Tutorial: Making Paper Pots

I have a box full of seeds to plant, I am hoping to get them started in pots first (I always fear that I am either going to lose them in the ground or that the large bird and squirrel population will steal them, which has happened in the past).  In stead of buying piles of peat pots, or seeding trays I decided to make my own using the newspaper we have waiting to be recycled.

This couldn't be an easier project, and I think it would be great to do with young kids.

Materials needed:

empty bottle or can (I found a beer bottle works great - look for something with a flat or concave bottom - soda bottles won't work)

scotch tape (I am trying to find a more green option to the tape - there are new organic glues that are eco friendly that I might give a go next year)


newspaper (1 full page = 4 pots)

You really don't need a ton of workspace to do this project, but you will want a shallow box or tray to put your finished pots in.

Step 1 - cut the newspaper in half along center fold that goes across the page.  (its not exactly in half but works great)  You can cut multiple pages at a time, however many your scissors and your hand can handle

Step 2 - cut the paper again, this time along the large center fold along the long side edge of the paper.  Again you can cut multiple pages at a time.  It is not important that each piece be the same size.

Step 3 - fold the sheets in half the long way.  Basically take the page and hold it so that you can read the writing, fold the bottom up to meet the top and crease.

Step 4 - take a single folded sheet and lie the bottle or can down on the paper so that the fold is towards the top of the container and approximately 1/3 of the sheet is below the bottom of the container.

Step 5 - roll the paper around your container.  make it fit snuggly but not too tight.  (if it is wrapped too tightly you will have trouble removing it later)

Step 6 -  using the smallest piece of tape possible, tape the edge of the paper down onto itself

Step 7 -  fold the bottom of the paper down onto the bottom of the container and again, using the smallest piece of tape possible, tape down the paper to hold it in place.

Step 8 -  carefully remove the paper from the container and admire your work

Thats it!!  I was able to make a tray full of pots in about a half hour, and that's with short and cute distraction.

I'm looking forward to filling these with soil and seed tomorrow with my little guys!  And I know they will love watching the new life sprout.


  1. That is pretty cool! We use cardboard egg cartons to start seeds in. And I bought a cute plastic one at Lowe's that had Sesame Street characters on it:)

  2. Yay for recyling in such a cool way. Will you then plant directly in the ground knowing the paper will decompose?

  3. That's a great idea! I have some seedlings to start on Tuesday. Maybe we'll give this a try.

  4. this is such a great idea - I never thought do to this!!


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