the cutter, and leave on some greaseproof paper in a warm place to dry.  You want them to dry quickly so the seeds don't start to germinate.


8. Once fully dry (ours took about 24 hours), wrap up in pretty packaging.  I placed a seed cake on a piece of card to keep it stable, added a lolly stick so the planter can remember where they put them, and wrapped in cellophane salvaged from a bouquet of flowers.  Add a pretty ribbon and a label and you're done.


Linking up with Red Ted Art.
and

Inspire Me Beautiful

47 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks my dear. Great messy fun to make too!

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  2. Love this idea, what a great alternative to sweets and educational to boot. x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. She loves to grow things, so I think her little friends will too :0)

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  3. What an absolutely lovely, lovely idea!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

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  4. We make these and pop them on to cards for Easter

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    1. Ahh that's a great idea Jen. But damn! There was me thinking I'd had an original idea! LOL

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  5. Brilliant idea: did you get good practice with those fridge magnets you made a couple of weeks ago?

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    1. Haha yes! That's what gave me the idea!

      One day I might actually make ice cubes with my trays and cookies with my cutters!

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  6. You are really good at this sort of thing.

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    Replies
    1. LOL! Not really, we just like to play :0)

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  7. I love, love, love these Liz. Did you see the programme Superscrimpers on TV last night? It was dreadful, and all I could think was why has Liz not got her own series you would beat that one hands down.

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    Replies
    1. Ahh bless you Molly! No I still haven't seen that programme. Think it would be right up my street, must try to catch up.

      Oh, and welcome back to the interweb, you've been missed x

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    2. I wouldn't bother, their ideas are really lame and predictable, unlike your creative and imaginative ones.
      Hey, I missed you too! x

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  8. What a brilliant idea! They look so pretty. I'm looking for baking alternatives as I just eat the results and this is such a good idea.

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    1. Ahh thanks. I was wondering if I should put a disclaimer on here somewhere. Some seeds are poisonous. But no-one would be dumb enough to eat them. Right?!

      x

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  9. These are very cool, a great idea, and a great way of getting kids into gardening :-)

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    1. Thanks Techno-mole. Yep, Ruby loves growing plants. We've got some more activities coming soon, but hopefully these will encourage her friends to as well. x

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  10. Love love love these, brilliant party bag idea. We'll definitely be making some. :)

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    1. Thank you, that's great to hear. I wanted to make seed paper for her bags last year but ran out of time. Also I didn't have the equipment, mesh frames etc. These are great because most people have got all the stuff in the kitchen anyway. Let me know how they turn out x

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  11. Oh my! How adorable!! Be sure to keep one and take a photo of it all in bloom.

    Lovely craft idea!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Maggy. We will do, we have the perfect spot to plant it!

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  12. Brilliant post! I'm definitely using this one as an alternative Easter gift.

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    1. Thanks Cara. Let me know how they turn out :0)

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  13. What a brilliant idea!!!!! Might have to steal this idea if that's OK?!! Such a nice change from sending in sweets!

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    Replies
    1. Course! We've got to get working on our next batch if we're going to do enough for the whole class!

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  14. What a fantastic idea, you are clever. Have shown people I work with and they agree

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    1. Thanks Mamabear. That's a bit alarming - who do you work wth?! LOL

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  15. Oh this is brilliant, I am definitely going to give this a go. I only have a hand blender though, I wonder if it can cope with it?
    I'll send the link to my Dad, as he will love it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Gidders. I don't know about a hand blender - do you mean a stick blender? Like you use for soup? It should do.

      You can do it by hand but it would take ages tearing the paper up really small. Hope you find a way x

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  16. This is a really lovely idea, thanks for sharing!

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  17. Love the idea, and thanks for entering the Blog post of the month again ;)

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  18. I've never done anything like this. Will this damage my blender?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, it shouldn't do if you do a small amount at a time and add plenty of water. x

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  19. I love this idea - I don't have a blender just a hand blender I guess this could be ummmm.... interesting but I've got to try it. Do you know whether it's possible using the traditional none blender methods of making paper?

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  20. Thank you for this idea. We tried it out for mother's day!

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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    Replies
    1. Ahh that's great to hear, thank you x

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  21. Really like this idea and would like to try it as part of a community gardening project with kids - with your agreement first. Happy to give you the credit for the same too.

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    1. Hi Fiddlesticks!

      That makes me happy, I'd be thrilled if you did.

      You might also like my seed bomb eggs x http://missielizzie-meandmyshadow.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/how-to-make-seed-bomb-easter-eggs.html

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  23. Just brilliant. Gonna do this very soon!

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