Coffee Sleeve Transplant Pots




About: Summation is a mathematician/cartographer in Seattle enjoying outfitting her friends in fuzzy and festive attire. She has hundreds of project ideas and will never have fewer than 15 going at once. Check out...

I'm always looking for quick ways to up-cycle easily collected items. This time, I set my sights on the ubiquitous coffee sleeve. What I came up with is a neat way to gift seedlings or cuttings from your garden while reusing material that would just be used once and then tossed out. This is an origami-style project, so no glue or other fasteners are needed.

This I'ble has been entered in the "Get in the Garden" contest. Please vote for it if you find it worthy. Thank you :)

Step 1: Gather Materials

For each pot you'll need just four coffee sleeves. I was able to collect these easily just by asking co-workers to pass them my way when they were finished their coffee. If you're more shy about collecting trash than I am, you could skim the office recycling bins, or just save the ones from your own morning coffee over time.

You'll also need:
- a pen
- a mechanical pencil or pen cap (for scoring folds)
- a ruler

Step 2: Begin to Fold

Match the pre-made folds in the sleeve together, and crease down the sides. Your coffee sleeve should have a square-ish shape when you open it back up. Do the same with another of the coffee sleeves. Follow the pictures for better understanding.

Step 3: Fold the Bottom and Sides

I've included plenty of pictures for this step. It will is probably simpler to skip the write-up and follow the pictures.

-The coffee sleeves I used had perforations on the sides. Tear open one side so you have a long strip to work with.
-Place one of the squares in the center of the strip
-Using a pen, mark the strip on each side of the square. This marks the bottom of the pot
-Line up one of the marks with a ruler, and score the paper using the mechanical pencil. Retract the lead in the pencil before you do this step. Scoring the cardboard will make the folds much nicer.
-Score the cardboard 2 more times, slightly to the left and to the right of the line you marked.
-Fold the cardboard on the scores so the flaps are standing straight up.
-Do this for all marks made in this step and the next.

-Line the square up with the bottom. At this point, you can either turn the assembly on its side and mark and score again, or you can just fold the remaining flaps down into the square. Scoring takes longer, but gives a neater appearance.

- Repeat this step with the remaining coffee sleeve, making sure to keep the first two sleeves assembled while you mark the placement. If you're confused, forget all you've read and follow the pictures in order :)

Step 4: Keep It Together and Put in a Plant

Keep all the tabs tucked in by inserting the other square piece inside the assembly.

Take a look inside the pot. If you see daylight, you've folded something a little crooked, and soil/water will come out more easily. You may want to go back and try refolding one or both of the sides. Otherwise, your pot is ready to receive its cargo. I've given several of these with an herb in them as gifts, but it should also hold up well for personal use if you're starting cuttings. When the pot gets nice and soggy, just plant the whole thing in the ground, or you can throw the pot into your compost bin at the end.

I hope you enjoy sharing your garden with others by way of these little pots. Feedback and comments are greatly appreciated.

Finalist in the
Get in the Garden Contest



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    11 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 4

    Nice! I was looking for a way to utilize these sleeves after I'm done with my tea. Good work!

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Cute! Great idea for one of those trash items I'm always trying to figure out how to reuse!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You can also use empty toilet paper rolls. They are easier to come by and pack well together in a tray. Fill whatever pots you use right to the top. This allows airflow to reduce damping off. Also, use soil from your garden, not sterilized soil, as it has the micro-organisms that will inhibit mold.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I give away a lot of starts. This is *perfect* for those!


    I was just at your site and everything there is so cute! I'd be honored to be in the mix with so many other nifty things!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    im doing that but im putting a cut up cup in it to keep it from getting soggy. haha i like the coffee themes