Origami Gone Biodegradable – How to make a newspaper pot for starting seeds

For the last several years I’ve said that THIS will be the year I have pots and pots of sweet, little flowers on my porch. Then I stopped by my local nursery and reality hit.. the cost for my fantasy is no less than outrageous!

It’s okay, because this year I’ve devised a plan so that I can have the flowers of my dreams at a fraction of the cost.. and I can have My choice of flowers.. instead of those of my local garden center. How? I’m going to start from seed.

I attempted this before with only marginal success.. My problem was that everything I attempt to transplant my seedlings, I killed them. I guess I’m a brute on fragile little roots. So in order to rectify this problem, I’ve decided to go with biodegradable pots..no transplanting, just shove it in the ground and let it rot away. I’m not going with those from the big garden centers but ones that I’ve made..because you know I’m a sucker for making things…and shucks, these pots will be free!

So, how does one go about making a container that will hold up without involving staples, glue or tape? Origami, of course! I made a paper crane back in the tenth grade..so surely I can make a small box-like structure today. Here it is.


And here’s how I did it!

1. Lay out a full sheet of newspaper.

rip in 2
2. Rip it in half

3. Turn one piece long side facing you.


4. Fold it in half left to right – like a book.

5. Fold it again, bottom to top.

6. Fold it again, left to right – you should now have quarter size.

7. Lift top half and push the outside corner (bottom right) back.

8. Push corner up to meet the middle, or spine.

9. Crease it well.

10. Flip paper over.

11. Repeat 7-10.. so that you’re left with this.

It should look like this when you pick it up.

12. Fold top wings in to meet the center and crease.

13. Fold them again and crease.

14. Flip it over and repeat 12.&13.

15. Fold the top flaps down and crease well.

16. Open your pot!!.. Be sure to hold sides as you do this.

17. Square bottom well so that your pot sits well.

18. Fill pot with soil and plant your seeds!

Yippee! Can’t wait to show you my flowers once they begin to grow!



Filed under Crafts, gardening

10 responses to “Origami Gone Biodegradable – How to make a newspaper pot for starting seeds

  1. Wow! Looks like a lot of work! I am sure once you get the hang of it, it’s simple, but right now it looks confusing! How many little pots did you have to make? I too would love to have the pots and pots of flowers on my porch, maybe I should try this…………?

  2. *The first one was confusing.. it took me a couple of times, flipping it this way..then that way.. but the second was a piece of cake…So easy my 9 year old made a few (until she was bored with it). All in all, I think I have 10 pots.. but as of today, only 5 have been planted. I also should have mentioned that the pots will stay firm if you wet them… use clothes pins to hold them in place.. then allow them to dry. This made it so much easier to pour soil into. Let me know if you try it :)!*

  3. Nifty thrifty idea. I use toilet paper rolls for seed starter pots. Toilet paper rolls are easier on my old, dyslexic brain. Love that you are repurposing.


  4. *toilet paper rolls? I’ve never hear of that.. cool idea.. you’re right, much easier than all that folding… did you stuff the bottom with paper to keep the soil from falling through?*

  5. To use the toilet paper rolls you make three or cuts symmetrically about a third of the way up the side of the tube. This makes tabs that when folded into the center form a bottom. They are biodegradable and so easy to make. And plentiful in a house with women.

    oxo Judy

  6. found your site.. great blog!

  7. ruoverit

    Followed you right up to folding the flaps down. Unable to open paper without it unfolding. Please post video.

  8. copperdots

    Reblogged this on Vicki’s Weblog and commented:
    Time to prepare for gardening once again, though this winter has been absolutely brutal; fortunately, while I’m snowed in, I can make a few of these seed starting pots and save the cash I would have spent on plastic seed pots for buying fresh seeds and seed starting medium.


  9. Great idea . I’ve tried it and can’t do it . Any tips .?

  10. Edith Carroll

    Pamela. Try it again as you look at the pix. It’ll be easier after a while. I have also done the seeds in toilet paper rolls. But the paper ones are easier, as the ground will help them to disintegrate, and you can use them if you already have seedlings. 😊

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