Introduction: Waste Bottle Paper Pot Maker for Gardening

About: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow creativity.

Hi, Gardeners,

If you do a moderate to great amount of gardening, you probably will agree with me that buying seedlings is very expensive compared to starting them yourself. For the last few years, I have been learning to start my own seedlings using handmade origami paper pots. Making tens and hundreds of pots takes some time. This year I was looking for a faster way to make them and came across paper pot maker. But I don't want to buy one because they make round pots, I actually like square pots better. In this instructable, I share with you how I use a square waste glass bottle to make paper pot with a few other things readily available in any home.

Usually paper pots for seed/seedling are made of newspaper. I'm not a fan of using newspaper. So I use the cheapest brown paper lunch bags. They are still biodegradable and they are just the size, no need to tear them to smaller size and no concern over what is in the ink.


1 Waste bottle that has a square shape and about 8.5" in circumference(bottle of 16.9 oz Primal Kitchen - Avocado Oil, or bottle of Olio Santo California Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Cold Press, 500ml (16.9 oz))

1 Pack of brown paper lunch bags, 5 1/8 by 3 1/8 by 10 5/8 IN

1 Pestle

1 Pair of scissors

1 Ruler

1 Marker

Window planter box with saucer, for standing many pots in it and for easy transport of the pots (Note: I modified the box for Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening. The modified box works better for this project as well.)

Hope you'll like this instructable and would vote it for Trash to Treasure contest. Thanks and happy growing!

Note: This article may contain affiliate links as references for the same or similar products used in this project. If you click on the links and make purchases I could receive a small percentage of commission from the advertising company with no extra cost to you.

Step 1: Making Paper Pots

Remove the bottom of the bags.

Mark 3" on the bottle from the bottom up, this is how tall the finished pots are.

Fold down the bag along the long end, just use the fold line already there if you are using bags of the same size or about 3" if you are using bags of a different size. (This step is important. A lot others who use the commercial pot maker either complain the pots may come apart or use tape to prevent that.)

Lay the bag under the bottle with the fold on top end and wrap it across the body tightly, overlapping one side of the square body.

Hold the bag in place, open one side of the fold, and sandwich the other side in between. (This step is important. A lot others who use the commercial pot maker either complain the pots may come apart or use tape to prevent that. Folding down, overlapping and sandwiching in my method solves that problem.)

Move the wrap down to the 3" mark on the bottle.

Fold the bottom like wrapping a gift box, fold the top side, then the far side, then the near side and last the underside, and use the pestle to crush the folds and make them stay in place.

Stand the bottle up and push down and rub it on the table at the same time to make the bottom folds stay. And lastly make sure rub the pestle on the top fold so the pot won't come apart in its life time.

Please visit the video for the whole process.

Step 2: Starting the Seeds

The night before, moisten the potting mix or seed starter mix with plenty of water.

Fill each pot with the mix, gently packed.

Plant the seeds according to the instruction on the seeds' packet.

Label all the pots with the seed names.

Place them in a warm sunny place.

Step 3: Transplanting, Growing and Harvesting

After the seeds all sprouted and and there are pairs of leaves on the seedling, preparing the plants for transplanting by bringing them to outside friendly environment (not too hot, too wet, or too windy) for increased hours of time over a few days.

Choose an evening followed by a few days of friendly environment to transplant.

Remove the plants from the pot, try best not to disturb the roots, transplant to final home-either ground, container or other growing media.

Water it after transplanting and pay close attention for the first few days until they are established in the new place.

NOTE: My seedlings are always leggy. I suspect either because of lack of enough growing light as a result of growing indoor or because of the starting mix. I always used regular potting mix. Perhaps mix designed for starting seeds could be better. If you know how to solve the problem, please share it with me. Nonetheless, my seedlings usually all survived and in time grew and produced more than my family can enjoy. When people received zucchini, peppers, eggplant or cucumbers, they are always surprised either by their sizes or freshness and wondered what fertilizers I used, I always told them nothing, really just rain water.

Hope you like this instructable and would vote it for Trash to Treasure contest. Thanks and happy growing!

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