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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seed Envelopes

 Came across these great origami envelopes you can make out of recycled seed catalogs to store up sample sized packets of seed. I'm making them up for some wedding favor action for garden packs, but they are also good for seed sharing/swapping, or seed bombs in the urban environment, or a little envelope to enclose with a garment for that extra button, or few beads, or whatever.

DISCLAIMER!!! I photoed and wrote up my own demo because there were a couple of different sources I took inspiration from, and I didn't want to plagiarize, so I just made my own demo to share.

Anywho, time for the demo... For this particular batch of pics, I sliced up two seed catalogs. Both of them are glorious for pics and descriptions, but I never actually order from them. They were the same size, thickness, and paper quality since they both came from the same catalog family.

So. No pics for the prep work, If I remember, I will take some pics next time I do this.
First, I cut the spine. I found that tearing along the line works better than cutting. These were stapled catalogs, not glued spines. I will be checking out glued spines soon since I have a stack of mags awaiting something.
Second, I folded in half top to bottom, then cut those up. Made four piles of long strips. I did this fairly quickly by clearly folding one page, then lining that page up with a few others and using a scissors to cut.
Third, folded papers into neat corners with the prettiest side out. I folded the ends into the center.
Fourth, cut the corners off the strips. Used the scissors for this too.

Now, on to the folding aspect.

 Since you folded up your strips to make your perfect triangles and cut them off anyway, here's the resulting product.

 Fold the open tip of the triangle to the folded edge. Make sure you leave a bit of a gap between point and fold. The pic does not show it well because of the angle.

 With that tip still pressed down.. Take one corner and fold it in. Note that the "tight" angle of the corner has an overlap with the tip, you want to make sure you have that. The "up in the air" tip- that whole edge should line up neatly with the folded edge when all is pressed down.

 Repeat with the other corner.

 Fold it all open again to this point.

 Take one corner and tuck it between the two layers of the other corner. The tip corner should be out of the way right now.

 Here the corners are fully tucked in and the tip is positioned off to the left. Smooth down all the folds at this point and make it neat. Now you can get a complete idea of where your fold lines should be. Note that your corners don't overextend the folds, and the overlap at the tip fold line. This ensures complete sealing of seeds later.

 Fold your tip down and smooth that fold.

 Of the two catalogs I snipped up, here's a pic of the half fold bin and envelope box. The bin is from lunchmeat. The box is recycled too, measures about 8lx3wx2h". The paperclip with the leaf on it is there to keep the stack from falling over as the envelopes are made and used.

Here we go, the box is finished. How many total? A tiny smidge over 150. I started out just using the pretty corners with the first catalog and then figured screw it and just took the 4 per page out of the second catalog. I weeded out a few pages, strips, and triangles if there was too much shipping/ordering/products action on it and kept to plants and plant descriptions.

And yeah, I already filled up this box with seed and stowed it away in the back of my fridge.
I then chopped up the other three seed catalogs I had in the pile, and they were three different sizes, but close to the first ones. Those are now folded up into envelopes awaiting seed samples.

Holy shit, this all sounds time consuming...
Not really, and this kind of project is perfect for smallwork. Ok, cutting up the catalogs into the triangles takes about 10-20 mins depending on how much you are cutting up.
After that, each envelope takes seconds to do, seriously. The first batch was sit down and fold up, and I averaged 10 seconds each once I got into the swing of it. Took a couple hours.  The second batch I did up during a random TV evening of watching a couple hours of various stuff.
The 10 seconds is pretty good, but then I do dink around with other paper folding stuff pretty often.
An average never done it before in your life kind of time? 10 to 20 seconds each. My love sat down and tried this folding out a couple of times when I started doing this and that was his average.

So, I figure with some of the neat stacks of catalogs and magazines I have laying around, I can make up a crapton of envelopes for various stuff. I also collect mags from the local library too. Sometimes I collect a stack of something just for a few pages worth of material. Better if I can start funneling some of this into some recycling effort before tossing into the burn or pulp piles.

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