Now, you may be aware of these sweet little gems but, if not, here's a quick explanation. Seed bombs are small balls of clay, compost/soil, and seeds that you can easily plant (or even toss) into your yard for some pretty flowers. These are great gifts for spring - Easter, Mother's Day, birthdays, or "just because." They're also a wonderful two-fold activity for kids. First, you can make the bombs and then, later, your children can have their own little patch of yard or even a pot to grow them. Another use for these, and this is what they were actually created for in the first place, is to create pretty and natural spaces in vacant lots. Just carry a few with you wherever you walk and toss one or two into that abandoned yard.
You will need:
1/2 c. mixed seeds
3/4 c. compost or garden soil
1 1/4 c. powdered clay (red or brown)**
1. Either cover your work surface and the floor with lots of newspaper, or work outdoors. Wear old clothes and be ready to get a little dirty. Don't worry - it'll ALL wash off!
2. Mix the seeds with the compost. Gently stir in the powdered clay. Be careful not to mix the powdered clay to quickly because, while it's just clay, you don't want to breathe it in. (The clay isn't toxic, but your lungs don't need all that dirt in there!)
3. Add the water so the mixture is just moist enough to form into balls about 1" in diameter, or the size of a walnut.
**Don't use too much water. You run the risk of soaking the seeds too much and either starting them growing or rotting them. Using too little water, on the other hand, can lead to the balls crumbling apart. Try to get a consistency like play dough.
4. Set the balls about 1/2" apart on newspaper-lined baking sheets to dry. Depending on the humidity, it should take about 24 to 48 hours. You want to make sure they're completely dry all the way through before storing or giving.
If you're storing the seeds for your own garden, put them in a paper bag in a dry, cool, dark place. If you plan to give them away, there are tons of ways to make the gift look great. Here are a few ideas:
- Recycle some old shirts by sewing simple cloth bags and tying with a pretty ribbon.
- Create a gift basket by putting some Terra cotta pots, a bag of soil, homemade garden markers and seed bombs into a basket.
- Have your kids decorate a small box with paint, stickers, or cut paper of the flowers that the seed bombs will grow.
- Put the bombs into an old candy box!
- Try adding some pretty recycled paper into the muddy mixture for some color.
- Press the seeded clay into silicone candy molds for heart-, flower-, etc. shaped bombs
The possibilities are endless! Don't forget to include a list of the seeds included in the bombs and instructions.
**If you do not have access to the clay powder, try using air-dry clay. I have seen quite a few instances where people have used it successfully. I looked up Crayola Terra Cotta Air Dry Clay 2.5 lb Bucket. According to the Art and Creative Materials Institute, the people who check this stuff for toxicity, it is not toxic in any way - toy you, your kids, or the environment. Use this link to read the report for yourself. This stuff is readily available at nearly any store that sells children's art supplies and isn't really expensive. Just make sure to NOT add water unless you need to!
ANY IDEAS???Please share any ideas you may have for this great project. If you do make these, let me know how they turned out and add any tips you come up with.