Sturdy Recycled Newspaper Pots Tutorial (“Origami Fold”)

Newspaper Starter Pots
We’ve been making these post for several years now and love how they are made from newspaper which most people can find for completely free.
Check to make sure your newspapers are printed with vegetable based inks. If they are recyclable they should be fine, but it doesn’t hurt to call your paper and find out for sure.

These recycled newspaper pots are relatively easy to make and allow you to easily transplant seedling to the garden. By making pots this way you won’t need to use any tape, glue, string, or staples. These finished pots are also very sturdy.

By the way if you have older children they can definitely help make these. We also have lots of other tips for gardening with kids.


1. Start with a single page of newspaper folded in half on the crease.

2. Fold the newspaper in half again, lining up the bottom and top edges of the newspaper.

3. Cut about 3-3 1/2 inches off of the right side, through all four layers. If your newspapers are wider you may not need to cut any paper off. (The newspapers we used were approximately 11 inches wide.)

4. Fold in half from the bottom up.

5. Crease well.

6. Fold in half from the left to the right.

7. Crease well.

8. Take the bottom right corner (blue flower in the photo) and opening up the flap, line the corner crease up with the crease in the middle.

9. Flip the whole thing over.

10. Repeat with the flap on the left. (red flower in the photos)

11. Pull the left and right flap that are face up together.

12. Pull the back two flaps together. You should now have a smooth looking “triangle” with no loose bits.

13. Fold the top right flap in so the edge meets the middle crease. Crease firmly.
14. Fold the same flap in again (kind of like a paper airplane).
15. Repeat with the top left flap.
16. Flip the whole thing over and fold both flaps in the same way as the previous side.
17. Fold the tabs that are facing up into the pot so that the top folded edge lines up with the sides.
18. Flip the pot around and fold down the other tabs.
19. Fill with potting soil, dirt, or seed starter and plant your seeds or seedlings.

We normally make a large batch of newspaper pots at once. To keep the folded in tabs from coming undone, we collapse the first pot, folding the sides in like the sides of a gift bag and place it under a book.

Once another pot is complete we simply place the first pot inside of the second. The pot inside is still collapsed like a gift bag and keeps the second pot from coming undone. Four collapsed pots fit nicely into one expanded pot.
This also makes it easy to keep track of how many pots you have made since each group consists of five pots.

Place your recycled newspaper pots on an old cookie sheet or tray that has a small side to keep pots from falling off.



To transplant into the garden simply cut the bottom of the pots and plant the entire pot along with the plant. Make sure you dig holes large enough to bury the entire pot (having exposed newspaper can cause issue with moisture loss). Keeping the seedling in the pot helps protect the roots during transplanting and the newspaper will decompose in the garden.

Today’s Question: Do you have any tried and true garden tips? We’d love to hear them?

Find more great gardening ideas on our Backyard Homestead and Garden & Yard Ideas boards on Pinterest.

linking up to Get Your Craft On, Ta-Da Tuesday, Tip Me Tuesday, Take-a-look Tuesday

Welcome to All Our Days! You can easily get
free updates through e-mail or our RSS feed.
Thanks for visiting and we hope you’ll be back often!

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge


  1. Nada says

    Can’t wait to makemthese

  2. Layne says

    Thanks for your great instructions! I have a few different sets of instructions, but yours were the first I understood! Thank you!

  3. says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial..this is what my lil boy needs. Thank you

  4. says

    of course like your website however you need
    to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find
    it very bothersome to inform the truth however I’ll definitely come back again.
    Broderick recently posted..BroderickMy Profile

  5. says

    I all the time used to study post in news papers but now as I am a
    user of web thus from now I am using net for content,
    thanks to web.
    seo knowledge recently posted..seo knowledgeMy Profile

  6. Line says

    found your idea on Pinterest. wow! i am the chair of the environmal projects at the school where i teach, and i will do this with the kids and send this link to my co-workers and our parents.
    your tutorial is best, showing each steps, making it easy!
    thanks alot!

  7. Mary Rose O'Leary says

    Thank you! I was going crazy trying to follow instructions on virtually every other online tutorial for origami pots because their newspapers are clearly different proportions from mine and yours. Cutting off the top third is the ticket!

  8. Liza says

    Could you PLEASE put up a picture from what happens between Step 17 and 18? I’m stuck!
    Thank you!
    Great idea!

    • Liza says

      I’m sorry I mean 16 and 17!

  9. says

    Wow- found you on Tip Junkie- this is a great idea and so clearly explained. I am delighted to have discovered your blog. I run a weekly linky called Seasonal Celebration at Natural Mothers Network- call by each Monday- you would be so welcome.