Posted in Make It.

Make it: Newspaper Seedling Pots

April 15, 2013 - 4:14 pm


For a while now I’ve wanted to make my own newspaper seedling pots, and I wanted one of those wooden pot makers because I thought I had to have one to do it. And then I realized that I don’t need some silly single-purpose item sitting around my house, because I could make the little pots all on my own with what I have on hand: a plastic spice jar. It’s not as ‘pretty’, but it’s functional and does the trick!

What you’ll need: a spice jar, some newspaper, and a pair of scissors. That’s it! Easy peasy, right?


You’ll want to cut your newspaper into strips about 3.5-4″ wide. The obituaries section of the Dispatch happened to be the first page I grabbed from my garden newspaper pile, and since it already has lines printed between the colums I just cut the paper into not-exact 3rds, with two columns on each strip. The middle section, for example, is a little over 3 inches, but the last two columns are a little under 4″. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just can’t be too narrow, since you’ll want overhanging paper for the bottom of your pot.


Find a spot on your spice jar that leaves paper hanging off the end, and then wrap the paper around the jar a few times until you get to the end of the paper strip.


See what I mean about overhanging the paper? From here you’re going to fold those ends down.



I first fold down the area where the wrapped paper ends on the outside, then I move opposite that spot and fold it down on top of it. This helps keep the paper from unrolling, since you’re securing the outside edge first.


Then fold the last two areas down, flip the whole thing over and tamp the spice jar down a bit to help crease and secure the newspaper.  The ends won’t stay folded down, but we’ll fix that in a bit.


Gently remove the spice jar from your newspaper, and ta-dah! Newspaper seedling pot!  If it won’t stand because the ends keep flipping out, you can do a couple of things to fix it. The obvious solution is tape, but since these pots are plant-able and will naturally compost/degrade you don’t want to use something that isn’t biodegradable. What I like to do is push the ends up into the center of the pot, and then readjust them so there’s not a hole for soil to escape in them. Then it should sit nicely.newspaper-seedling-pot8From here, carefully fill the pots with your soil of choice and plant your seeds! The newspaper will naturally break down over time, but they shouldn’t break down before you get a chance to plant your seedlings outside. And if you happen to need bigger pots as your seedlings grow larger, cut a larger piece of paper and use a drinking glass or some other, wider item to make your pots using the same method.


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