Making your own seed packets is easy and satisfying.
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:
- Easy to make in reasonably large numbers.
- Easy to create and print names, pictures and cultural details.
- Secure for small seeds — no gaps, and nowhere for the seeds to get stuck.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.