How to make newspaper pots

How to…

Learn how to make your own plant pots from recycled newspapers, an inexpensive container in which to grow your plants.

  • Estimated time: 15 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed


Newspaper pots are brilliant for starting off your seeds such as sunflowers, peas or for potting on young seedlings.


  • newspaper
  • a clean, empty jar or can
  1. Take your sheet of newspaper and fold it almost in half lengthways, leaving a strip about 3cm in width at the top.

    Fold that strip down, like folding down the top of an envelope.

  2. Place your jar/can at the bottom of your newspaper with the hole facing up.

    Make sure the jar/can is hanging over the paper a bit at the bottom as this will help you to remove it later.

  3. Roll your paper nice and snugly around the jar/can.

  4. When you have finished rolling, tuck the paper into the hole at the top of your jar/can.

  5. Flip your jar/can upside down and press down onto it to create a nice seal for the bottom of your pot.

    Remove the jar/can and voilà!

  6. Make as many pots as you need and fill them up!

    Put your pots into a tray before adding compost. The newspaper can get a bit soggy so this will make them easier to move.

Additional information

  • The size of your jar or can will determine the size of your pot. For sowing seeds and seedlings, a standard-sized jam jar with would work well.
  • If using an empty can or tin, cover the sharp opening with duct tape to avoid injury.
  • Once the seedlings are big enough to plant out, the whole pot can be planted straight into the ground as the paper will rot away (biodegrade) within a couple of weeks.
  • These pots are brilliant for giving plants away to others. Sow individual sunflower seeds in them to spread sunshine in your community or tomato seeds to help people grow their own food. 

Need more help?

Watch our how-to video to help you get potty!