I don’t really have much of a green thumb. But I love having a couple small potted plants – they bring a (literal) touch of life to a room, especially in the dark, dreary wintertime. Succulents are a favorite of mine, because they’re nice to look at and well… they’re generally pretty easy to keep alive.
I’d recently gotten some cuttings of a few succulents but didn’t have any tiny little pots for them. As you probably already know I love all things paper, so I was happy to find a simple and effective way to get these little dudes into some soil. I made a few tweaks to some instructions that I found online, and now I can’t stop folding these cute little paper pots.
Newspaper, or other recycled paper.
A bone folder or other folding tool (I used a sharpie!)
1. Start with a piece of paper, folded in half to make a square. My square is 6” x 6” (so the entire piece is 12” x 6”, folded once.) If you’re using newspaper, or other very thin paper, you’ll want to use two layers. So in this case, you’re starting with a piece that is 12” x 12’ and you have now folded it twice to get a 6’ x 6” square.
2. With the folded edge towards you, fold the square in half from side to side. Use a bone folder or other folding tool to make all of your creases crisp and exact. Not only will the finished product look better, but you’ll have an easier time folding it, too.
3. Open up one half of the fold you just made, bringing the bottom fold up into the center. Line up the bottom crease with the middle fold to make a straight line.
4. Turn the whole thing over and repeat for the other side. You should now have something that looks like this:
5. Fold the halves together on each side, with the folded pieces facing back together so you have a flat “home plate” shape. The triangle pieces that you just folded in steps 3 and 4 are now on the inside.
6. Fold the edges of the home plate back to the center crease, as shown.
7. Flip the whole thing over and repeat on the other side.
8. Next, fold the edges toward the center crease again.
9. Flip the whole thing over and repeat on the other side.
10. Holding the pieces that you just folded in place, fold the flap down from the top. These flaps will now become two of the sides of your pot.
11. Flip the whole thing over and do this on the other side.
12. Stick two fingers inside and carefully open up the pot, while gently holding the side flaps so they don’t unfold. Use your other hand to help form the bottom of the pot into a square.
13. Tuck the bottom of the flaps into the little slots. It should hold its shape without any glue or tape. This step is a little tricky, and may take a couple of tries before you get the hang of it. It helps to fold and crease where the fold would be before tucking it in to itself.
Ta-da! Now you have adorable little biodegradable pots for starting your seeds or succulents. When you’re ready to transfer your seedlings or succulents into the garden or a larger pot, you can plant the whole thing, paper and all! The paper pot will deteriorate in the soil.