This is a project you could do simply to increase your poppy collection next year or you could grow some poppy plants from seed to give as gifts :-)
Harvesting Poppy Seeds
This is the poppy plant that I used. It would be a very similar if not identical process whichever poppy species you choose but for reference this is the one I used. All you'll need for this project is the plant and a small envelope. To replicate the project exactly as I've done it you could also use a piece of paper, a pair of scissors and some coloured pens.
Once the poppy plant is done flowering for the year, the stalks will dry and brown as shown here. Had I dead headed a little more i possibly could have had a few more flowers from it before it finished. Alas, I am quite lazy and forgetful so here is the plant as it stands. Haha.
Snip or snap off the pod at the top of the stalks. You can take as many as you want or need to. Each pod contains lots of seeds but if you get loads you could even gift little envelopes of seeds to others!!
This is one of the pods. The simplest way to open them is to simply squeeze them and roll a little between your fingers. Alternatively you could use scissors and snip the top off.
Here is the seed pod opened. The little folds are where the seeds are stored.
Tip the opened seed pod over a piece of paper and continue to roll between your fingers to make the seeds fall out. You could do this directly into a small envelope if you wish but I choose to do it onto paper first as sometimes tiny bugs are living in the seed pod so this way they can get away and i don't risk them eating the seeds I want to keep!
Fold the piece of paper and tap it on a hard surface to encourage the seeds to the fold. Then tip your seeds into your envelope. Seal the envelope.
There you have it! You will obviously want to label your envelope particularly if you harvest more than one type of seed. How much effort you put into this is entirely up to you. I like to do a little doodle of the flower type as well as the name. This can also help to make the envelope look nicer if you're intending to give the seeds as a gift. Easy peasy or what?!