Making your own seed packets is easy and satisfying.

Completed seed packets
Completed seed packets

I needed some packets or envelopes for seed I had collected for a local seed swap.

I looked around on the web for suitable packets, or instructions to make my own. I wanted something practical and horticultural, rather than something pretty and crafty. The packets needed to be:

I found it hard to buy small envelopes for seeds, and printing on envelopes is very fiddly. I decided that it would be easier to make my own packets than to buy them ready-made. There are lots of seed packet templates on the web, but most of involve rather a lot of cutting, and nearly all can leave holes in the corners for seed to leak out.

After a few evenings experimenting, I arrived at a simple design. The design produces seed packets that are 65mm x 75mm, which is big enough for a good packet of saved seed. It produces four packets from a sheet of A4 paper. It involves no cutting other than to cut the A4 paper into quarters. You can produce plain packets, or pre-print them with names, pictures and instructions. The packet are secure, without gaps for seeds to leak out. I easily created a couple of hundred packet this way.

Equipment

Obviously, you need a computer and printer to print out envelope templates.

You need glue. I use Impex Hi-Tack glue, which works well because it sticks very quickly.

You need tape to seal the completed packets. I use Glue Lines Continuous Dots, which works very well, but you could use single or double sided sticky tape just as easily.

Extra sticky glue Glue dots continuous lines
You need glue, and something to stick down the flaps for the completed packet.
I use Glue Dots Continuous Lines, which give a very neat finish.

Templates

Plain template

If you want to start straight away, download the blank seed envelope template (pdf format).

When you print this out using Adobe Reader, be sure to select the None option on the page scaling so that you don't get extra margins.

Adobe Reader print dialog
Set the page scaling option to None when you print out the templates.

When you have printed out the template, cut into four envelope blanks.

I have prepared some seed packet templates in different formats, inluding PDF, Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, OpenOffice.org Impress and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

You can use these as a guide for creating your own templates.

If you want to share any templates that you have created, email them to me at "andrew at stirfrycentral dot com" and I will put them up here too.

Folding and gluing

Making the envelope

Take one envelope blank, and lay it so that the printed side is face down. Make the folds before you apply the glue.

Fold the sides of the seed packet over the back.
Fold over two sides of seed packet
Fold the bottom of the seed packet up.
Fold the bottom
Unfold the envelope and glue the central part just under the bottom fold.
Glue just under the bottom fold
Fold the right side over and apply glue to the outside edge of the folded side.
Glue one folded side
Fold the left flap in to meet up with the right flap. Glue along the inside of the bottom fold.
Glue inside of bottom fold
Fold the bottom up to make the basic envelope shape.
Fold the bottom to make an envelope.

Leave the glue to dry completely.

After a bit of practice, I can glue about eight packets at a time without everything turning to a gluey mess.

Sealing the envelope

Fold the top of the packet over twice to make a secure flap.
(You must fold it over twice or the seeds can leak out.)
Fold the top flap down twice.
The simplest way to seal the packet is to use sticky tape to keep the top flap down.
Secure the seed packet with sticky tape.
For a neater finish, you can use double-sided sticky tape under the flap, or use Glue Dots Continuous Lines.
Secure the seed packet with Glue Dots Continuous Lines.

Double-sided tape or Glue Dots Continuous Lines have a backing tape, which means that you can prepare the packet in advance, and quickly stick them down when you have filled them.

Further ideas

You can use tape instead of glue to make the basic envelope, but it does not give such a good result. If you use double sided tape or Glue Dots Continuous Lines, then the cost can be significant if you are making lots of packets. Glue is much cheaper.

You can use the basic design for any size envelope. I use whole A4 sheets, quickly stuck together with sticky tape, to make large packet for gathering seed heads for initial seed collection. You could produce two packet from an A4 sheet for storing larger quantities of seed.

For small seed packets, I found that thinner paper folds better and gives a better result, as well as being cheaper.