Introduction: Mini Pocket Seed-starter!

Picture of Mini Pocket Seed-starter!

You a gardener?
And are you tired of putting seeds in the ground, only to be eaten by animals as they sprout?

How about you grow your seedlings inside, starting with the pocket greenhouse? This cool little gadget allows you to sprout seeds with your own body heat, and then flip the lid and pop out the dirt-cubes for planting!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Here's what you need:

  • 1 Altoids tin
  • 1 piece of clear styrene, vinyl,or plastic
  • Cardboard or stiff card-paper
  • Packing Tape
  • Dirt
  • Toilet paper (unused, PLEASE!)
  • White Glue and/or double-sided tape
  • Paint (optional)

Step 2: Cut the Window

Picture of Cut the Window

Of course you'll want to check on your seeds, and opening the lid every time you want to isn't a good option. So here you will cut a window, allowing you to place the plastic.

Using a sharpie, draw a rectangle roughly conforming to the swirly logo border on the outside of the tin. Then cut (I actually used nippers to nip away tiny bits at a time) the rectangle out, and file down the edges.

Step 3: Cut the Pane

Picture of Cut the Pane

Take an index card and make a template that fits in your lid. After checking, use the template to cut a piece of the clear styrene/vinyl/plastic. Glue this in with WHITE GLUE. Super glue WILL dissolve the plastic. Then flip it upside down, put weight on, and wait 24 hrs. Fix any bits that come off with the tape.

Step 4: Build the Dividers

Picture of Build the Dividers

Cut out two strips of cardboard/card paper 3/4 inch by 3 1/2 inch (1 1/2 cm by 9 cm for the folks over the pond)

Then cut another two strips 3/4 inch by 2 1/8 inch (1 1/2 cm by 1 3/4 cm)

Cover these in packing tape until somewhat waterproof. Cut notches so they slot together into a grid, with the longer strips going one way, and the shorter ones going the other. There will be six spaces, and the grid should easily slot into your Altoids tin. You may have to trim it, depending on the thickness of your vinyl.

Step 5: Add Dirt and Seeds

Picture of Add Dirt and Seeds

Fill a (disposable) cup up with potting soil. Put a little in each divider section, and then press a seed in each one. Mist each until damp. Then cover with more dirt until you reach the top, and mist again. There should be a small airspace between the top layer of dirt and the pane. If not, take some dirt out until there is. Then put in torn little pieces of Toilet paper, not covering the middle.

Step 6: You're Done!

Picture of You're Done!

Close the lid, tape closed with packing tape (dirt in your favorite jeans=bad!) and put it in your pocket! Your body heat will quickly warm up the tin and create a warm and humid atmosphere, perfect for germinating. If you're going to run or bike, take it out though. The dirt ends up going all over the dividers. But if you're sitting and reading (or surfin' Instructables) Check it every day or so for sprouts, which should be promptly replanted in a larger pot.

Have fun gardening!


Tenz (author)2009-09-20

I made one of these it was my first instructables project i actually had all the pices to more or less but i made my own addition by adding some lights to the outside case that plugs into my computer for the energy take a look let me know what you think

mark36091 (author)Tenz2012-01-10

This looks cool, but seeds don't need light to germinate. Only after they start growing. But great job on the light addition!

Rotten194 (author)Tenz2009-09-26

Wow, that's really cool!

bajablue (author)2012-01-08

Where's the "Like" button? ;-)

xfirexstarzx (author)2009-10-01

Hah! I thought it said radish, basil, bear. That would've been awesome! I'm going to try this... Off to find an altoids tin!

littlebastard (author)2009-07-15

now i can sell already germinated seeds to people.


canida (author)2009-06-23

So how did it work? Do you have successful sprouts?

Rotten194 (author)canida2009-06-23

Yeah, got a radish today. The beans should sprout soon, too.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a person, into Science, Physics, Weapons, String Theory, Altoids tins, Vacuum Formers, Explosives, Computers and pretty much everything else.
More by Rotten194:How to make a Frankenstein InstrumentGrow your own Airplant!Mini Pocket seed-starter!
Add instructable to: