kidlitcrafts

Wild Valentines

Looking for ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without the sugar rush? The gorgeous book, Finding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Abigail Halpin, inspired us to spread some ‘wild’ of our own during this season of love.

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I’d seen homemade seed paper floating around Pinterest for a while now, and I thought this would be the perfect time to try it out! For my first foray into paper-making, I was surprised at how easy the process was. It takes some patience (which is not really my crafting forte), but the final results are well worth the wait!

  1. Find and shred about 10 sheets of paper into a big bowl (such a great way to use up those pesky scraps!)

This was by far the most exciting part for my kids. Who doesn’t love getting the green light to be a little destructive? We used a few sheets of green, some white, and even a little yellow.

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  1. Add 2 cups of hot water and mix gently until all paper is soaked.

My two year old loves to stir, so we stirred this mixture for quite some time. Totally unnecessary unless you need to entertain a toddler.

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  1. Let soak for at least an hour
  1. Blend it up!

Use a blender or a food processer until your scraps of paper transform into a fine pulp. I added a bit more water here to help the blades get going, but you might not have to.

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I know it looks kind of gross, but I really love this springy green color we made!

  1. Stir in your seeds (we used two packets of wildflower seeds, but any small seeds would work!)
  1. Spread and dry

If you’re a paper making pro, you might have a mesh screen to use for the drying process. I improvised with a cookie sheet lined with a kitchen towel. Spread a thin layer onto the towel, roll as flat as possible, and top with another towel. I then weighed the whole thing down with another cookie sheet on top.

  1. Wait wait wait (1-2 hrs)

I changed out the top towels a few times as they became soaked with water.  Basically, you’re waiting for the paper to dry out and firm up enough to transfer to a drying rack.

  1. Transfer to a wire rack and wait some more

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To transfer to the rack, I removed the top towel, placed the rack upside down on top of the paper, then flipped (pan and all).  I then carefully pealed back the bottom towel to let the paper continue to air dry.

  1. Get tired of waiting and try a hair dryer (Ugh…patience…)

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  1. Give up on the hair dryer and wait some more…. probably best to just let it dry overnight.
  1. When your paper is finally dry, trace your desired shapes and cut!

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We taped our seed hearts to these sweet printouts for my son’s preschool class. If you’re interested, you can print your own by downloading the pdf below!

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Have fun spreading some wild this Valentine’s Day!

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