Make Your Own Envelopes for Saving Seeds

My Garden Life
August 18, 2021
Table of Contents
There are lots of reasons for saving seeds; always having a supply of favorite varieties, keeping an heirloom variety going, or sharing seeds with friends and family. Whatever your reason for saving seeds, proper storage is important for keeping seeds viable from season to season. Seed envelopes are a perfect way to store, label, and organize your seeds and making your own seed envelopes is a fun way to give your seed storage a personal touch.

If you’re new to saving seed and need tips on harvesting, or have an interest in exchanging seed with others, you’ll want to visit the Seed Savers Exchange.

Hands removing pea seeds from dried pea pods and putting them in a small bowl

Keeping your seeds well-preserved and organized is essential to successfully saving seeds. Our printable template for making seed envelopes ensures that you’ll never run out of seed packets and provides you a place to log important naming and harvesting details.

Supplies for Making Your Own Seed Packets

Supplies needed to make paper seed storage packets, scissors, paper template, glue, tape
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

Directions for Making Seed Packets for Saving Seeds

 
1. Print out the template page using 8.5 x 11” paper.
2. Cut out envelope shapes. The cut-out shapes can be used as-is, or use them as a pattern to trace the shape onto different papers.

Hand cutting apart a paper template to make a homemade seed storage packet

3. Fold on the tab lines to create the envelope. Crisp folds will make for a neater final envelope.

Hand folding the paper creases to make a homemade seed packet

4. Apply glue or use tape to seal the side tabs.

Hand gluing the tabs to make a homemade seed packet

5. Recycle any leftover paper scraps.
Hand holding a newly completed homemade seed packet

Additional Tips for Making Seed Packets

It’s easiest to write your information on a seed envelope while it’s still flat, before you put the seeds in.
Hands writing information on a homemade seed packet in preparation to store dried peas
When saving seeds in envelopes, you’ll want to make sure the seed packets are constructed using sturdy paper. Basic printer paper works well or a light-weight card stock. Making seed packets is a great way to repurpose large mailing envelopes, paper bags, or kraft paper that is often used for packing shipping boxes.

Paper such as gift wrap, glassine, waxed paper, parchment, and magazine pages are a bit flimsy for making seed packets. They’re more difficult to assemble and they generally don’t hold up as well.

If you’re giving seed as a gift, origami paper is a pretty choice for making a seed packet.

Storing Seed Packets

Rectangular tin box filled with seed packets for storage until next growing season
Once you have made your seed packets and filled them with seeds, proper storage is important for saving seeds. Dried and packaged seeds should be stored in an airtight jar or container. Mason jars, tins, or plastic containers are all good options. Place the container in a cool, dry location such as a closet or basement shelf. If you have the space, seeds can also be stored in a refrigerator or freezer. Properly stored seeds can remain viable for one to two years. Each year after that the viability for many seeds starts to decline.

Not sure if you want to grow plants from seed or purchase plants instead? Many gardens are a combination of both. Weigh out the pros and cons in our article Vegetable Garden Basics – Start Seeds or Buy Plants?

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