How to make seed bombs
Whether you are guerilla gardening or gardening with children, these seed bombs made from recycled paper will inspire your imagination. Seed bombs and seed paper can be made into creative gifts, party favors, or an inspiring nature activity for students. While these instructions turn your recycled paper into a 3 D shape using a mold, you can also make seed paper following these steps, and laying out the paper mache on a screen, in the traditional way of making paper.
Save the bees or grow herbs
Focus on wildflowers, herbs, and annuals to feed the bees as part of a bee garden project. Use perennial flower seeds to bring beauty and fragrance to your corner of the world. Or use culinary herbs like basil, parsley, dill, and oregano to create an herbal seed bomb for gifting. This is a fun project to do with children or with adult friends in a group setting.
This recipe makes approximately 20 seed bombs about 1 to 1 ½ inch diameter. I used this heart-shaped mold from Ikea. You’ll need two molds like this to make this recipe.
If you’re making this in a group setting, plan on 1 mold for each person participating, and four cups of torn paper pieces for each person.
Materials for making seed bombs:
Paper to recycle, enough to make 6 cups of torn paper. Avoid glossy paper.
1 tbsp. Kelp powder (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp. turmeric (optional)
1 tsp. flower or herb seeds such as:
Bee Flower Seeds
- Bachelor Buttons
- Black-eyed Susan
- Cone Flower
Culinary Herbs to include in seed bombs:
- Food processor or blender
- Bowls or a bin to hold the torn paper and water
- Potato Ricer or press to remove water
- Silicone ice cube or chocolate mold
- Sponge, unpaper towels, or paper towels for blotting excess water
Directions for making seed bombs:
Tear the paper into small pieces until you have enough to fill a measuring cup with 6 cups of paper. If you have a paper shredder, that will make quick work of it.
Add the kelp powder, cinnamon, and turmeric to the paper in the bowl.
Cover the shredded paper with water and let the mixture sit in water for 15 minutes. This allows the paper to bring in moisture and will help it to break down even further in the next step.
Drain off the excess water.
In small batches, process the wet paper with your food processor to make paper mache (about 5 minutes)
If the food processor doesn’t mash all the paper, try adding back a small amount of water. You want the paper to be coarsely mashed. Process until you see fiber strands at the edges of your mache. This will hold the finished seed bomb together as it dries and contracts.
Remove from the food processor and using a potato ricer, or your hands, press the excess water out of the paper.
Wear gloves if you used turmeric in the recipe or you’ll have yellow fingers.
Remove as much water as possible, so that when the pieces are squeezed, no water drips out.
Fill silicone molds halfway with paper mache.
You’ll need to press the paper firmly into the mold to smooth out any gaps. Use the bowl of a spoon or the handle of a muddler to get a smooth, even pressure.
Sprinkle seeds of your choice sparingly over the top of the paper in the molds. If you pressed the excess water out of your paper the seeds will not germinate while the paper dries.
Fill silicone molds up to the top with the remaining paper.
Press the final layer firmly in place. Sponge any excess water off the top of the paper in the molds to speed drying.
Let the mold sit for 24 hours in a warm place to dry out
The next day remove the seed paper from the mold and allow to dry completely.
This may take a few days depending on the time of year and how much humidity you have. Don’t put the seed bomb in an oven, dehydrator, or microwave to speed drying as this will kill the seed and stop germination. Allow it all to dry naturally.
Once your seed bombs are fully dry and no longer cool to the touch, they are ready for gifting or spreading around.
To Use the Seed Bombs
Plant the entire seed bomb on bare ground by digging a shallow hole and covering the seed bomb with 1/8th inch of soil. Keep moist at all times, while you are waiting for the seeds to germinate. The Kelp will feed the seeds and encourage root growth. The cinnamon and turmeric are antimicrobial and will inhibit fungal diseases and insect pests, while you are waiting for the seeds to germinate.
For further exploration
More Papermaking with Kids from Tessa Zundel at Homestead Lady
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have you made seed bombs? What did you use as a medium?