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How to make paper pots


Making your own paper pots is not only eco-friendly, but will save you money too. Ideal for half-hardy annuals like cosmos, zinnias and antirrhinum, the newspaper pots are completely biodegradable. When the plants are ready to go outdoors, the whole pot can be planted into the soil.

All you need to get started is a pile of newspaper and some cylindrical objects to act as moulds. Try using a bottle and wrapping strips of paper tightly around it, several times, before folding over the base and sliding the paper off. There are also simple, wooden pot-making kits available to buy. If you're looking for more eco-friendly garden ideas, you could try creating tin can garden lights or make a home for stag beetles using old plastic pots.

Find out how to create eco-friendly paper pots in just five simple steps, below.

How to do it


Choose moulds of different sizes in order to make a range of pots suitable for all your seed sowing and plant raising activities.


Cut strips of newspaper wide enough to fold halfway across the mould base, and roll the paper round to make 4-6 layers per pot.


Wrap tightly to create firm pots, then start folding the paper over the base so there is no gap for any compost to fall through.


Wooden kits have a crimping block that helps create a crease to hold paper rigid, or just push the base firmly onto a flat surface.


Carefully slide the paper pot from the mould. Stand pots in a seed tray, ready for sowing.

Top tip

As an alternative to making paper pots, try recycling cardboard tubes or egg boxes. The card tubes from the centre of kitchen foil or paper towel are ideal for sowing deep-rooting seeds.

Rest the pots in trays of damp compost. This ensures the paper always remains moist, allowing roots to grow through the sides.

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