Introduction: Make Your Own Seedling Pots Out of Newspaper

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Forget pricey plastic sets and excess pots—-all you need is some extra newspaper and a small cup or mason jar and it's easy to grow your own plants from seed. Plus, newspaper decomposes naturally, so you can plant these right into the garden with little to no root disturbance for a happy plant!

Here's how to make these nifty little pots in 7 easy steps.


Step 1: Fold a Sheet of Newspaper

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Cut sheets of black and white  newspaper in half or thirds, depending on the size of pot you want to  make. Make sure not to use pages with color, since this will be going  directly into your garden. (Color newspapers may contain heavy metals  that are unsafe).

Step 2: Roll It Up

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Align your mason jar or cup with the newspaper so that a few inches of paper are above the opening of the cup. Roll the newspaper so it circles the cup.

Step 3: Tuck It In

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Push the sides of the paper that are above the cup opening inside, so they are wrapped around the lip of the cup.

Step 4: Pull It Off

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Flip it over and remove the cup gently, while still keeping the pot’s shape.

Step 5: Seal the Bottom

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Use the bottom of the cup to reinforce the pot’s bottom by inserting it inside the newspaper pot. Tamp down the inverted ends, so it seals the bottom.

Step 6: Remove Glass and Admire Finished Pot

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Here’s what it should look like after it’s done

Step 7: Add Soil, Seeds or Transplant

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When they reach the size for transplanting outside, they can be placed directly into your garden. This will also alleviate root disruption for healthy, happy seedlings!


jbaltrun made it! (author)2017-01-21

I ended up using 1 1/2" PVC, which made pots that would fit 12 to a lasagna pan (from the Dollar Tree). You can just pour water into the pan, and the pots will suck all the water up to the roots. It's easier than watering from the top and you don't disturb the seedlings.

Grow Indie (author)2010-06-02

hey jerryang, the newspaper pots are surprisingly sturdy, and mine hold up just fine (no melting). The newspaper also keeps more water in the pot, so you don't have to water as much...

jerryang (author)2010-06-01

But new paper "melts" if you water the plant. So how do you overcome that?

Mister_Caipirinha (author)2010-05-27

Why is this better/different than all the other seedling-pots-from-newspaper instructables?

A few reasons, actually, thanks for asking. These newspaper pots are reinforced in Step 5 to make them very sturdy-----they hold up quite well until you are ready to transplant. Also, this instructables informs you as to the type of newspaper to use (you can't just use any type of newsprint, some colored inks have some pretty nasty heavy metals that can be bad for your gardens and for you. This is an important detail most people leave out. Give it a try!

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