Making Seed Packets

This weekend we were working mostly inside the house. I wasn’t in the garden much, besides half an hour or so chopping kindling for the fire in the icy rain, which nevertheless melted away the last of our snow. Obviously I have made a mistake in allowing my phenomenal axe-handling skills to be witnessed by King of the Hill, as it now forces me outside most weekends in all weathers.

Mind you, I do get a warm sense of satisfaction at shaping the wood to my will, especially when I manage to tame a particularly unwieldy knot to break apart.  And he is usually not far away, arranging the woodstores, or chopping up much larger logs with either the chainsaw or the huge axe that I can barely lift, let alone swing.

Besides lots of hard work on getting the house ready for visitors at Christmas: scrubbing and re-sealing yet more swathes of slate floors, unpacking and finding homes for more long-lost items from our treasure trove of boxes, now restored to our possession, I did find a little time to do something garden-related, albeit from the warm comfort of our study. I made a dozen seed packets to safely store the harvested seeds that have been sitting around, in plastic pots or slovenly scattered across the windowsills.

I used A4 sheets of recycled cotton paper made with rice husks, which give a lovely textural finish ideal for what I had in mind. After one rather wasteful attempt that elicited a single packet from one sheet, with lots of unusable paper left over, I quickly formulated a plan with almost no wastage, and no tedious measuring and template creation or tracing.

Each sheet of paper I folded in half lengthwise, and then cut along the crease to give me two long rectangles.

With each rectangle in turn I then proceeded to make a packet, as follows: I folded about a centimetre into the wrong side of the paper along each long edge, then made a slightly larger fold at one of the short ends.

I then folded the resulting rectangle in half  across the short width.

I pinched all the creases to make them sharp, then unfolded the paper again slightly, in order to cut away the unwanted paper: with the short flap at the top, I cut away the two small corner rectangles on either side, and the two long side segments of the bottom rectangle, as illustrated.

I rounded the corners of the top and side flaps slightly, then folded up the bottom rectangle so that it lay beneath all the flaps, before applying glue to the two long side flaps.

These side flaps I then stuck down, and lo and behold: my seed packet was ready to fill with seeds.

I even found a silver pen to scrawl the contents and date onto each packet. A quick and easy way to make pretty little packets for the rampant seeds that were scattered about the house.


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12 thoughts on “Making Seed Packets

    • It was a satisfying task, which didn’t take much time or materials but made a small difference to tidying things away! And I feel much happier giving family and friends pretty paper packets than the usual hastily folded envelopes when sharing seeds!
      Heh, I am still quite amazed that I haven’t lost a digit yet as I have clumsy tendencies too. I do sometimes end up with the axe sticking into the tree stump that we use as a chopping block while the split wood has flown several feet away in different directions. Or the axe stuck in a knot in the block that I’m trying to chop. But I rather like the pile of small neat sticks that I hew out of the rough blocks… The kindling axe is the limit of my might though, I’d have no chance on the bigger one!

  1. Oh dear reading this has reminded me of at least two paperbags with seedheads sitting in the dining room waiting for my attention! I think if I managed to cut any wood I would feel a huge sense of satisfaction

    Like that you have snow on your blog as well:)

  2. I have a small stack of bowls and plates in the middle of the kitchen table and get cross when anyone moves them in case the seeds fall off / out. I don’t know why I don’t simply put them in brown envelopes. For that matter . . . er . . . why didn’t you?

    Esther

    • Heh. I didn’t have any brown envelopes smaller than A4 padded ones, which seemed rather over the top. Except some long white self-sealing ones – in one of which my poppy seeds had spent the past couple of months on the kitchen windowsill, but I found the envelope too big and ungainly, and couldn’t bring myself to put tiny amounts of other seeds into similar huge envelopes. I wanted something uniform and packet-sized that I could stack together and not lose in the general clutter of everyday. They please me!

  3. Do you have a degree in Origami then??? I’m wondering if you are a “crafter”as well as a gardener. My wife Jane makes lots of crafty things, including all our Christmas cards, and she is now an expert in folding things, cutting things, glueing things and making scraps of paper into attractive aretefacts.

    • Two degrees in engineering, so I suppose it’s not so far removed from Origami! I do indeed love any opportunity to be creative; knitting, sewing, drawing, baking &c. – although I need things to have function as well as form (besides art, of course). Not sure what I would do with a paper swan ;-) I did make our Christmas cards a few years ago, using silver embroidery thread to sew designs on card; since then we have been living in the building site which has not been a place for clean, soft, delicate, craftable things, and now I have two years of stored ideas and projects to set free :-) I’m really looking forward to being able to make things again though – including a garden!

  4. I admire your axe skills but sometimes I think these are skills not to be shared with our nearest and dearest!
    I will look forward to seeing your garden come into being; designing, deciding and planting – bliss!

    • Hi Christina, Thank you for visiting. Indeed, the perils of doing a job too well ;-). I look forward to exploring your blog too, and rather envy your climate and your wonderful needle-like cypresses which look so good there… Looks like you have done a lot of work!

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