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DIY: make a plantable paper earth and watch your garden grow - We're doing this for Earth Day!

Make it: Plant-able Paper Earth

Every once in a while we do a project here on MPMK that I’m over-the-moon excited about. That’s how I feel about these plantable earths for Earth Day.  They’re so cute, I want to send a few to everyone I know.

I loved making paper as a kid. I don’t know why, maybe it’s something about the mess. Or maybe it was the idea that I could make the very same thing I used so often in my daily life, all by myself. (just prettier)

Regardless. I loved making paper, and this time was no different. It was just as much fun today, as it was years ago. In fact, it was more fun. Because I had two extra little hands to help.

We wanted to do something for earth day this year, and thought… why not plant-able paper? And why not take it a step further, and make it in the shape of the Earth?

If you haven’t heard of plant-able paper, it’s becoming quite the trend; for wedding favors, party activities, the list goes on. And in my opinion, it’s a perfect little Saturday activity to do with the kiddos.

 

Plus, when you are done, you get to plant your masterpiece and wait for the fruits of your labor to grow.

 

Paper Earth 6

To make a plant-able paper Earth, you will need:

  • scraps of blue and green paper (card stock or construction paper)
  • one large empty can and a rubber band
  • one square piece of screen (I used basic screen door screening)
  • one circle cookie cutter, smaller than the size of the can
  • seeds (We chose lavender, but any seeds will do. Just make sure it’s something you want to plant!)
  • a blender
  • spoon
  • water
Start by dividing your paper by color (this part is perfect for the little ones to help with–it kept my two-year old quite busy).

 

Paper Earth 4

Next tear the blue and green paper into small pieces, keeping them separated in bowls (also a great step for the littles). You’ll want to have about a two handfuls of blue, and one handful of green.

Paper Earth 5

When you are done tearing, add just enough water to each bowl to cover the paper, and let soak for just a few minutes.

 

Paper Earth 3

Then it’s on to the blender, so this part will need adult supervision if your kids are small. Starting with blue, add the wet paper to the blender, along with a cup of water, and blend. The paper pieces should quickly turn into a blue pulp. Once you are done blending, pour the mixture back into your bowl and mix in your seeds.

Then it’s time to rinse your blender, and repeat with the green paper. Once both mixtures are done, they should look like this:

 

Paper Earth
Set your bowls aside and gather the can, rubber band, cookie cutter, and screen. Place the screen over the opening of the large can, and secure with a rubber band as tightly as possible. Then place the cookie cutter on top of the screen.

Paper Earth 1

Now, spoon the blue mixture into the cookie cutter, making a thin layer over the screen, and let the excess water drip into the can.

Paper Earth 8

After letting the water drip down for a bit, spoon drops of the green mixture on top of the blue, making your “continents” (these don’t have to be exact).

 

While still wet, carefully remove the cookie cutter, and place your Earth in the sun to dry.

Earth Day Kids Craft: Plantable Paper Earths

Once it is mostly dry, carefully peel the paper and press (using paper towels and heavy books) to avoid curling. And you’re done.

All that’s left is to plant your paper Earth, and wait for it to grow. And that might be very best part.

 For More Earth-Friendly Kid Activities, Check Out:

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P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?


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Alli is wife to Michael, mommy to Isaiah and friend to their furry one, Hershey girl. Her passion lies in being a Mom and finding ways to bring creativity to life with her family. You can visit her blog (You have your blog, we have Aars) for ideas, activities, inspiration and more.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise April 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

Wow, I think I will try this one… but need to know how the cleaning of the blender went as we just got new one and dont want to risk it if it will do little damage to it (mostly color damage)?

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Alli April 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

Hey Denise, I accidentally commented instead of replying to yours! That kind of a morning. ;) See my reply in the comments below…

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Alli April 17, 2013 at 10:16 am

I hope you try it! It was very easy, and the blender rinses perfectly clean. The paper mixture is just pulp pieces and water, so no residue or color damage. Let me know if you make one!

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Katie April 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I’m a science teacher in an elementary school, and this sounds like the perfect project for my students for Earth Day on Monday!! I think they will really, really love this.
How long does it take to dry on the screen in the sun before it’s ready to be peeled off and pressed?

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Alli April 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm

So glad you like it! We let it dry overnight before peeling, and truthfully, we only pressed ours for about an hour because it happened to dry so flat already. Hope that helps. Let me know if you try it with your students!

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Juliemara April 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Is now a good time to plant it? when should we expect to see it pop up? and do you plant it just like a regular flower bulb, six inches down? not much of a gardener here, but I’d like to be!

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Alli April 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm

You can simply follow the guidelines on your seed packet. Planting times, sprouting times, and seed depth vary based on the seed type. I love to plant things (although my thumb isn’t always green) and I do best when I stick to the instructions. Hope that helps!

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Melanie April 21, 2013 at 9:39 am

what a lovely idea! have posted it to facebook!

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Alli April 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm

So glad you like it! Hope you make one!

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Magen April 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I made these with my preschool class this morning and they came out great!! Super cute idea and the kids really enjoyed getting messy and doing their part!! Thank you SO much!

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Alli April 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I’m so glad! It’s too much fun, isn’t it? Just the perfect amount of getting your hands dirty.

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Laurita. S April 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Wow, this activity looks fantastic! I work at an After School program at a community centre, and I’m looking for an Earth Day-themed activity that I can do with about 18 or so kids tomorrow; this looks fantastic! I’m just now sure about where I would get the screen…could I substitute cheese cloth? I’m a university graduate, so I don’t have a tonne of money on my hands to buy the screen stuff heh. but otherwise, looks great!

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Alli April 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

You know, the screen material is actually super cheap at any hardware store. I got mine at Home Depot. You could try cheesecloth, but I am not sure it would be stiff enough to hold the weight of the pulp. If you try, let me know if it works! Good luck!

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Jasheena July 15, 2013 at 2:16 am

Hi, I love this idea to carry out with the children. But just a question because I am totally clueless about gardening and all, do we have to water the seeds every now and then?

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Steph (MPMK Founder) July 15, 2013 at 2:33 am

Yes! They’ll still need water to grow :).

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Denise April 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I want to do this with about 60 students … do you think I could use large solo cups instead of cans to put the screen on?

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