How to Make a Laptop Box Styrofoam Herb Planter




About: I'm a singer, actor, pianist (sorta), and a beginner cook/chef/ insert your word for a cooking person here.

If your like me, you have the greatest herbs in the summer... then in winter, no more fresh herbs for you. I wanted some herbs in my kitchen to be able to use year round, so I decided to make one.

Supplies you'll need: 
Rectangular 'Styrofoam' box ( Not truly styrofoam, its more squishy. It's actually EPP, expanded polypropylene. Thanks macrumpton! I got mine out of a laptop box, it's used to protect the ends of the laptop)  
Thin strip of cardboard
Potting soil or Dirt
Herbs ( You can use seeds, but if you already have herbs growing outside, there are probably baby ones sprouting near them)
2 Lids

Step 1: Start With the Planter

Okay, so take your 'styrofoam' .  Mine had holes in the bottom, so I took some card board and cut it about the length of the bottom to stop too much water from leaking. ( Some will still leak, see how to remedy in step #3)

Step 2: The Dirty Work

Okay, so now  take your planter outside, and fill with potting soil, or dirt, or whatever you prefer to plant with, just don't use a manure based soil or something that smells bad. 

Plant your seeds in it now, or locate some herb sproutlings, very carefully dig them up, being careful of the root, and put them in your planter. Now put some more dirt over the roots of the plants, until just a little below the top of your planter. 

Step 3: Set It Up

Water your baby plants (or seeds) in well, then come back indoors and place the planter on a window sill or sunny place. Preferably in the kitchen, for easy access to herbs. Place two lids ( Peanut butter jar lids worked well for me) under the planter to catch extra water that may drip, especially if your 'styrofoam' has holes in the bottom. 

Step 4: You're All Done!

Enjoy your new planter, and having fresh herbs in the winter!! 



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    6 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 2

    Very nice. Now, as for the bottom of the plant holder, just use another piece of the foam, but, add a layer of small pebbles on the bottom, to allow drainage that can recycle back. If you are worried about gassing of the foam, line the entire little planter with a food safe plasic bag, then coconut shell lining (or just the coconut lining with burlap as an added barrier). that will last a very long time to feed the plants. Of course you might want to make it a tiny bit wider:) Great idea for recycling products and for kids in science classes etc for a take home project too!
    Thanks for the idea!!

    Nature Display Artist.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I like it... my only concern is that scientists are finding more and more pollutants/toxins released from even plastics rated as food-safe (BPA being the most famous one). So I'd be cautious about growing plants used for food inside plastic.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, but technically it is growing in the dirt. And scientists are always finding something! (I do see your point though.)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I made a fantastic cement shamrock from styrofoam insulation that is used to insulate houses here. The board / sheet is about 30inches x 48inches. Make a template of a shamrock on a piece of paper to your desired size, trace the shamrock onto the styrofoam. now beginning in the centre start removing the styrofoam until you have the shape of the shamrock. Now make a batch of cement (4 sand x 1 cement) and fill in the mould. placing two small dowels into the semi hardened cement so that you can screw the shamrock onto the wall. Wait for it to dry, paint it green and screw it to your outside shed or wherever! I just made a shamrock but you could do almost any design.