Vascular Plant Herbarium

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Making an herbarium sheet packet

Packets for herbarium sheets have traditionally come in various designs but generally do not close tightly. We at Arizona State University have developed a packet design that we think is superior to any other we have seen. Anyone is free to use this design for educational or scientific purposes but not commercially unless authorized by the Arizona State University Vascular Plant Herbarium.


Make a pattern: Take a full sheet of paper (or half sheet for a smaller packet) and fold along the long dimension so that one side is somewhat longer than the other, so that there is about 1 cm at least between the edges (figure 1).

Fig. 1
Make a diagonal cut in the folded sheet as shown in figure 2. The point where the two long edges and the diagonal cut coincide should be about 1/4 the length of the sheet from one end.

Fig. 2
Unfold this sheet (figure 3) and use it to make a cardboard pattern. Use the pattern to cut additional sheets of paper.

Fig. 3
Folding the packets: For these steps we use a previously folded packet so the folds are more visible.
Take a previously trimmed full sheet (or half sheet for a smaller packet) as illustrated in figure 4 using the pattern.

Fig. 4
Fold the sheet so that the two diagonal pieces are flush (figure 5).

Fig. 5
Fold the non-overlapping portion over so that it overlaps (figure 6).

Fig. 6
Fold the square-ended portion over to where the diagonal and the folds meet (figure 7).

Fig. 7
Fold the other end of the sheet back on the rest of the packet and tuck into the square-ended portion (figure 8).

Fig. 8
Packets should be glued to sheets with all the folds upwards so that the packet can be opened completely without turning it over.
This packet requires no clips unless especially bulky pieces are stored. The more carefully it is folded the better the end product.

©2006 Arizona State University | Revised 4 Dec 2006
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