Printable Seed Packets and Simple Storage Ideas For Gardeners
Print Personalized Seed Envelopes
I can't get enough seeds, and if you're the type of gardener that I am, then you can't get enough seeds either. This also means that you can't find enough envelopes, paper seeds packets and glassine envelopes to store your current collection as well as the ones that you're going to save this season. Well, I finally found the answer. Printable templates that you can create with one click whenever you need them. Use them for yourself, give seeds to other gardeners or make fun eco-friendly party favors. The possibilities are endless!
Make a Seed Envelope Template
The instructions and printable envelope templates featured in this lens have been adapted from the public domain book "The Library of Work and Play: Gardening and Farming" by Ellen Eddy Shaw, which was published in 1911.
To make this template you will need:
A cereal box or lightweight cardboard
Scissors to cut out your template.
For complete instructions on how to draft your own template, visit Project Gutenberg, or download my instructional PDF, which includes an exact replica that can be traced.
How to Make Paper Seed Envelopes - Folding and Cutting Instructions
Make dozens of personalized envelopes or decorative seed packets in a few minutes. When I first started, I used a simple cardboard template to cut out envelope shapes from copy paper, brown paper bags and pretty paper.
For this project you will need the following items:
Several sheets of paper
A glue stick
A pen or pencil to label your seed packets, the harvest date, germination rate, etc.
For instructions on how to fold these packets, click the image, or follow the link to check out my instructional PDF, which is available through Slideshare.
Small Seed Packets
Small envelopes are ideal for storing those tiny, small-as-a-speck seeds. They're also great for storing small glassine envelopes full of foxglove seeds, snapdragons and others that are equally tiny. The text field can be altered once you open the file in MS Word.
These print four per page.
Finished size: approximately 2 inches wide by 2.75 inches long.
Find my small seed packet document on Slideshare, or click the image to be re-directed automatically. These are perfect for storing seeds on their own or those that are already packed in glassine envelopes.
Large Seed Packets
Use these large envelopes are great for storing squash and bean seeds, seed heads and larger items. They're also great for storing buttons, household items and small things that are always hanging around in the wrong places.
These packets print two per page.
Finished size: Approximately 3 inches by 3.75 inches.
Find my large seed envelopes on Slideshare.
Don't like fuchsia and green? Print out this cool blue and green version instead! It's the same size.
Still not perfect? I also have an orange and green version! Find it here.
Seed Envelope Combo Pack
Need small and large seed packets for storing all of your seeds? I've got you covered.
Print out one large seed packet and two smaller ones per sheet with this handy document.
Print Format: This document will print one large 3-inch packet and two smaller 2-inch versions on a single 8.5 by 11 page.
Find the combo pack on Slideshare. or click the image to be directed automatically.
Plus, There's always room to enter your name, the type of the seeds, when they were harvested and all that jazz on your computer.
You can even turn them into personalized party favors or invitations and print them on fancy paper.
Extra-Large Seed Packets
These extra-large seed packets are perfect for those over-sized seeds as well as large quantities of smaller seeds.
These bad boys print one per page. The document has two pages with one green and one fuchsia envelope.
Finished size: big
Find these super-sized seed envelopes here.
Seed Storage Tips
For best results, store seeds in a stable, air-tight environment. To remain dormant and retain a high germination rate, seeds must be stored in a dark, dry area where temperatures are stable. I like to use these ammo cases and put a few packs of silica gel in there to absorb excess humidity and keep those seeds fresh. I don't recommend putting seeds in the fridge for long-term storage because that is a high-moisture environment. With a few simple items, you too can create an ideal seed-storage area.
Turn a glass pickle jar or a plastic food storage container into a seed storage area by adding a simple pack of silica gel, which are found with handbags, new shoes, in medications and all kinds of products that are susceptible to moisture.
For more tips on saving and storing seeds, visit SeedSavers.org SeedSavers.org.
