Endless supply of seed envelopes

pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)February 5, 2006

I became more serious about seed trading in October and have been experimenting with seed envelopes. I've used plastic baggies and envelopes made from templates, etc.

A couple traders sent me seeds in folded envelopes made of a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of paper. I thought what a terrific idea. Someone mentioned making seed envelopes from catalog pages. Here 's what I have been making the past couple weeks while waiting for the cold weather:

Place seeds between the flaps, fold it dow, place a small piece of the transparent tape on the tip and the envelope is ready to go. The seeds never came out of the envelopes that I received.

Thanks to my wonderful traders, I've found another way to recycle those seed/plant catalogs. :-) The seeds won't get moldy either. Neat, huh? Pretty too.

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sondra_tn(South East TN (6/7))

I have tried figuring out how they did those. I have received several of them also. I was wondering though....when people lable them, why don't they put A ( Annual) or P ( perrinial) on them? Maybe with me being new and not knowing, is why I suggest this. LOL I have to look all mine up and put on them...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 4:07PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I usually label mine & give a bit of information on cultivation. It is difficult to determine whether the plants would be annuals or perennials, though since it all depends on where you live. Some may be perennials in warmer climate, but would be grown as annuals in colder zones.

It is fun to look them up, isn't it? You end up learning a lot more that way. I agree that for a new gardener, a bit of information is always helpful.

Happy gardening.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 6:30PM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

What a neat idea, pit...
I'll have to put that one to use.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 7:24PM
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Raney10(z7 TN)

Thanks for the wonderful instructions. I had also received seeds in this type envelope but it was plain paper. I saved one so I would know how to make them next seed collecting season. What a great idea to recycle seed catalogs in this way.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 9:38AM
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I LOVE them!!! Can you give a detailed instruction for us idiots, please? I never went to KG, so missed the cut & paste class. Or a picture of each step would work, too. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 9:40AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thank you, lblack, Raney & mmcq. I am glad that you are interested in making these envelopes. Making them relaxes me. I hope youÂll enjoy making them too. They are adorable, practical and cost nothing. In our small way, weÂll take part in recycling as well.

1. Cut paper into a 3 1/2" square, wider if you need a larger envelope. I might make my next batch with a 4" square for larger seeds:

2. Fold the square into a triangle. I forgot all the geometric terms, so please forgive me if the explanation is unclear:

3. Fold the two flaps almost all the way to the base of the triangle:

4. Fold the two corners of the triangle toward the center:

5. Unfold the flaps. Place a piece of tansparent tape over the two corners as shown in the photo above. The envelope will look like this:

Please note the base of the flaps. If the two corners of the triangle are folded a little deeper so that the flaps are not perfectly triangular, small seeds will not leak out.

6. Seeds go in between the two flaps:

7. Fold down the flaps and tape the tip or insert it into the envelope, like so:

I usually fold the squares up to stage 3 on the train to and from work. I do the rest at home where I have more space. It is not easy balancing all my supplies on my lap during the train ride. :-)

Have fun and please let me know how they turn out.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 8:01PM
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walktrotcanter99(z5 MI)

These are great! I got some of your beautiful packets, too, Karen and they are so nice, too. A great pick me up.
Thanks for this.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 10:08PM
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thanks for the pictures! I have made these from waxed paper, but never thought about old seed catalogs- cute, very cute! your instructions are very good :))


    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 10:47PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thank you, Linda. A compliment from you really makes my day. :-)
Here is more seed packet making instruction. I am trying to consolidate all the options here:

Here is a link that might be useful: More seed packet making

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 11:33PM
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arborgirl(5 - IL)

What a great post! Now I finally have something to do with the piles of catalogs from the trade show. And how great it is that you do most of it on the train! I know how long the train commutes are in Chicago (I used to do it myself), and to be productive during is a bonus. To think I wasted all that time reading and watching movies...(LOL)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 9:44AM
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Have 'Bloomington IL' catalogs, now I know what to do with them...and conveniently, some of the pix are just the right size! No measuring, no mess! Cool!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 6:29PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I received some comments about the seed envelopes I sent. Maybe this will pique your interest and start making them. :-)

Have fun.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 7:22PM
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Yes, they were absolutely darling! I didn't want to "undo" them to see how to do it, but was very curious as to how they were made...and sort of guess whether it was something I could do.

I didn't have a single seed leak in the package I got from you, but the final picture above looks very "loose". Not sure how that works?!

Glad I found the thread,

Thanks, Mone!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 2:20AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

In that last picure above, I simply taped the flap to the bottom part. That's why it is loose. I prefer inserting the flap into the envelope now. It keeps seeds from leaking out. I am glad you like them. Cute, aren't they? I enjoy making them too.

I actually got the idea from kizzyseeds and, I believe, tidewaterlily. Both of them sent me seeds in plain folded envelopes with no tape at all. None of the seeds leaked at all. Using catalogs was sorta my idea. It's a good way to recycle seed catalogs. :-)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 10:28PM
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strmywthr3(Central OH z5)

so cool! I made my first packets tonight!


