Easy Plantable Paper Project

Create your own plantable paper—a thoughtful handmade gift or party favor—with simple materials you likely already have on hand.

You need very little equipment to create sweet little shaped sheets of paper. This plantable paper project has three lives: Embed seeds into a shaped sheet of handmade paper. Once it dries, turn it into a gift tag, ornament, or card. Plant the card and watch it grow. Now that’s recycling.

Photo of a plantable paper heart in a pot with a green watering can.
Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.


  • Toilet paper
  • Hardy seeds (such as cosmos, cornflower, zinnia, and/or marigold)


  • Glass jar with lid
  • Plastic or wire mesh cut to 5″ square
  • Quart-size yogurt container or tin can
  • Shaped cookie cutter
  • Turkey baster (optional)
  • Sheet of newspaper or paper towel
  • Sponge or towel


  1. Add six squares of single-ply or three squares of double-ply toilet paper to 1 cup of water in a glass jar.
Photo of toilet paper and jar filled with water on a yellow background.
Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

2. Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until the paper is completely broken up and the mixture is homogenous.

Photo of water and paper mixture in a jar.
Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

3. Place a mesh screen on top of a yogurt container or tin can, and set a cookie cutter on top of the mesh. Pour the paper pulp into the cookie cutter and give everything a little shake as the water drains so that the pulp settles evenly into the shape. If the pulp settles too quickly and doesn’t fill the shape, put the pulp and water back in the jar, then adjust the amount of pulp and/or water as necessary, shake it up, and pour again.

Photo of paper and water mixture being poured into a heart-shaped cookie cutter over a mesh screen.
Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

4. Sprinkle 5–10 seeds on top of the sheet and press the seeds down into the fresh pulp, or use a turkey baster to squirt just enough additional pulp over the seeds to cover them.

Photo of hand placing seeds on top of the paper mixture.
Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

5. Remove the cookie cutter and carefully flip your sheet of paper from the mesh onto a sheet of newspaper or a paper towel. Use a sponge or towel to press the excess water out of the pulp and allow the sheet to air-dry.

Photo of hand using sponge to press water out of heart-shaped plantable paper.
Photo by Mars Vilaubi © Storey Publishing.

Plantable Paper designed by Arnold Grummer, excerpted from The Art of Papercraft © Helen Hiebert.

Helen Hiebert

About the Author

Helen Hiebert is a papermaker, artist, and author of books on papermaking and paper crafts, including The Papermaker’s Companion and Papermaking with Garden Plants and Common Weeds. She teaches papermaking classes and workshops, writes a weekly blog, and is the Paper Talk podcast host. She lives near Vail, Colorado.

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