10 Creative Containers That are Perfect for Storing Seeds
1. Glassine envelopes (these are made from a transparent material like wax paper and are perfect for storing those tiny dust-like seeds, including foxgloves, nicotiana and asters)
2. Wrapped in paper using the jeweler's fold, which I demonstrate below. This is another great way to store tiny seeds that you'll pack inside another envelope.
3. Tiny 2" by 2" ziplock envelopes are great in the come in bags of 100. You can also purchase 1,000 lots if you're really into the seed thing.
4. Paper coin envelopes are another popular option. Especially with smaller seeds, I find that the gummed flap is the main drawback, since your seeds will be trapped there!
5. My printable seed envelopes! These are great for storing seeds of all sizes as well as those tiny ones that are already wrapped in paper or glassine. Use large one for beans, sunflowers and bulky items and use the smaller ones for tomatoes, pepper, lettuce.
6. Empty prescription bottles. These air-tight containers are ideal for storing seeds, including large ones. You can also use aspirin bottles and other containers that are used for over-the-counter medications.
7. Pill organizers are fantastic for storing seeds. If you have a small amount or are getting ready to plant a few varieties, pack them into the daily slots. You'll have no need to worry about the lid popping off or air entering. Plus, some stores give them away for free!
8. Sandwich bags, especially the ziplock variety, are super for storing seeds. I use these when I have a large number of bulky seeds to store. Occasionally, I'll use paper lunch bags too, and open-ended bread bags are perfect for storing plant material before you gather the seeds.
9. Everyone has a few Tupperware or Gladware-style containers that would accommodate a variety of flower and vegetable seed. After you've packed them in envelopes, organize them in one of these air-tight food storage containers.
10. Ammo boxes are my absolute favorite. You can fit a ton of seed envelopes in one of these bad boys. They're built to last and keep out all traces of air and humidity, which could compromise ammo or degrade germination rates. For extra protection, toss in a pack of silica gel to absorb excess moisture.
Labeling and Organization Tips for Seed Savers
For most gardeners, nothing is work that a pile of old jumbled seeds. You have know idea what varieties you have and how old they are. To avoid this common problem, it's way to label all of your seeds. Here's what you'll need.
Sticky label paper
Pack up for seeds in individual envelopes. If you have multiple envelopes of one kind, put them in a regular envelope that's marked with the variety, date of harvest and other useful information
Coin envelopes with pre-gummed flaps are popular for storing seeds, and they're easy to find.
Store seeds and this handy, dandy bead storage container to organize all of those lovely varieties.
Do You Save Seeds?
Plastic vs. Paper: Do Plastic Bags Kill Seeds?
For some years, there has been a controversy about whether plastic bags kill seeds. Some say they're charged with static electricity that affects the viability of seeds. In my opinion, germination is only affected by moisture. As well all know, plastic bags don't breathe, so any moisture is trapped inside. In extreme situations, mold can develop, which can severely damage the seed.
If you want to use plastic bags, make sure your seed is fully dry. This is one reason why commercial vendors use paper envelopes. Because paper is permeable, place a packet of silica gel in each container.
Humidity is the main enemy. That's why I never put my seeds in the refrigerator. If you want to use this method to keep seeds at the ideal temperature, put them in a glass jar with silica first.
Visit this USDA page for more information on collecting, saving and storing seed.
The Jeweler's Fold
Use jeweler's fold packets to protect those tiny seeds while they're in larger envelopes. No more seeds getting stuck on sticky envelope flaps or disappearing in crevices and corners. These are great, they can be made in all sizes and with any material. Use origami paper, copy paper, freezer paper or transparent waxed paper to keep those tiny, tiny seeds organized.
I hope this diagram makes sense. I just whipped it up. In the final step. Fold the bottom up 1/3, and insert the triangular flag inside the layers of the packet for a secure finish.
Tip: Insert seeds after folding in the first corner of the triangle. This makes a pocket that allows you to build the envelope around the shape of the contents without spilling anything.
Plants have vastly different methods for setting seed and germinating. Learn what it takes to be a seed-saving success.