    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 7:23PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

You go, Barbi. :-)
Yup. It's fun. I got tired after filling many envelopes today, so I spent the afternoon cutting up catalogs. :-)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 10:33PM
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That is very cool. Now, I remember that from school days.
Thanks so much. It's a great way to recycle! I have seen tea bags, splenda bags, oragami, small plastic bags with the lable on inside so they are reusable, coin bags, parts of envelopes. I like using the free types of packaging.

Thanks so much for your help!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 1:22AM
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I'm using my husband's page a day calendar. Perfect size and I can use the back side for writing on. I figure I'll have 200 or so by seed saving time. Oh, oh, oh, I can even put them in my garden scooter seat so I don't end up filling my pockets with all the seeds I collect. And maybe I can figure a way to fold them into mini pots for winter sowing! Now I need more calenders.

Thanks for the idea!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 8:00PM
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Great minds think alike, eh?

DH bought me a page a day soduko calendar, so Ive been doing the puzzle and then fold it into an evy.


Its neat to use a square post-it note for these also, you can get the sticky part to be in just the right place to seal them too.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 10:43AM
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I tried these out while waiting at the doctor's. It was so much fun and my daughters have gotten into it too! Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:10AM
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I didnt see your great directions but someone sent me some seeds in a paper envie so my daughter took it apart and re made it...then she sat for days and made me a whole bag full,and she is even making them for a lady that is disabled...we love to cut out the "pretty" pictures from last years catalogs and use them..or the catalogs that come and we dont plan on ordering from...oragami paper works great too or scrapbook paper if you have leftover peices...

us gardeners are never bored...LOL

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 12:42AM
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Thanks so much for posting this. I just bookmarked this page. I've gotten a few trades with homemade envies & thought it was a cool idea. I'll have to practice making them (now I know what to do with those Burpee catalogs!)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 2:48PM
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So I went home and cut up an old Brent & Becky's Bulb catalog and made 24 envelopes. My husband responded, "It's a sickness." I laughed!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 7:09PM
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Such a great idea Piti! This year I will most likely run out of the ones I made a couple of years ago, so I will use your idea. Thanks! I hate 'buying' stuff and have quite a few catalogues I can use.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 9:38AM
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grolikecrazy(6-7 UT)

Awsome instructions and links!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 2:04AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thanks, grolikecrazy, for bringing back this thread. I like it too. It's much simpler to make than any other packets. After filling the packet with seeds, I insert the flap into the bottom part, like so:

This way there is no way seeds will leak out. No need to tape it shut either.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 10:22PM
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There's a bulb catalog, cant think of the name offhand. They have gorgeous ivory colored pages with a nice brown frame around them and there are hand drawn pictures of garlic and iris and lily and whatever else they sell. The photos have tons of white (ivory) space for writing on too.

They would make GREAT envy's, if only I could bear to cut up the catalog.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:37AM
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juanital(5b/6a OH)

What a great idea! I must try this!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 8:15AM
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I am so glad find this thread! I am attending a seed swap in a week, and I was just wondering what I would use for envelopes--other than envelopes! I rescued two seed catalogs that went in the recycling this morning. Thanks so much!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 8:31PM
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I love this idea. Sat here the other night w/ teenage son and made a bunch of 'em. Was getting more catalogs than I knew what to do with. This is perfect. I sent some seeds in a trade with these envelopes. Thanks for sharing. I was having a hard time trying to find something the right size for seeds.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 9:23PM
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Just bumping up for the new crowd. I love these envies thay come in so very handy.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 6:35PM
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Thank you for these instructions. Now I will never run out of envelopes PLUS I can recycle all those print jobs that aren't quite right on my computer. I have already filled up several with seed I saved this year. I'm learning to save seeds and having free envelopes helps a lot.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 12:36PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Don't you just love the ones made from the seed catalogs? It's unique and once you learn how easy it really is to make it, you'll want to make your own all the time. I read where somebody buys their clear, ziploc bags in the jewelry dept. at Walmart..couldn't find that post to find out what that Walmart sells them for but the closest Walmart to me is 15-17 miles. I am 1 mile from Michael's and had to return an item to another store in same shopping center so I decided to see if Michael's sold them. Sure enough..box of 175 for $2.99 plus tax. 2"x 3 3/4"..saved on gasoline, and 30-40 min. travel time. These little envelopes has many uses besides seed storage..can't wait for my seeds that I ordered come! I'm still going to make some of those adorable handmade envelopes to have on hand. They make me smile!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 4:23PM
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Lol, I received seeds packed like this and I took the packs apart to see how they were made. I thought it was a great idea. Since, I have been using this way for my seed packs. I never knew who came up with the idea. Awesome, resourceful, creative, and extremely economic!! Thank you for posting this, because before I knew where it came from I have been using this process.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 8:44AM
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I've made similar envelopes though theses are a ton simpler. I love the idea of using old seed catalogs though, I can't believe I never thought of that!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 6:01PM
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If you have a Cricut machine (usually used to cut paper shapes for scrapbooking, card making, etc.) you can use it to cut out the paper squares--easy peasy!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:47PM
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