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You are here: Home arrow Articles arrow Grow your own arrow Origami Seed Pots


Origami Seed Pots

Written by Cab

Free biodegradable pots for seedlings, cab shows you how...

Years ago, someone (I can't remember who or where) taught me how to make this origami box. Simple design, and really handy. For a couple of years I've been using it as a biodegradable plant pot for beans and squashes, anything I want to plant straight out without disturbing the roots too much. The secret is that when completed it gives you four layers of newspaper, which is sufficient strength to make the model work as a plant pot, but not too thick such that it doesn't degrade in the soil.

First time you make this it'll take a little while. Really, its all about grasping how it works, when you wrap your head around it you'll churn these out in seconds.

Take a double sheet of tabloid sized newspaper. You don't want it glossy, you want it to rot down quickly. Like this, from the Indy, a paper that I find rots down remarkably well!

Right... Square it up so the edges and corners are all level, and then fold one corner across diagonally like so. You're after a nice clean fold into the corner.

This is the only time you need to cut anything; cut the side bit off so that you've got a square.

Take the triangle you have and fold it in half again, to a smaller triangle like this.

And now, unfold it back to a square again, see you've now got some diagonal folds made? You'll need those later.

Start folding the four points of the square to the centre, like this:

When all four are folded in, it looks like this. Theres a name for this in origami, its called a blintz.

Now you have to use a bit of judgement, you need to fold it into three sideways, so start folding one side in:

And then the other:

Now unfold that again, and fold it into three the other way:

And unfold again. So you've now divided your blintz into nine little squares.

Unfold the top and the bottom triangle flaps from the middle of the square, like this:

Now it gets a little fiddly. Remember you folded the square into three in each direction? Well, use those folds to raise the left and right sides up like this, so you've got the middle third flat, the side third on either side raised.

You're wondering how to turn this into a plant pot? Well, the points of the square that you folded out now come back in. As they do so, squash in the flaps that doing so makes like this:

So when both of them are folded in on the first side you bring in, it looks like this:

Now fold that point over and down into the middle of the pot:

And repeat those last steps to make the final side of the pot:

Giving you the final pot! I've put a pound coin next to it for scale.

If you have any questions or suggestions about paper boxes please visit our forum.