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Easy Newspaper Pots

11/30/2011 8:28:51 AM

Tags: newspaper pots, DIY, easy. seed starting, Angela Blackerby

Last year, I spent a good amount of time making newspaper pots for my seedling transplants during the busy spring season.  This winter, I am trying to make a few as I go, so that I will have them ready when I need them.  This is the easiest and most effective way I have found to make newspaper pots.

No glue, tape, scissors or black belt in origami necessary.  I swear.

First, gather your supplies.  You will need newspaper, preferably black and white, with few pictures.  Soy-based ink is the best for the planet and your garden, and you should try to avoid colored ink completely.  You can call your newspaper to find out what kind of ink they use.


You will also need a can. Any can will do! Truly, any kind. Even Japanese sweetened Azuki beans.  No one will know. 


That's it!  Now for the good stuff.  Double up your newspaper if you have a single sheet.  If you have an attached middle section, you won't need to do that.  Fold your newspaper section in half, lengthwise.

1st Step

Place your can on one end of the newspaper, so that about half the can is above the paper.

2nd Step

Next, tightly roll the newspaper around the can.  Don't worry too much about keeping it lined up, it should work out naturally.  Keep rolling the newspaper until you reach the end. 

Now, this part is important.  While holding on to the seam, push the open end of the newspaper down, using the bottom of the can as a guide.  This helps to "lock" in your seed pot so that it stays together.

 Lock in Step 1

Next, make two other folds to close the bottom of your pot.  Again, fold against the bottom of your can as a guide.

Lock in Step 2

 Lock in Step 3  

Now, flip the whole thing over and smash the newspaper down a bit with the can inside, to help make sure the folds will stay.  Gently wiggle the can out of the paper.  It may seem a little fragile or unstable, but when you add the soil in, it will hold!  Also, because the bottom overlaps, there is no room for the soil to leak out.  The newspaper pot below is filled with soil to the halfway point.

 Final Newspaper Pot 


This project is very easy and inexpensive.  When it comes time to plant, you can open up the bottom of the pot, so that the roots can grow down, and place directly in your garden.  The newspaper will decompose naturally.

Photos: Angela Blackerby  

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Post a comment below.


1/23/2012 1:11:04 AM
I used these last year and have a few suggestions: fill to the top with soil as the excess paper wicks the moisture from the soil. Do not let the outside dry. I make mine narrower (beer bottle width) which allows room for roots and permits more pots per flat. I also find that crimping the bottom in a jar lid or slightly larger can makes the pot bottom flatter and the sides less likely to unroll. If you want to see my pot-making tools, check out my blog, Savory Jardin, at

donyelle headington
12/14/2011 9:46:14 PM

12/2/2011 3:00:25 AM
I made a bunch of these this past spring when I ran out of peat pots starting my veggie seeds. I was impressed with how good they work and how long they held together. They are also very simple to make, my son who was 6 at the time enjoyed helping make them and it made for a fun afternoon project that day! Will definately be making more for next season instead of buying pots!

Tanya Johnson
12/1/2011 11:21:35 PM
This is brilliant! Perfect in fact! Thank you so much! I'm definitely going to make up a few of these!

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